Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Is Here!


Go vote . . . go Obama!
FIRED UP . . . READY TO GO!

Since Alaska and oil and drilling have been so much in the Zeitgeist of late . . . yet not so much the environment, here is a poem about a devastating event almost twenty years ago. An event we should remember as we make decisions about energy and the biosphere. You too, Governator Palin. Especially you too.

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill


A bear is crossing a beach in this National
Geographic
photo. The sand piled up
in dunes like always, scalloped by waves, but black . . .

black sand, black water, black salmon floating upended.
The bear now a motley panda, doomed by the gull
he breakfasted on, covered with black gravy.

In the moments before his stomach begins to cramp up,
is the bear wondering if black snow has fallen,
a warm snow like thick blood? Does he

recognize as water these puddles angling
across his path — obsidian knives reflecting
dark sky? Is he thinking these cramps are only thirst,

nothing fit to drink along this beach?
Later, too weak to stand, his eyesight turning
black as night, will he wonder what jolted the earth

into this monochrome place, the world wrenched
inside out? A photographer's negative. Spring's
greens and purples leaking into black sky.

— Vince Gotera, published in Lyrical Iowa (1996).

This poem was occasioned by a photo in an issue of National Geographic focusing on the aftermath of the spill. I wasn't successful in locating that precise image via Google, but one can kind plenty of equally dramatic shots currently online. Here is one from the "Exxpose Exxon" website, provided by a person named Christine:


Exxpose Exxon website.

Thanks, Christine, for your anti-Exxon, anti-big-business, pro-environment stance. This too is for you.

Anyone . . . who has yet to vote . . . GO VOTE!

1 comment:

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