Generators drone exhausting blue
like stationary lawnmower engines—
without the life breath of electrons
now can we?
We pull together, shelter those in need
fight the good fight, now and for the future
at the polls and in our homes
and rail against the P the G and E
the lavish lives of management and board
and all the others held to blame,
but this outage outrage is on us all.
Whatever needed to be done was not:
Paradise is lost—
and now so may we all be
as flames race the wind and blacken the vine
we reap red cinders in the storm
and warm salt water
soon will lap our lawns.
But save the frozen chicken, save the milk!
(The booze we drink at any temperature.)
Save the electrons in the batteries
so we can turn them into photons
in our lanterns and devices,
save the date
the coming of the deadly winds is on
my weather app,
save the trees, the roots, the stock, the seeds,
save the planet and the plant
where my mother used to work.
Save the workplace,
the occupations and the meanings
of our lives: SAVE THE ARTS.
Save the country, as Laura Nyro sang,
save our children’s children’s children’s
save the waters of the salmon and smelt,
save yourself and everyone you love,
but don’t save the money—
spend it all to save the rest.
I am sure we all do what we can.
To save anything, first we must survive.
We are all heroes in our own struggle.
We save our memories and use them
to fuel the fires of our best intentions,
for who will save us now from blistered skin
if not ourselves?
But some do more than others.
Support them. Cherish them.
Honor them in life and death.
on the front lines with their hoses,
dozers on the smoking slope—
many so-called volunteers from prison,
a dollar an hour, two for the day,
not really choice, just more modern
the trauma teams, the cops, the EMT’s,
dispatchers, techs, and line crews,
the press who make the people’s interest theirs,
the victim/heroes helping as they bleed,
the endless twenty-four-hour shifts,
no start of day, no end of night,
and know them for the saviors that they are:
through fear fatigue and pain
are focused on their jobs,
on mothers, fathers, lovers, friends,
for whom they may at any moment
give their lives,
on fire, water, ashes, blood,
on lonely despair they can’t acknowledge
or they — and we — are lost.
The definition of brave.
So, what to do
when in the morning light of day returns?
my five-horse-power Snapper
my ear protection, and mow
too moist, too lush, too thick, too green