Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Deepwater Horizon

We stab the ocean and it bleeds oil.
Pelicans lick poison from their wings
along the shore, where dolphins wash up
slick and black as million dollar lies.

Pelicans lick poison from their wings
with their eyes clouded and hungry.
Slick and black as million dollar lies,
they watch, waiting to be washed clean.

With their eyes clouded and hungry
the black suits shrug their shoulders.
They watch, waiting to be washed clean.
A freckle on the ocean’s face, they say.

The black suits shrug their shoulders
as the black blood pours in barrels.
A freckle on the ocean’s face, they say,
smiling with a row of drills for teeth.

The black blood pours in barrels,
stealing sunlight from the seafloor.
Smiling with a row of drills for teeth,
we stab the ocean and it bleeds oil.

This pantoun (never written one of these before) was written in response to the weekly prompt on Big Tent Poetry

Photo from the International Bird Rescue Research Center

        What current event(s) are you actively following or concerned about lately?


Dorkmaster Flek said...

Huh, that's an interesting form. I noticed something was up when lines started repeating themselves. :) I'm currently following the new Canadian copyright bill, of course. The oil spill is a close second. :P

Mary said...

First off, very interesting format. Good poem cuz.

Second, this oil spill just leaves me with such an empty feeling. I'm outraged just like everyone else, I mean how could this happen and why the hell isn't it off yet? We're at 52 days now of massive amounts of oil just pumping into the ocean. It's catastrophic... Everyone's super pissed off but there's nothing you can really do about it except sit at wait for BP to try a bunch of off the cuff ideas and hope they work. I mean, it's completely unacceptable, yet we can't really do anything about it ourselves...... It's a very empty feeling.

Anyway that's probably the thing I'm following the closest right now, even though it makes me sick to my stomach.

Mary said...

"We stab the ocean and it bleeds oil." You have captured many people's anger by these words, I know. I'm heartsick.

Cynthia Short said...

You really nailed this topic...those bastards with their black suits and drills for teeth...perfect! (I feel as if I am mourning a loved one with a terminal illness whenever I think of this earth-shattering disaster.)

Linda Goin said...

Hi Shayla -- I don't believe we've met, but I'm thrilled to visit your site and to read your pantoum. You've met the challenge with controlled yet biting (yes, biting!) anger..."smiling with a row of drills for teeth" is brilliant as well as the "freckle" on the ocean's face. That's my daughter's home, and I lived there for almost two decades. This is such a huge disaster that it's almost incomprehensible. I'm afraid I'll become numb to the changes wrought by this lack of competence and overabundance of greed. I'll keep coming back to this poem to get my bearings. Thank you.

Derrick said...

Agree that you have made a masterful blend of subject and form here. Excellent.

barbara said...

You make the form work for you, the way it's supposed to. Count me envious.

Tumblewords: said...

You've done a wonderful piece of work on the topic and tragedy that rises in dark bubbles.

Anonymous said...

This is beautifully done on such a tragic subject!

Diane T said...

Very well written, Shayla!

one more believer said...

bringing the devastation in a pantoum form has been eye opening and painful to read... yes, the seafloor will not recover as will not the plankton that the sea life lives off... oh man, and that smiling with a row of drills for teeth... perfect...

Maxie Rumson said...

You captured not only the anger but the incredible sadness of this tragedy. It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful.

Deb said...

Well done, and with such a horrible topic ... "black as million dollar lies" is such a great line, and I particularly like how it's repeated with illuminating variation.

Mr. Walker said...

"With their eyes clouded and hungry" - such a great line - and the way you made it work, very smart. Thanks for an angry pantoum.