Thursday, April 22, 2010

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

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


  1. nicely done

    sorry for this rudeness
    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    It is natural
    to be cautious
    it's not quite Einsteins dice
    though it's close
    at times
    the people whispering
    into your ear
    how you can alleviate poverty
    forge trust
    feed a continet
    on fire
    if you will only
    hold back
    wait until 2013
    safely ensconced in victory
    you will be able to
    break the brittle lies
    of ineffectual wags
    these folks have
    read Dostoyevsky
    the boisterous cowards
    who will always
    be with us
    Don't heed them
    push every direction at once
    before a star goes supernova
    the pressure in unbearable
    think of the Gandhi quote
    on the poorest person
    think of your position to
    actually do something
    history is replete with
    con artists
    smooth shuffling
    who destroy by indifference
    the expectations are
    the hope
    salvific at times
    climbing out of that safety
    requires steel and balls
    be the steel that bends
    have the cojones to care
    the system is on life support
    you can make the call

  2. I absolutely love the poem, Robin!

  3. Wonderful and moving work, Robin. I found this just in time for Earth Day, 2011.

  4. Thought provoking work. I'm so glad I found this site.

  5. Another aswesome poem. Very inspiring. Thanks again!

  6. Very thought provoking words. I'm not sure that Obama has lived up to the expectations we had. As "wound dresser" said "The system is still on life support".

  7. Very interesting topic. Well-writtend and enjoyable to read. Keep it up!

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