Monday, January 6, 2020



While a continent becomes a sore
spreading to shingle the destitute globe, 
we lie wrapped in broiling
blinded abeyance, knee-jerking a galvanic
response that is only more of nothing.
The colossus god-thief's

gone small as a pea no longer green
beside his golden foundry,
abandoned like a warped wheel
murdered by its own machine,
shamed to a face in a clockwork locket
that's dropped too hot on a 

cowskulled outback
where fire tornadoes are the new djinns
where the breath of burned brush leaves
a path of smoking cinder, 
where even the dirt
is beginning to burn.

We are the thing that un-cocks
the flower gun, whose apocalypse hand 
knifemelts the Mother, making
her bleed a drowning of ice-water tides,
the mad un-scientists who breed 
the firebird to rise and rise again.

We are numberless now, an ashslide of rapists
pressing our weight against a mouth that would be willing
if only it could breathe.

~March 2013
(originally written as quite a different poem)

Repurposed January 2020
 for earthweal

Image: Photograph via internet, showing the Australian wildfires of 2019/20 from space. Fair Use


  1. That cow skulled outback is now littered with the bodies of kangaroos trapped by fences and burned to death. My mind can even encompass the enormity of what we are seeing. As always, your words make us see: "We are the thing that uncocks the flower gun." I remember those days of "peace and love". I never dreamed, back in those days of hope, that we would come to this. So good to read you, my friend.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes it takes a bigger imagination than most of us have got to take in the severity and the extent of what is happening,unless I suppose you are actually there. It must be like Hell on earth. Thanks for reading Sherry.

  3. Aieee. Only louder. You've captured the rapists and the enablers (the word numb is in numberless):
    . . . we lie wrapped in broiling
    blinded abeyance, knee-jerking a galvanic
    response that is only more of nothing."

  4. That last verse is a home run... we've simply gone too far... it's terrifying to think of the consequences.

  5. The phrasing and run-on lines really impel the reader forward, through the imagery which reinforces the chaotic horror you describe! I feel like I am living in a constant state of terror.. not a good way to begin a new decade.

  6. Paracelsus believed that cure must act like a fire on disease, burning with equal-plus ferocity: Something tells me jeremiads like this (so pumped in its rage) are for hollering on the steps of Congress, outside the White House, in the dreams of ExxonMobil execs. Ours is a "broiling / blinded abeyance" when fire tornadoes djinn the contemporary imagination and "even the dirt / is beginning to burn." And there is a complicity here, that "we" is both coal lobbyist and child of tomorrows walking innocently home from school: It's a human thang, a species sin. There is something suffocating about saying it so well, but no door opens that is not named. Thanks.

  7. So many images possess your poem, driven forward by that satellite image. That open sore, your un-scientist scientists paid by the polluters until even the dirt is beginning to burn. Oh, I don't think I can bear it.

  8. The PM of OZ has been an ardent climate change denier--I am not well versed enough on his policies to know if they contributed much to the current fire death situation but they certainly have not helped.

    When choosing between climate and commerce, to me, there is only one choice to stop the rape and allow the victim to try to recover breath.make but humans keep making the wrong decision, putting fools who tell them "more money on your pocket."

    Way back when, decades ago, I personally did not see the communal way of life and resistance to the status quo as my path...then on a hitchhiking trip through Northern Quebec I saw the effect of "acid rain" where my mind was forever changed.

    You have given the wold a strong piece here Joy if only we were willing to

    1. Yes, the PM is very Trumpian, from what I hear--his latest is to deny climate change exists, and blame the thousands of feral camels "for drinking too much water" and order them shot. It's vile, and all of it breaks what is left of my cinder of a heart.

  9. As heart-breaking and pitiless as the current global situation. Sorry I missed this until now.

  10. Despite the heat of the fire this chills me to the bone... and the only thing we dare to do is turning our backs and look at the sea.

  11. Such angry, but apt description of what is happening to this planet, by humanity.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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