Monday, May 01, 2006

Bad Water


Painted Burrowing Frog, Southern Bell Frog, Spotted Tree Frog

In London one cannot purchase land, or even a condo,
in perpetuity, can buy for 75 or 100 years, at the end
of which time your property reverts to the original feudal
Lord, Lady or estate.

Green and Golden Bell Frog, Peppered Frog, Southern Corroboree Frog

The farm in the Allegheny Mountains where I was born is
is long gone from my family. Grave stones lean to tall grass
alongside Indian mounds on land above a creek, where bad water
brought diphtheria in 1885 to Grandmother's four siblings.

Yellow-Spotted Bell Frog, Red-Crowned Toadlet, Alpine Tree Frog

In New Orleans in the 1990s Freeport-McMoRan and
Jim Bob Moffett wrangled state and local forces to make
Canal Street at Rivergate a casino district.

Booroolong Frog, Fleay's Barred Frog, Giant Barred Frog

When critics objected to Freeport dumping radioactive
gypsum in the Mississippi River, Moffet said Lousiana was
a Banana Republic.

Glandular Frog, Green-Thighed Frog, Giant Burrowing Frog

By 2005, wetlands around the Mississippi River delta which
would have slowed down Hurricane Katrina had been mostly
obliterated by poison chemicals, pollution, and drilling in the gulf.

Litoria Daviesae (a tree frog), Littlejohn's Tree Frog, Loveridge's Frog

Here, Freeport's morphed to Stratus Properties. We incentivize
Stratus to weave green islands through Stratus corporate parks,
Stratus developments, Strauts mini-cities that over-develop,
then inflate Stratus property on our aquifer.
I liked this until I understood how it works.

Peppered Frog, Philoria Pughi, Tusked Frog

Stratus (alais Freeport) invests to look green, gives millions
to their point man at the land conservancy at election time.
We don't have to glance far from home to see how
multinationals buy into the geopolitical power grid.

Mountain Frog, Northern Corroboree Frog, Olongburra Frog

Limited liability corporations have the same rights as people
in court, none of the accountability and no code of ethics,
which even Feudal Lords and Ladies obliged. Freeport-McMoRan,
one of the worst corporate polluters on the earth, buys land,
NGOs and goverment --
Win/Win. Except for life forms and the earth.

Philoria richmondensis, Pouched Frog,

What's with all the frog names?

Stuttering Frog, Red-crowned Toadlet

They're beautiful. They're dying.
They were already on the brink of extinction because holes
in the ozone layer caused by greenouse gasses don't filter
ultra violet light which blisters their skin.

Pobblebonks, Spadefoots, Banjos, Bells

Now a frog disease, chytridiomycosis, is poised to destroy
in four months, 2000 of the 6000 species of frogs remaining
on the planet.
It's a fungus that travels in water.

No telling what bad water will turn up next.

┬ęSusan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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art courtesy of Sue Osborn


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