Friday, November 25, 2011

Sonnet: Thoreau in Chernobyl

The woods were beautiful as always, but dry.
It seemed a subtle poison at the roots
drained them imperceptibly of life.
A want, or heightened colour, in each leaf
hinted profound disease, as if the rites
of generation faltered and withdrew
beyond emergencies of flood and fire
to deserts that no green could penetrate.
I shaped my stanzas, but the form seemed trite:
all metre euphemised a deepening flaw.
I heard no frog calls, and the birds were fewer
in species and in number.  I trod
ungodly glows, a covenant betrayed,
a humus rotting slowly into fear.

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