Prompt One

and the waters run deeply

the price of meat and milk is skyrocketing,
partly due to images that still haunt my sleep—
the cattle paddling frantically, eyes swollen
like bulbous fish, their panic palpable, even
through the tv screen. the smoky grey fraser
becoming a lake, consuming the valley

and the dreams of farmers, still drowning,
though the waters have now receded. a cold
dampness sits in our hearts as we reel
from the past two years of sequestering
from one other. how easy to pass along this
crowned pestilence. how easy to let feelings

of hatred and anger fester and then pass them
onto others through memes and eighty-word
posts. how easy to vacation and suntan and
drink from coconuts with small umbrellas
while across the continents an unjust war
rages. how easy to turn our eyes away from

the truth and let our bonds fray and unravel.
perhaps the waters rose to help us cleanse.
maybe we have to drown in our own backyards
before we can surface and make a clear path
forward. the water flows from the shower head
and warms my neck. shouldn’t we be glad for this?

8 thoughts on “Prompt One

  1. Thank you for reminding me of the great fortune in taking a shower and that the tales of the Great Flood is a warning to all of us about the meaning and preciousness of our world. There are good reasons why nearly all cultures have a flood myth. And the way you juxtapose climate with the plague we are suffering now is very artful. Thank you for this powerful poem.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie! I am never sure when bringing in painful truths and wonderings how it will be received, but I am glad that you saw the poem’s potential and I agree with you about how flood myths permeate the cultures and ages – thinking back to Gilgamesh! Your thoughts are much appreciated!

  2. This entire poem is quite striking, the imagery and rhythm are like the endless doom scrolling through social media, the relentless sharing of the broken and the beaten down masses.

    That line in the last stanza though: ‘perhaps the waters rose to help us cleanse.’ I think this is the line that will stay with me, because in all the chaos, in all the horror, surely there is purpose.

    Such wonderful writing. Thank you for sharing.


    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment! I love that the poem mirrored the ‘endless doom (of) scrolling through social media’! That is what I was going for but wasn’t sure it would come off the page for others! Yay! And I wanted to end on a hopeful note. Thanks for reading so many of my poems – I am just checking comments now.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comments!! I was surprised that prompt one took me where it did (starting with the floods in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver) and then to social media and so many other places… Much appreciated!!

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