Global Warning


Photo by Rebecca Davis


Poetry is sometimes too much with us,
always tangling underfoot. Like kudzu
or the parachuting dandelion fluff
we superstitiously disperse with puffs,
poetry goes wild, turns weed. Its niche
becomes a whole ecology.

O Peoples of the Earth, hear me on this!
Poetry clings to everything. We can’t
hack back its proliferating nodes, trap
its encapsulated seeds, which survive
the seasons, germinate in pavement cracks,
on distant rooftop tar. Poetry thrives
off CO2 and every breath released.
We must live with the change it brings.


The viral dimensions of this poem were not as striking when I wrote it a decade ago at the beginning of my retirement and what I envisioned as an unbroken period of poetic composition.

Nothing quite so ecstatically Dylan-Thomas-esque happened.

Yet it has been a very productive period. So I am featuring “Global Warning” here to celebrate my past ten years of new and polished old poems and translations.