We know where it’s heading

We know where it’s heading
We’ve had several days with no rain
After a month of atmospheric rivers
That doused us so thoroughly
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Has tattooed water marks
Just above our wrinkly knees
And the little dog has learned
To do the backstroke.
Extreme weather.
Nature’s current answer to the plea
Can’t we all just get along?
More than a little bit late for that entreaty, folks,
After our very own beloved industrial revolution
Set in motion
The wheels of kapital
And its engines of environmental degradation
Along with the extreme exploitation
Of the poor
And warfare on a global scale
All of which continue unabated
Wreaking climate havoc.
We pretend to wonder where
It will all end
But we know where it’s heading
So let’s not be coy, let’s not play innocent,
Let’s call melting polar ice and rising sea levels
A looming catastrophe
And start acting like responsible grownups
Before it’s too damn late
Which it may already be . . .

The sky today is empty of clouds
And as blue as the azure exultations of lilacs.
The sun has joined up
With the waters from the recent Great Soak
To turn pastures and fields
Into bright green counterpanes
Overflowing with oxalis and mustard
And inhabited by cows and goats
And sheep and horses
Noses to the ground
Feasting on delectable grasses.
They are not worrying about a summer
Of extreme heat
Which will turn these tasty treats
Into desiccated brown blades and stems
That could ignite and send wildfires
Rampaging across the countryside.
They are not worrying
But we should.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.