They search for water with their fat fingers
but would settle for water vapor, thin as faint praise
from a black-dress mother with her big back turned.

Visors are a view of the future,
misshapen fish-eye suns,
blank faces reducing enormous fires to cold coins.

Stumbling weightless vagabonds 
stab pennants into wastelands and wear our emblem,
the sprinting antelope carcass
multiplied like useless inflated money 
for buying phantoms from vacuums where skulls sing anthems

To agua that mummies crave and parade in dreams,
life sustained but life so desiccated it dissolves
for waste and want of agua.

for Earthweal--"water."


hedgewitch said…
A rush of image and emotion floods thru this, from the fish eye Sun's who reduce fire to money, to the desiccated mummies that will be our future, every line sings as it sharpens the drill we allow to be placed over our hearts. Then the only agua left will be tears. Or so I read. Powerful and beautifully developed piece, Shay.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I can see that sprinting antelope carcass. Water is going to become a bigger issue than oil before long. In some places it already is. In the same day I read that rivers are drying up in Australia due to drought but also due to unregulated extraction by corporations. AND the proposed shooting of 10,000 camels "because they drink too much water." It is a miracle I am not in a locked ward somewhere muttering gibberish, this drives me so crazy! Your poem, as always, is spot-on and a wonderful read. Your closing lines are perfect.
sarah said…
A losing of water. We will realise then how much we need it. The movement of water, the growth of deserts, I truly believe that will define the next few decades.
Brendan said…
When I was 9 or so my family vacationed in the Colorado Rockies. One week we crammed a small cabin way out in the boonies, and I remember seeing a deer or antelope skeleton in some weeds a few feet from some railroad tracks. Progress 1, Bambi 0 ... anyway, the sadness and solitude of that skeleton is haunting to this day, and comes back again here. There are cities which have almost gone dry where there's big money in selling water from polluted tankers ...
Susan said…
Wow. The line that sticks with me is "would settle for water vapor, thin as faint praise,"that's how desperation begins before all life mummifies and turns to dust. Will we even know if the skulls sing?
Carrie Van Horn said…
Fat fingers always get it wrong. I love love love this Shay, powerful and eye opening! Imagery that makes me feel the dryness in my throat of what should be. Added note: Love your new blog look!!
Yvonne Osborne said…
Sticking pennants into wasteland is certainly as useless as inflated money. Makes me think of fat-fingered people lazing by pools in Las Vegas and golfing in the desert. Useless.
Mary said…
You spin words masterfully. So many images to ponder as you move from one to another and then end with a very strong and well-made point.
Kerry O'Connor said…
The imagery in this poem is quite stunning! I also relate very much to the tone, the caution behind the words.

Not sure if it is just my tired eyes, but is there a small typo on 'dissolves' in line 13?
Fireblossom said…
Right you are, Kerry! Thanks, I will fix that! ;-)

Popular Posts