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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Connie Post

As Glaciers Retreat, They Give up the Bodies and Artifacts they Swallowed

Smithsonian May 27, 2015

The lungs of the earth
are rising and falling

the places of hiding
soon to be extinct

a polar ice cap recedes
and the final words
of the crew and passengers
of the 1952 plane crash
spill out
from the mouths
of strangers
from an island near by

the maps
in the all of the school rooms
are leaking salt water
the walls already ruined

the chalked and boarded rooms
smell like dank remorse

there may be a day
you think of me
when another glacier
falls into the ocean

you will move to higher ground
and I will swim
into the rising sea


I am the tsunami
before it hits
before the compound
fracture of the earth
made itself known

before the rising
before the celestial spirits
curled themselves
under ocean floor

I cannot translate
how each life is molecule
of one hydrogen
two oxygen
rolling itself out
until a fishing village
is deplete
of all its nets

I cannot reverse the language
of salt
or kelp
or the dialect of the thunder
inside a wave

I cannot warn them
about erasure
or shorelines

I am propelled
by the birth canal
of an ancient sea
to find a small place
amongst the living
and when I recede
pray each granule
of water left behind
will have mercy on those
who will rise
and begin to count the dead


Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore, California (2005 to 2009). Her work has appeared in Calyx, River Styx, Slipstream, Spoon River Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and Verse Daily. Her awards include the 2018 Liakoura Award and the 2016 Crab Creek Review Poetry Award. Her first full length Book “Floodwater” (Glass Lyre Press 2014) won the Lyrebird Award.

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