Saturday, September 24, 2011

Climate Change Poem 21

Virgin palm, May 2006

Two global events are occurring on September 24, 2011:

1. Moving Planet, a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.

2. 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.

I thought: Why not do both?

Barring an emergency, I am posting from midnight to midnight, one poem per hour (at any time during that hour). That's starting from 00:00-01:00 and ending at 23:00-24:00 Eastern Time today.

All the poems are sonnets. Each takes its cue from an article dealing with climate change. The articles had been posted beginning on September 15 -- the date of the 24-hour Climate Reality Project that inspired me to do this -- to September 19, the day I drafted the twenty-fourth poem.

The poem for Hour 21 takes its cue from "Climate Change Transforms Namibian Landscape" (Mark Dunphy, Irish Weather Online, Sept. 19, 2011).

Green Desert

Namibia, a land of sand and mud
Is suddenly awash in verdant pools.
For earlier this year, a mega-flood
Transformed the landscape. River water rules,

For even though the rains stopped months ago,
The flow continues, now for weeks on end.
A storm in June had dropped a field of snow
Where heat and dust would normally extend.

The sediment the current carries through,
En route to its rare meeting with the sea,
Has isotopes that could provide a clue
To how unusual the silt might be.

For has it traveled from its normal source?
Or have we now a brand new watercourse?

Audio (1:07):

Part of the Solution website (chosen at random)
Green EcoCommunities, a resource for eco-friendly communities.
Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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