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This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "Too Close" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"In the Cracks of Climate Change"


Along the soft beaches,
the water rolls in.

Waves dig their white fingers
into the vulnerable sand
and sweep it away.

Storms rumble above,
raining down water
by the bucketful.

Sewers gurgle and
overflow, streets flood,
and pitiful roofs poke up
through the muddy rush.

Yet as soon as the water
returns to a lower level,
the repairmen rush in as
eagerly as the flood itself,
and developers still propose
new plans too close to shore.


In the dry mountains,
the snow has long since
melted away and the clouds
come but bring no rain.

The drought deepens.

It only takes a tiny spark
from a restless cloud or
a careless camper
to start a blaze.

The wildfires rage
along the slopes,
following the laws of
thermodynamics, but
the laws of humankind
aren't keeping up.

As soon as the ash settles,
people hasten to rebuild.


They're living in the cracks
between the water and the land,
and those cracks can fill with water.

They're living in the cracks
that run down the slopes of hills,
and those cracks can light on fire.

They're living in the cracks
of climate change but won't admit it.

The laws of nature are ruthless
and inexorable, and there is no appeal:

Move or die.

* * *

Notes:

Climate change is causing more intense storms and worse flooding. Rising sea levels threaten settlements close to shore. Despite this, developers keep trying to build on vulnerable land because people want the waterfront access, instead of admitting the inevitable and making accommodations for climate change.

In other areas, climate change is exacerbating droughts and wildfires. Some places, such as California, are seeing increases of 500% or more in wildfires. Despite this, people still want to build in ravines -- which are basically giant wildfire chimneys -- because they like the view, instead of taking sensible precautions against fires.

Don't be stupid. Stop rebuilding in areas prone to frequent natural disasters.
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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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