Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Day 2

Today’s prompt was to write a water poem, and it turns out that this is something I’ve been considering a fair amount lately in my poetry, and in my daily life. Florida is built on limestone (among other things) as opposed to bedrock, which means that as the oceans rise due to melting icecaps, we won’t be able to hide behind dikes the way the Dutch have for hundreds of years–the water will simply filter up through the ground. Even if we pump the ocean out, over or through protective walls, our drinking water source will disappear, as I understand it. That’s what I had on my mind as I put this draft together today.

What Change Must Come

We cannot build walls
to keep the ocean out,
not here at the penin-
sula’s tip where water
seeks the surface from
below. The seas will
filter up, will kill all
but mangrove, sawgrass.
The places I love most
all teeter on knife-edge:
New Orleans wants to drown
and sink into swamp;
San Francisco to slide
and buckle into itself.
Fort Lauderdale dares the air
to whirl it down, and now,
to submerge it whole.
Planners once canaled
the rivers, called this place
“Venice of America.”
How could they know?
Did they dream of searise,
revenge of water reclaiming
what its offspring had built?

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April 2, 2010 - Posted by | National Poetry Month, Poetic Asides |

2 Comments »

  1. Lovely, sad, true. 😦

    Comment by Amy | April 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. This is really timely for me because I live in flooded Rhode Island, where for days it has felt like the sea is already filtering up and reclaiming turf. But other than that, it is also a great poem with lovely internal rhyme.

    Comment by Lou | April 2, 2010 | Reply


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