Journalism In Verse

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The Global Monsoon

in Environment/Hurricanes by

24 and a half trillion gallons of water.
Like God in your backyard.
Five Niagara Falls to the head.
An ocean. The Dead Sea.

Our attention on a city too big to evacuate, too sprawling with oil cash.
Our attention on Louisiana, the Caribbean,
India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone.
Our attention on the onset of
the new global
monsoon
season.

They said: “Get out or die.”

The scientists who make toxic waste evacuate.
The CEO of a chemical company
that might soon explode offers:
“No way to prevent it.”

Everyone who has ever
tried to help the environment
spits on the ground.

Harvey means blazing.

Oil refineries shut down, spill.

The scientists who study the earth stop their warnings
for a moment.
They are shocked
silent at the scale
of destruction.

“We produce environmentally clean products
and are committed stewards of the environment,” says Valero.

Six members of one family die.
They join
many.

“We have explored the inner earth and there’s nothing we
don’t know,” struts an oil executive.

Someone who makes a profit justifies:
“Every Superfund site is another fortune,
another American dream. Think of this rain
as a Christmas tree surrounded by gilded presents.
Imagine this flood as a belated birthday.”

 


Read More:
Attention is on Harvey. But flooding has killed thousands this month in other countries, too. [Washington Post]
Harvey is part of an extreme weather pattern scientists saw coming. They’re still shocked. [Vox]
Harvey disrupts business, but some are set to benefit [CNBC]

Jenna Spagnolo is the co-editor of Poets Reading the News.

Image is a satellite image of Tropical Storm Harvey over the Gulf of Mexico, taken just before 8:00 AM on August 29, 2017.

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