water off a duck’s…
I wake up and find
I’m trapped in a lagoon,
but the water is gone: something else in its place, black and brown.
It sticks to me all over
drags down my feathers when I try to raise my wing.
What is this smell, there is weight in it
and the liquid grit is in my eyes now,
and mouth, nose, lungs, anus.
I can feel it soaking into my skin, a reverse wound,
the outside coming into me.
I don’t want it in my body, it’s heavy, it’s coarse
so I dive down, I’ll swim beyond its claws
but I can’t find my way
nothing is familiar
there’s too much darkness
This past summer at Naropa, the long-time poet and environmentalist Jack Collom said, “I hope we can use the oil spill as a dark mirror.” This has become a mantra, how I’m looking at everything now; through our dark dark mirror, the ugliness our desires have made. As I write this, BP has finally capped the gaping wound in our Earth; but the plant and animal death toll, the economic losses, the depth of this mirror-all of these are still growing.