Silent Epidemic (#30 NaPoWriMo prompt)

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
NPS photo

We walk among the dead.
Decimated by an epidemic of
Epic proportions.
A literal graveyard.

834 million trees standing, dead.
One in fourteen trees, dead.
Death is a gray haze on a hillside,
Foreshadowing the smoke of future fires.

The physical presence
Merely a symptom
Of the thing we have imagined,
The thing that shall no longer be named.

Temperate temperatures.
Dry warm nights inviting, welcoming
First the mountain pine beetle (3.4 million acres)
Now also the spruce beetle (1.7 million acres).

Admire the blue-stained wood.
Make guitars, snowboards, skis.
Revive biochar.
Carcasses carved and cooked.

Sing songs about the days when
Snow piled under snowboards and skis.
When forests had winters.
When trees could grow.

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
wikipedia

 

Image result for colorado RMNP beetle kill
climatediscovery.org

NaPoWriMo

And for our final (optional) prompt, I’d like you to take your cue from Borges, and write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.

3 Replies to “Silent Epidemic (#30 NaPoWriMo prompt)”

    1. Yes, try living within it. Hoping for no lightning strikes. And knowing it’s temperature that allowed it to move from a fairly normal process to an epidemic.

      Liked by 1 person

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