[Somewhere the elemental currents run]
Somewhere a boy collects mosquitoes that breed only in pitcher plants in bogs, and mails them back to an ecologist’s study; somewhere a friend’s daughter genetically engineers a plant to soak up radioactive elements out of the soil, detoxify the glaze of metal salts; somewhere a friend’s son charts tectonic plate shift to find a place where it might be safe enough to compost waste. In Baja’s Laguna San Ignacio, my ten-year-old niece leans out of a 16-foot rowboat to pet a barnacled grey whale mother and the baby she shoves up to meet the eco-tourists. Ten thousand grey whales breech and spout. In their Arctic feeding grounds the ice shelves calve and melt. And the Navy’s blasts of sound that map the shifting seafloor—measured now, how sonar-guided creatures flee their feeding grounds. In Phoenix, my bassist son plays Mahler. In St. Louis, my other son tattoos an Orca on a shoulder.
Robin Chapman’s newest book is the portfolio Dappled Things (Paris: Revue K, 2013), a collaboration with photogravure artist Peter Miller of Japan. Her poems have appeared recently in The Common Onine, The Cortland Review, Dalhousie Review, Nimrod, and Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. She posts new books and paintings occasionally at robinchapmanspoetryandpainting.blogspot.com.