Thursday, July 28, 2016

Oil Spill in the North River

A deluge of black oil killed a sparrow.
While a canada goose and great blue heron are
being treated from chemical spill.

The snow of the mountains feed me.
Wide is my mouth, awash with fish.
A strong river, I define valleys and foothills.

Sadness is the whale's echoing grunts.
Grief is eerie silence from the dying fish.  Is this
what we wish of death, a poison poured, toxic finis? 

I run alongside the prairies, yellow under 
afternoon sun.  Forests keel under my tides.
A benevolent river, I mark journeys anew.

I dig a grave until I couldn't count anymore-

A great blue heron brought in for treatment at Maidstone, Sask., near the site of a pipeline leak that spilled more than 200,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River. (Submitted by Wendy Wandler )  Source

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub- OpenLinkNight, starts at 3 pm EST.  I am your host so please come and join us with your poem.   

I read this news over the weekend and this picture struck me.   The Muskoday First Nation has declared a state of emergency.    

34 comments:

  1. Sadness is the whale's echoing grunts.
    Grief is eerie silence from the dying fish.

    Goodness gracious, I can't imagine what they must be going through. Such a poignant and powerful poem.


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  2. Extremely powerful poem. What the heck are we doing to each other, the creatures and our earth? Have we totally lost our sanity? This poem breaks my heart. Excellent work in this.

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  3. Powerful words indeed Grace and I too (like Toni) wonder what we are doing to this world of ours. Progress appears to equate as profit and we pursue it with no thought of tomorrow.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  4. Gayle Walters RoseJuly 28, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Oh, another oil spill...our poor wildlife. How sad to see that majestic bird covered in black grime. I would say this is an emergency. I love your third verse, Grace, and your last line makes you stop in your tracks.

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  5. Grace, What remarkable contrasts you build into this...the brutal commentary on the spoils of the spill as seen against your voice of the river. This is a very effective and artful piece.

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  6. I agree, Grace, this is a powerful poem about an issue that is close to my heart. Here on the North Norfolk coast we have a number of animal and bird sanctuaries. We have even had beached whales along our coast. That last line of your really hit home.

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  7. Sigh, such events are heartbreaking, this beautifully portrays the mind trying to cope with such soul wrenching happenings...beautifully done.

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  8. A powerful poem, a triumphant poetic heart.

    The heartbreaking portrayals of life. You have soul of capturing important messages.

    Love it.

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  9. I too like the contrast between the spill and the river piece. One part makes me feel thick and greasy and the other a-washes me with the clean of snow and wide mouth of strong water teaming with fish. Really beautiful and moving piece

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  10. Oh dang, I hate to see this kind of thing. The contrast between stanzas creates such a powerful effect--even more so if it was only the darkness of the accident.

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  11. It is messed up out there. You have posted something worthy for those who cannot speak for themselves!

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  12. the heron is my favorite bird - to see the photo and read your words makes heavy my heart...bkm

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  13. A vividly sad piece and very well written. My heart goes out to the animals and all affected!

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  14. The strength of this piece is the voice you give to all the creature, great and small. You put great emotion into your words, Grace.

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  15. Some beautiful lines there.. loved " Is this
    what we wish of death, a poison poured, toxic finis?" ...

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  16. It saddens me not just a little to see that heron photograph. How nature suffers because of such disaster. you voiced that despair well.

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  17. Oil, oil everywhere. In pipes, on trains, in trucks all traveling to somewhere with the ever present roll of the dice. And then the government 3 or 4 moths later says "all done, what was spilled and ruined is now fresh and green again. What a load!

    Right now in MI we are debating Enbridges line 5 running under the Straits of Mackinac for the past 60 years--as usual it will take a massive spill for any action to happen, but when that spill comes both Huron and Michigan will be severely harmed. Will we never learn?

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  18. This gave me the chills. Powerful writing. As always, thank you. Have a beautiful weekend!

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  19. Clever combination of drought and deluge in consecutive stanzas in one poem. Didn't think of it that way. Great lines Grace!

    Hank

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  20. Solid last line. The digging of the graves until you can not count anymore carries the weight of this poem.

    It is interesting how soon we forget these great travesties. Think of the BP oil spill - how outraged everyone was. But we are so dependent on oil - we forget in our "need" - we have to be reminded the damage.

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  21. This is close for me. I'm only about a 90 minute drive from one of the affected communities.

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  22. Awful how humans just screw up nature so much, even by "accident" as our need for oil keeps us hooked.

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  23. Such a sad situation when these things happen in nature. Well expressed, and I liked the form a lot.

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  24. Oh that image of the heron is heartbreaking. Not to mention the thought of the creatures of the river unseen, all suffering. I like the way the river speaks from its place of strength and beauty, alternating with the current reality. The whale's sad grunt really gets to me.

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  25. I'm not certain I could've written anything that hasn't been said about the overall poem; its contents. The writing is spare, the tone of the poet voice is exactly what it should be. It creates a mood of melancholy and of anger.

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  26. Stunning. The image, the poem, the story.

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  27. A terrible tragedy ... beautifully if heart-rendingly written. Great contrast between the factual verses and the voice of the river.

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  28. The empathy in your poem is poignant and impressive, Grace. The sadness spills through. Beautiful words, painful situation.

    --Nimi
    www.NimiArora.com

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  29. I like the way you personalized the trauma caused to each innocent creature...a sparrow, a goose, a heron,and of course the river itself, giving them a voice in this unacceptable catastrophe.

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  30. me remember, when dey put up a new oil well near ma house, and den it spilled and stank, and ma son (3years old) got a bad cough and ma daughter played and made mud cakes out of oil mud ... and I phoned da company and said: If U don't cum out TODAY and stop dis, I will get ma gun and stop dis maself ... and so dey came and stopped de well ... smiles ... ya ... Love, cat.

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  31. Incredibly sad and well-written. Along the lines of a saying I heard. I don't remember it exactly, so I'll paraphrase:

    "Only when man poisons the last river and killed off the last game animal will he realize that he cannot eat money."

    I'm guessing we'll never learn that lesson...

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  32. so very very sad....
    the beauty of nature within these words "benevolent river"
    the destruction wrought by humankind in the last line
    the lesson must be learned.

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