Steven Federle

(1951 / Cincinnati Ohio)

My Class


The topic was Greenland,
sheets of ice
cascading to the sea,
plunging in the summer sun
like kids cannon-balling into the deep end.

global warming
spawning new islands and bays,
a lush new age of water,
green-house gases rising
in a great belch
from the man's
energy binge.

But what is the cause?
Hydrocarbons burning in roaring cars?

The unseen dead rising
into the innocent stratosphere?

Jungle trees are burning
as, wild-eyed, the panther
prowls the Amazon village
hungry for her own energy fix.

We could blame it all on Fulton and Watt:
their steam-punk monsters spitting fire,
as trudging workers descend
into the industrial-grade darkness
and the misery of the money hole.

But one bright student
suggested a more somber cause
from which there is no escape
in cap and trade.

Gaia, walking with large swings,
slings up
volcanos and glaciers and men
while, deep in her brooding, iron core,
she shrugs,
and, most inconveniently,
takes her own sweet time
smiling
as she contemplates
her next move.

Submitted: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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