Jules Boykoff / Ode to Working Group II

When the seagulls follow a trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.

– Eric Cantona


a flock of sandpipers in the freshly flooded marsh

a host of oaks tilting toward recognition

a hundred herons poking out from the muck

an avalanche of stones multiplying in the mountains

an eagle hunkered on a branch in the fog

another attack by a smack of jellyfish

another urban heat island on fat slabs of cement

a pika in the mine of our changing climate

a pelican hunched along the iron tracks

a solitary raven in the stone-gray sky

a thimble of ginger to settle her cough

a thousand catastrophes blooming under the sun

autumn brought ferocious dreams of fire

bald eagles decimating colonies of cormorant

bats flapping before a mountainous full moon

because not all certainty is created equal

because some people like it the way it is

crick glistening beneath a thundering sun

death did not mean the end of the relation

drought so bad they prayed for hurricanes

“Finally, he said with satisfaction, it’s an earthquake.”

fire thrumming heat through the peat underground

fists of iced oats beneath a half-moon sky

flames leapt across the crowns of trees

glacial lakes where ice vacates space

he called it “a perfectly safe pipeline”

he lived in the city when it went underwater

hurricanes swirling from the earth’s rotation

I have a joke I’ve been trying to tell you

I’ve tried so hard to mend these regrets

in the abundance of water, this chalky land

islands firing from the center of the earth
For more from Boykoff’s text and for other poems, interviews, essays, and artwork, check out TCR 3.26: Pacific poetries.

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