Thursday, April 22, 2010

HAPPY EARTH DAY: Robin Beth Schaer reads her poem, day 93

video
Endangerment Finding

Admit our sun is common, a Milky Way twin
to a hundred million more. Even its end
ordinary, no stellar explosion, it will snap
hydrogen to helium then cool to a dense core.

You squint skyward, still wanting the corona
of a bright god, the unconquered sun that chose us
to spin around. But there is no need for tributes
of maize and falcon wings while we burn

the oil of light left epochs ago. You may ratify
the droughts and downpours, assign blame
for melting ice and rising seas, but I can count
more kinds of hammers than turtles;

we need instinct, not law. The dogs of Pompeii
howled for days, even snakes slithered
from Helice. In the Gallatin Range, the bears
left the forest. At night, a slice of mountain shook

down, sleepers drowned in their beds, soaked
in waves off the lake. When the ground stilled
the bears returned, covered with mud. Hush.
Listen to our internal combustion rumble.

There is more elegance in turning photon
to electron to motion. Let us trade the old sun
for the new one, sustain ourselves, wet and green,
within this delicate spindle of axis and orbit.



Robin Beth Schaer is the recipient of fellowships from the Saltonstall Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, and Washington Square, among others, and recordings of her poems are featured on From the Fishouse. She lives in New York City and works at the Academy of American Poets.

Originally posted on April 22, 2009