a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
droning into dinner time as a helicopter
roams the cornfields, dipping and rising
to spray–what? Nitrate? some herbicide?
Suggesting we name it The Lessons of Vietnam
Applied to Corn or Rounding Up Weeds
or How Sikorsky Found a New Market
or How Dynamite Led to the Gulf’s Dead Zone
or Whales Aren’t the Only Collateral Damage
of Mapping but this is to ignore the afternoon,
cumulus clouds building now, spilling
fractal patterns from each edge–little
and littler, the shapes of dwarf face,
ogre mask, dragon claws and tail repeat,
repeat–and the barn swallows skimming
mosquitoes from the breeze. The clouds
march across the sky like cattle going home.
I name this the Evening of the Anthropocene.
Robin Chapman’s tenth collection, The Only Home We Know, is forthcoming from Tebot Bach. She is recipient of the 2010 Helen Howe Poetry Prize from Appalachia and a 2017 Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award for Six True Things (Tebot Bach).