Rivers Lament

Rivers lament over why they were born, they

Question their existence, ask their maker if any

The rivers weep copious tears no one can see

For the loss irreparable. Clinically dead, they

Seem to wait for a time when news echoes in

The air: the wasteland returns. Cuckoos will

No more sing to declare the advent of spring

Deadly and ear-piercing cries of humans and

Animals will break stones. O agonized rivers

You don’t shout like human beings absolutely

Vacuum within! You’re calm like trees gifting

Nature with gentle breeze. Desperate and evil

Land grabbers ravage banks extending gluttony

To the rivers, eating out life, destroying beauty

And disturbing cadence like Grendel. The rivers

Had golden days with stream of water as a force

To create rhythmic sounds as if celestial music

And petite white flakes made many a shoal of

Small white fish swim, jump and fall in between

Giant boulders to have a flower nearby blossom

Rapidly and feast the eyes of travelers. Children

Would bathe in a group, young girls would swim

Together, farmers wash mud after plowing their

Fields to sow seeds for golden crops. Toxic water

In different colors spawns fetor making distance

Between humans and rivers—to touch water now

Is to catch incurable diseases! O rivers, you do not

Inundate fields to bring silt for healthier crops and

Bountiful harvests anymore! The soil has already

Begun to crack, trees stopped growing and a new

Form of epizootic is imminent. Ether couriers your

Valued missives: don’t kill water, let your life flow.



Read the interview with Mohammad Shafiqul Islam here.


Reckoning 1Like coronary occlusion, it began small,
spiral shell and Sierpinski gasket, a vibration
amongst the strings rippling outward into
rising sea levels, Pacific
hurricane, the exhalation of universes, sublime
and terrifying–
and then we were gone.
Love and strings; they go together.

I poured into him my rivers
with their poisons, my plains and valleys
parched; his acrid exhaust burned the air
between us. Fertilizer we fed into tributaries
bloomed algae where it should not have been;
the glaciers of our filial strength
dissolved from below, slipped
beneath 34 degree indifference;
birds lost their way.

Now we return to the beginning.
We go below, realign Fibonacci
series, retune strings, pray
for rain.

When the first green appears,
luminous leaves, one then one
then two, we will cherish it, clarity
arrived at last with oceanfront property in Sacramento:

in the end there is only life;
in the end there is only life.

Read Michael’s interview with Erin here.