Four hundred miles south of my home in Memphis, Hurricane Isaac has been hammering New Orleans. A few miles in the opposite direction, severe drought and triple digit temperatures have decimated hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. Arctic sea ice is at a record low.
Equally alarming and surreal is the widespread, ongoing denial that thrives in the face of hard evidence and scientific facts.
And this is global warming, a climate change poetry anthology published in 2012, is among the many artistic responses to this crisis. This international collection of selected poems engages the subject from many different perspectives.
Turning on my television to images of Isaac’s floods followed by coverage of a political convention where contempt for environmental protection is met with applause has led me to make a rare exception and run one of my own poems this time around: a humorous protest from the aforementioned book.
Thanks for indulging me.
Voicemail Received 02:17
Welcome to the Global Hotline
For Heatstroke, press One
For this month’s Atlas press Two.
If you’re a weather refugee press Three.
Our normal hours are no longer.
Anomalies are now the status quo.
If you know the extension of the party––
Hello, this is Joe Consumer
tax paying baby boomer
calling sick of trumped up journalese
from pseudo science socialists
who get off hugging trees
or using some emotional device
like pictures of a polar bear
that’s running out of ice.
We’ll win this propaganda war
and work to give our children more.
Inflate the Dream and raise the Bar––
a car for driving to their car.
Expand Hamburger Highway.
More jets in every skyway
flying merrily along
with plastic wrapped in plastic
imported from Guangdong.
Above a billion bulbs
outshining twinkling black.
Did you say coal mine?
Bring it on! We’ll kick your
dead canary like a hacky sack.
We’ve earned the right to borrow
––without interest––from tomorrow
and ride your fabled pendulum
that swings from drought to flood.
We’re super-sized cowboys with
— Caroline Zarlengo Sposto 2012
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And This Global Warming: A’r Cynhesu Byd-eang Hwn: Poetry on Climate Change; Barddoniaeth am Newid Hinsawdd