Friday, November 23, 2007

Eco Poems

Though I can't say the following two by William Heyen (from Pterodactyl Rose, 1991) are what I think writers should be doing to grab us emotionally and affect change--these are too overt and didactic, not tightly lyrical enough--I do appreciate what they're attempting.


In the duplication center I xerox a hundred pages
of the usual stuff, you know the stuff.
I xerox maybe a branch's worth, maybe

a small lower branch of Georgia loblolly pine:
evergreen scent of toner, and when I close my eyes,
I see the long needles of light along my branch.

Sometimes, the stuff done, it takes a touch
from next-in-line to break the spell
of xerox, fire, and the wheel.

Gods of Vanished Species

At Kwik-Fill, I pump ferns and turtles into my tank.
They'll ride here in my dark until they burn.
Millions of years later, now, our traffic
traverses ancient landscapes, zone by zone,

desert by forest by marsh by swamp until
we sleep. At night, like you, I almost remember
rib-like sprays of cat-tails, pterodactyl eyes of coal,
clouds of insects curving a moonlit shore.

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