Friday, September 03, 2021

"Water is Patient; Water Always Wins"

In August of 2005, we were on our annual holiday to our in laws' home on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf. 

The weather on the Bay then was much like it is today - clear, bright, cool - a perfect day heralding fall. 

Again, we watch the reporters flocking to destroyed homes, communities without power, places rendered unlivable by the power of weather and water and the unwillingness of a society to face the realities and ravages of climate change. 

And very little changes. 

The poem I wrote then is as relevant today, albeit with the need to add more named storms to the list. 


After the Levee is Breached

Only the lightest puff of air stirs
pennants along the dock. Telltales hang
from luffing sails. In the stillness, bees
stagger between the open throats of thirsty

orchids. When wind and full moon forced
the bay to rise, it scoured the eastern shore.
This time, the great tidal surge gathers
elsewhere. Camera crews rush to film

other places more prosperous, newly drowned.
Watermen haul their catch by hand, chant
a guilty mantra--Hugo, Andrew, Isabel
new storms spin elsewhere. Tonight a front

gathers force; it rends high, thin clouds.
Stars pour through the rift like water.

LJ Cohen, August 2005

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