The Climate in Emergency

A weekly blog on science, news, and ideas related to climate change


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No, this isn’t turning into a literary blog–I’m having internet connectivity problems, which makes research-heavy posts difficult. The following is a poem I wrote some years ago, inspired by two courses I took my first year of grad school.  -C.


I’ve been thinking about landscapes
acres of grasslands and wetlands and hills.
We’re 12,000 years out from a glacier.
New Hampshire is anthropogenic wilderness twice removed.
You can’t stick ten pounds of biodiversity in a one-pound can;
America’s best idea will never declare independence
from the tyranny of space.

I’ve been thinking about landscapes
the ticky-tacky smallness of pleasant neighbors
rolling Chemlawned private Roman floors
postage stamps of hardwood mulched prestige
and the ecology of fences, falcons, and modern, sleepy streets;
the piece of resistance is the sharded, mirrored aggregate flecks
of principled personal choice.

I’ve been thinking about landscapes
mostly the kind that live between the ears
and grow out, contagious, sticky, creeping out upon
the bleeding battleground of myth.
This isn’t the first time the world has turned
upon a quarter.
Become a well-placed immovable object
and your heart, the philosopher’s stone
will roll and gather moss, emerald and jade
to lay upon the doorstep
of the infinite kingdom of Heaven.


Author: Caroline Ailanthus

I am a creative science writer. That is, most of my writing is creative rather than technical, but my topic is usually science. I enjoy explaining things and exploring ideas. I have one published novel and another on the way. I have a master's degree in Conservation Biology and I work full-time as a writer.

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