Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016



in Environment by

They want to put an Umlaut
over this time, a fronting
round, a circling corralling
up of words that cross, skip
dance, shimmer over washes
that deluge in flash floods
of rejoicing, that crumble
the earth, and with alluvial
fans, spread out from
Arroyos, bring forth blooms
in the desert, workers
and dreamers pollinating
this land. They want to
confiscate Astrolabes
brought by Persians,
the inheritors of Cyrus
and Musa-al-Khwarazmi–
who balanced the unknown
with Al-Jebar, a union
of broken parts in a broken
world, an accounting
of our lives that carries
us forth to the tight eye
of time, the horizons
where matter shreds
and is remade.
They want to shatter
the microscopes,
the confession of our
sins against this earth,
the reading of our
terrible will, filled with
codicils for Coal Barons,
for Monsanto, for endless
dusting of crops, round ups
of weeds our ancestors
trekked over prairies
and valleys, taken by gun.
They want unhindered
conduits of the long dead,
the ooze of oil for this
frypan we sit in, for this
burnt offering, this altar
of rapacious claws,
clinging to the later days.



Jasmine Marshall Armstrong is a poet, journalist and humanities scholar whose work reflects the grit and glamour of growing up working-class in California. Her poetry has appeared in Poets Reading the News, Askew and Sojourners Magazine.

Photo by Nick Fewings.


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