The Melting of the Poles
Yes, it is alarming, especially
if we consider that it has been barely a century that
there was a race to the pole.
Now what is named as the Amundsen Ice Sheet
is melting at a rate that is more than the entire
weight of the mass of humanity taken altogether.
That weight of humanity taken all together is ironic.
We, perhaps, are the cruelest species on the planet
and certainly the most destructive.
If the earth is a speculative planet for souls
who need to work at certain aspects of their growth,
then those same souls are actually
ruining their communal home. What to make of this?
There is still enough glorious earth to praise;
however, we are losing it at a nearly incomprehensible
rate, which may be why, unconsciously,
there is so much darkness and madness rampant:
from the beheadings at the hands
of the religious maniacs of Isis to the political depravity
of the conservative parties, particularly in America,
who are misguided by their false sense of entitlement,
and their blind refusal and practiced ignorance
to acknowledge global warming,
fueled by their greed for the economy of coal and oil.
Vacuity everywhere, especially in the Millennial Generation,
of a frightening solipsism, in thinking about anyone
other than themselves, combined with a sense of entitlement,
dripping with narcissism.
Vacuity in the poems of the MFA graduate, who read on and
on and on—essentially about nothing at all except
what he purported as being brilliant forays into surrealism—
surely the new Rimbaud, hubris seeping from every pore.
As I suggested to Carol, The thing is that he doesn’t see
the forest, nor does he see the trees.
He sees absolutely nothing, and lacks the vision his work only
purports in being emblematic of.
Vacuity everywhere, even this morning, at the laundry mat,
as a woman, who I noticed browbeating her husband,
asked me if her laundry basket was in my way, as she ever so
closely pushed the basket towards my basket,
not just once, but several times. Actually both she and it were
in my way, as she opened the door
to the washer beside the washer I had selected, but I chose not
to enter into combat with her;
so, I said, No, you’re not, smiling wryly. Her behavior not only
exhibited entitlement, but was reminiscent
of western expansion, a Manifest Destiny of the spirit, that may
be unconscious in Americans.
However, it was paired with a combative element, that if
I should speak up, especially as a man,
since she also had it in for
all men, that she was going to press the button that would
empower her psychic free radicals, as Caroline Myss,
a modern mystic, refers to them,
and enable the subterfuge controlling her to, like drones,
destroy and conquer.
Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) and a new interpretation of The Daodejing of Laozi, with David Breeden and Steven Schroeder (Lamar University Press, 2015). Some of his new poems appear in Commonweal, North American Review,andRattle. Garrison Keillor recently read his poem “Radiance” on the daily radio program The Writer’s Almanac.