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[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

Photo credit: The Rusty Projector via photopin cc

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