facts at our fingertips souls falling through the cracks

listen…i’ve been thinking, if it keeps
raining like this on frozen ground
nothing sinking in, the flood could come;
it might be time to build an ark again.
this is not dogma or the aura of a mystical moment,
just practical assessment of the facts.

there’s a lot of rats lately
heading for ships, the mainland’s on fire,
first drought cracked the earth, now everyone’s
drowning, things are falling through darkness,
and the sales of rolls royces peaked out last year. 
in short it’s downhill from here.

everyone who’s got too much
is holding on to it tight.
the glaciers are melting, the waters are rising,
the poor lift up desperate trembling
hands, all the money’s spilling through their fingers.
besides unlucky coins, it’s our souls you hear
slipping through the cracks.

we’ve all heard this story before.
some of us talk in our sleep
and others claim to hear voices.
my oldest peace-vigil friend told me
she stopped reading the paper last week
because she’s tired of crying.

of course if they keep cutting the rainforests,
the air will give out, and we won’t have to worry
about floods or rats or sinking or anything at all.
the other day you said, i love you so much
i’ll keep loving you after i’m dead. 
scared yourself too, because you don’t believe
anything happens after you’re dead.
i said, stick to the facts.

you love me so much you’re tempted
to believe in heaven on earth.
i grant you, the ground is thawing.
it’s valentine’s day.
just this morning i saw the crown
of a crocus heave itself upward
through the icy mud.  there must be a place
for all this watery hope to go.
Previously published: Environmental Impact, a exhibition catalogue of New York State artists & and writers responding to environmental issues, April 19-28, 1990, Gallery 53 Artworks, Cherry Valley, NY.


  1. And there it is again—joy while considering the facts. Amazing. Sadly, this poem might have been written today or any day since 1989.


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