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Death Fields Printer friendly page Print This
By Pramila Venkateswaran
Submitted by Mankh
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Poison me, and you poison yourself,

spews Gaia, her rage billowing black

as scientists pour grease cutters

in the ocean to clean the oil spill.


She stamps her form out of myth

Rips the illusion of serenity

duping gulls and sea lovers:

Hell behind a gorgeous sunset.


Oil-stained pelicans paint

the sky vermillion, then land

among dying tall grass shooting

out of sluggish marsh soup.


How to soap them down?

How many can you wash?

How many will dare dip their wings

into slick waves?


The brown pelicans, some washed ashore

dyed in crude oil, wait to die, or

get a good scrub and face hunger

from our loving hands.

Pramila Venkateswaran, poet-laureate of Suffolk county (2013-15) writes poetry and non-fiction and teaches at Nassau Community College. A feminist activist, she writes about race, gender, and the environment. Her latest book is Slow Ripening (Local Gems, 2016)

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