Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Burning Ice

The mountains here reach higher than air
like bony fingers groping into the sky
and fleshed with glaciers. Fire is winning.
The peaks bleed melting ice, drained
by dragon rivers lined with hungry mouths
to the south and east. There is never enough.

The jealous ghosts of the Takla Makan
howl on the wings of perpetual sandstorms
smothering oases, filling in wells
erasing the faint traces of desert roads
burying houses, forcing whole towns to move
or die of thirst. There is never enough.

Brahmaputra. Ganges. Huang He. Indus.
Irrawaddy. Mekong. Salween. Yangtze.

Peace? Not while the boundary line snakes
among the peaks, ignoring the flow-lines.
Like linked fingers on opposing hands
need stretches across the border.
On both sides, there is never enough.

Global Warming and Climate Change
Central Ganga Authority
Environment News Services

For those of you who didn't catch the announcement at readwritepoem or Crafty Green Poet, we're celebrating March 21st's World Poetry Day by honoring the upcoming Earth Day. Poems with an environmental/conservation theme are being collected by Milou.


poetry4kids said...

Thanks Tiel Aisha,
for your support. You are now on the Earth Day contributors list on

Have a great day,
happy easter

Crafty Green Poet said...

how important rivers are for so many reasons.

The Phantom said...

Great poem...wonderful use of refrain!

...deb said...

Beautiful. First stanza fabulous, illustrations profound.

Leigh Lear said...

i like this a lot.

Dave said...

This is terrific, especially the linked fingers image, and the way you've tied these disparate places together. I don't say that because I happen to agree strongly with the message; didacticism of any kind tends to turn me off unless it's done just right, as it is here.

Linda Jacobs said...

Another well-written piece! You are awesome!

artpredator said...

love the set-up and the message, love the line breaks, love the pics you found to illustrate, esp love the last stanza

Christine said...

Delicate words with an epic theme. So much to admire in your writing.

Greyscale Territory said...

There is a beautiful, fragile grandeur in your words. Just lovely!