Unlike the story
of the snake that brightens skins
we dim radiance
Spewing under earth,
man’s mistake kills birds, fish, crabs—
not other; our own
In blackened waters
a mother and her children
float dead on their backs
My response to the oil spill has been shaped by journalistic photographs: tarred birds, gray waters—death, everywhere. I do not know how to write about what I am seeing through the lens of other people: not others at all: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers: all connected by water. The haiku form called to me in its attention to nature, its sparseness and honoring of the poet’s first impression.
What have we done? What are we doing?
Maya Pindyck is a writer, visual artist, and educator living and working in Brooklyn. Her collection of poems, Friend Among Stones, received the Many Voices Project Award from New Rivers Press (2009), and her chapbook, Locket, Master, won a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship (2006). Her poems have recently appeared, or are forthcoming, in Tusculum Review, Margie, and Poets & Artists. In 2005, Maya co-founded the growing Project Voice (www.theabortionproject.org) in an effort to temper the stigma surrounding abortion. She earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in education as a New York City Teaching Fellow.