announcing the beginning of that end of the world as Google lets us know it

the rain brings flowers

of sludge, some yellow putrid

splats, from fields sprayed with the waste

of Boston in West Texas, miles

of treated pipe excreta

spread on Mescalero and Tigua bones


then the floes turn to stone

beds of cracked glacial skin

tingling with heat

lichen desiccating, weeds from

goats lifting hazy skies of pollen


the war is between jellyfish

lionfish, driftnets entangled

with the skeletons of whales

gyres of plastic like some Peter

Max rainbow print, Christos-style

covering half a hemisphere


carbon swirls and aromatic particulates

aerosols, PCBs, phenols, giant children

hairless men, the jelly rolls of young

girls, thanks to Monsanto, ADM

cooked corn and constant leukemia


we laugh at zombie movies, that

sad smile inside us, is us

wanting some action, even zombie machete

stuff, while we supplicate for scions

each chip embedded in money

the very coin of ecological

destruction, as we fiddle with

angry birds 4.0


reality is the genome, twisted

with nano-blasts, curled bat genes

nucleotides of soy plants

drought-disease-digestible resistance

each assassin gene wrapped in

our own flora, guts and intestines

ready for another wave of marketing


we plant Franken-tree for

toilet paper, entire biomes flattened

so tubular crops can grow, ferment

into barrels of fuel, insatiable appetites

launch pads in Navajo land

rockets that take billionaires

into weightlessness to feel

orgasmic, to toughen biomimicry

to carve the next crystal destined

for spasmodic brains


we are distracted now, entire continents

of coral bleached, toppled by hurricanes

mangrove rotting like the elephants

in savanna, the last sperm whale

chased by satellites, daily feeds

as we watch in our prefabricated

huts, view the chase, as high tech sub

Hollywood-Bollywood crews shoot footage

Chinese director yells, Mandarin coaches

translate, the whale lifting flukes

one last farewell, monster man


diving deeper, away from strobe lights

away from ships crashing swells

like some Melville nightmare

we witness that last glimpse

while sipping lattes in our inflatable pools


like OJ in his Bronco madness

we witness the last condor hatching

one more wolf tracked 7,000 miles

while another Ted Nugent type shoots

splaying anything wild, jumping

inside Toyota bed, Kevlar hip-waders

SWAT-style boy scouts, now politically

corrected, homosexual-heterosexual

teammates, chasing wolverines

trapping badgers, gutting black bears

the new reality badge, Eagle, SEAL

Delta Force


and we pump the blood for another race

hold it below 10 degrees

next to Kombucha tea

our measured out proteins

one big giant relay across the Mohave

as the last moose falls in a cul-de-sac

in Montana, crows and starlings

our sky creatures, surging storms

flooding parks now, as we witness

this change, live, hand-held

pushed into cornea, as each

floating and belly-up thing

finds a commercial or plea

for us to pay more


the end of the world

as we know it stays frozen

on a screen, in someone’s

room, as he plots something

a pressure cooker, or just plain old gas

something to enflame, defame, or

smolder what might be left of a soul

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Paul Haeder said on June 7th, 2013 at 10:38am #


    I note you are not a Patmos-island dweller, but in “Announcing the beginning of that end of world,” you have issued a spectacular apocalyptic vision which took me only minutes to read, and emerged enlightened.

    Your lively & dynamic inventive faculty was on immediate display in first two (2) stanzas, describing an evolutionary course of City waste, “pipeline excretions,” and ultimately land-farmed upon “Mescalero bones. Following the course of time and Earth, floes turn to stone, “crack glacial skin… goat weeds lift hazy skies of pollen… giant children, hairless men (eunuchs?)… a timely rhyme, “thanks to Monsanto, ADM.”

    Incredible soaring images, Paul, sincerely have not had such “uplift” since I watched Alan Shepard’s first Mercury launch into space.

    I stop here because I must go to work, and can go on & on — incredible apocalyptic lines like “launch pads in Navajo land… new reality badges,” this poem is truly a product of a free and knowing-soul. I deliberately use the term “soul” because you have given our modern world a WAY to avoid smoldering under the pressure of PLOTTERS. Must vamanos, and due to “Announcing the Beginning,” I am more buttressed against “another wave of marketing” courtesy of vile PLOTTERS. Best regards and thank you.

    Charles “Chuck” Orloski
    Taylor, Pa

  2. Paul Haeder said on June 7th, 2013 at 10:38am #

    Well, I have been reading your work on the DV Poetry Link, and, so many things to write in the prosaic end of life, that, Charles, I just had to add to the creative force captured in digital light at the poetry corner, largely because you are so dedicated to the word. The inspiration for any poem is the cadre of poets like yourself coursing through time, memory and lamentation, toward some locus of lucidity in a world engrossed in collapse. Bearing witness and then finding the village square, even in terrabyte cloud serving land, that’s the jig I want to yank.

    Thanks for seeing a poem like that one as something uplifting. Too-too many poets of the MFA variety launch into some very tailored and hemmed-in writing on both sides of the word smithing gambit.

    You might be interested in a more mainstream thing here — Active Transportation!

    Talk to you soon, once again.