The argument against Climate Change (based on Poe’s “Eureka”)

It cannot be maintained by the crawling system
(ninety-nine hundredths of what is undeniable)
that there are no degrees of impossibility

However we think it advisable to proceed
with reference to the law
in its absolute extreme of simplicity

And with enunciation of these numbers
if the orange be understood
upon any given plane

Fulfillment of any ends proposed
should leave no clouds behind
which we will explain more fully hereafter

As a separate ring
proportional to the number
although all must admit

A condition of positive normality
empirically confirmed at all points
without reference to the law

In its absolute extreme of simplicity
which led to such a result
by way of calling attention

To the home or homes of that “system”
in effect precipitating themselves
at least those which you term “animate”

A condition of positive normality
gradually merged in the general
by the skirts of the Sun’s atmosphere

Poe’s last published work was a long-winded treatise titled “Eureka”. It has been called a prose poem but I don’t see much poetry in it. What I see is an epic struggle to make sense of the universe by a man of undeniable genius who had recently lost the love of his life and coped with more than his share of darkness for most of his short life. (He lived to age 40.) This poem of mine is my way of high-lighting the lunacy of the argument against the reality of Climate Change by borrowing the language (I mean the literal phrases) from Poe’s high-energy “Eureka”. I don’t want the reader to think that I am making fun of Poe whose work illuminates the darkest chambers of the profoundly troubled American psyche in the mid-nineteeneth century.


Sipping Earth

When I was thirteen
We lived in Germany.
My brother, sister and I
Used to take the streetcar
To the end of the line
To walk in the
Heart of wine country.
That was also where I experienced
My first wine
From a little glass
Bearing a local vineyard’s
Coat of arms.
(We were at a festival
Near Heidelberg.)
I could taste the
Ancient cultivated wildness
Of the grapes:
Earthy, sweet, tangy.
So much life in one sip!
There was a dance pavilion
With a raised platform
Under a tent in the center
With all the wine-tasting stalls
Set up around the big tent
Under bright awnings.
There was music,
Joy and laughter.
It made me yearn to grow up.
Now I sip a normal-sized glass
Of cheap red wine.
Barefoot or Shaws,
It matters little.
But I think back to that time
When that sip of Rein wine
Woke something up in me,
Namely the certainty that
I would enjoy growing up after-all.
It’s not that any promise was broken.
I’m sure such wine still exists.
The problem was
I simply eventually forgot
The taste of Earth.

I have the tools

So much to do around here
I have a long list and
I have the tools
I have lots of tools
Tools for cutting
Painting and caulking
And pulling nails
Plenty of tools
Duplicates even
Some belonged to my father
Yes there they are waiting
There is so much to do
Where should I begin
Everything around here
Needs so much work
Falling down
Needing repair or replacement
Sometimes I think
I should just tear
The whole place down
And start from scratch
But winter is coming
And one of these mornings
Won’t I wake up and find
Snow covering my tools


I sit on the rocks by the waves
The raw waves
The wild black rocks
The islanders say be careful

The black rocks can be slippery
And if you slip . . .
I sit on the black rocks
Near the clamor of waves

They rise up like mountains
And collapse into white chaos
Of foam

Surging a little closer each time
I talk to the waves
And I talk to the rocks
I tell them I love them

This is a good place to talk
With the island behind me
The black rocks do not side
With island or sea

I say things I have said before
And I say things
That are just between me and the sea
And if tears come

That is because
I have slipped into grief
But the rocks will not betray me
The sea will not betray me

They know that
Everything makes sense here
And that soon
I will slip away

Too good for us

This world is too good for us
Too green for our umber
Too full, too rife
With yearnings

Plastic bags are too good for us
We never deserved
Bags made from petroleum
Pulled from Earth’s veins.

Trees are too good for us
Served us better

Our eyes are too good for us
Seeing through and beyond
The wavy glass
And dirty window

Our shoes are too good for us
Willing to carry us
Past the
Slumbering minotaur

Our feet, too good for us
Would tiptoe us
Into the Dreaming hills
Where our arms

And hands also
Far too good for us
Are ever-ready
To turn to wings

To carry us back
To our homes
Too good for us
If only we actually lived there

Our skin, too good for us
Asking why
Don’t we admire
Ourselves more

Our mirrors, too good for us
Wondering why
We don’t
See deeper

Our ears, too good for us
Could have
Understood the whales
Too good for us

Because they are good
And the ocean
You guessed it
Too good

And the desert and the wind
And the night and the day
And the sunrise and
The creatures and the stars

All too good
Too good for us
Too good for us
Too good

Climbing Monument Mountain

When I climb Monument Mountain
It is always with a friend
The same friend
And every time we climb it

The mountain reminds us
That we are not getting any younger
I already know this
But the mountain rubs it in

One time in the Fall
It was so icy
That we were slipping
And losing our footing

Every other step
And laughing at ourselves
Finding our clumsiness funny
Now four years later

The mountain is kinder
Seeing that we are slipping
Without ice
It wants us to

Go up the long way
Which is less steep
And with less puffing
It gets to hear us talk more

We go down the more direct way
I think we will keep
Climbing this mountain
Until we can’t anymore

Then maybe we will rest in the cave
That Melville and Hawthorne
Made famous
By seeking its shelter

During a thunderstorm
Where I have seen
Raindrops fall from the ledge
In long beaded necklaces

Like the strings of a harp
And I imagine that the mountain
Must be a little sad that poets
Don’t live as long as mountains