When a Meteor Shock & Awed Chelyabinsk
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
I think Earth is supposed to hold pat in space,
I am here on a little dirt-patch, holding on,
and like Governor Palin long ago, I saw Russia one evening,
existing beyond my apartment picture-window –
A sip of Yuengling beer, sudden-scene of disobedient matter,
it was more than I could take that night.
Seated upon sofa, sky black, a couple stars visible,
maybe a lonely planet where life might be, T,V. was on,
CNN replay of lightning bolt strike upon St. Peter’s dome,
my bills were paid, grateful, knowing I too go off-course,
I held binoculars tight, gently focused east –
Atlantic Ocean first view, a Portuguese port,
brothel in Amsterdam, then a Carpathian Mountain traveler,
walking a shepherd-dog, they too saw something odd.
February 15, 2013, Russian-time 10:20 P.M. –
I called emergency 9-1-1,
wanted to inform local police department
about a meteor off-course, blazing across Siberian sky,
1,000 Chelyabinsk residents might be in danger,
9-1-1 Dispatcher requested I calm down, get grip, he asked for
a taiga-address, “are structures down, people hurt?”
A long white-cloud stream across Ural Mountain horizon,
I could not see inside Chelyabinsk households,
only heard a Russian Orthodox priest mutter about portents,
he remembered Chernobyl (Wormwood) radioactivity,
the priest occasionally sipped vodka, and like me,
he often disappeared into forest-places beyond reason,
and all I could say to the 9-1-1 Dispatcher was,
Sir, I believe you should contact Vlad Putin for more detail.
Another swig of Yuengling,
the 1908 Tungaska event went down smooth,
I worried about dark cloud formation over Taylor Borough –
Who shall be next Pope of Rome?
Will the Federal budget ever balance, return to solvent orbit?
Shall Lady Gaga recover from injury?
Is that a drone passing over Scranton?
I want to absorb all CNN news, comprehend my prescription plan,
the happy passengers aboard Carnival Triumph are safe,
that’s all that mattered now, in small towns, meteors come and go,
talk of Hagee’ Rapture, life on Gaza, can this really be Dylan’s end?
At hypersonic speed, estimated 40,000 mph, freaky-noisy,
(where were U.S. Space Police Patrols and radar guns?)
a bus-size rock fell into frozen Chebarkul Lake,
likely murdered several fish.
FISH – that is Christ’s symbol of Mankind,
my neighbors tread through dangerous and polluted water,
Mr. Darwin thought I come from Seven-Seas,
there are seven days created per week,
my Parish priest does not accept Mastercard, and here I am –
I look at sky, it’s calm, Big Dipper at tipping point,
how high did Icarus fly ’til burn did he part,
how deep into living-water
fell irreverent rock from unfathomable space?
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pa. He can be reached at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.
Ethan Alden Wonders
by ROBERT A. DAVIES
Ethan wonders if
in the mood he’s in now
if music might pick him up
not the aiaiaieeee violin
or orchestral brass
but a calm andante
say a haunting melody
I’ll take you home again
Kathleen, and she says yes
though this time he doesn’t know
he is so low
but at least he tries
and there’s a glow on his moonstruck face
as Venus approaches him
and she says yesyesyes.
Robert A. Davies lives in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by MICHAEL BROWNE
To the point
The staccato speed
At which, His noise
Filled the room—
The way his hands,
And waved about
In agitated motion..
“The size of them!”
Against her generous will.
“On that huge man.”
Or, Earthworms hot asphalt.
“It must be the gin and tonic,”
As she made her excuses
Went to bed.
Michael Browne lives in Sebastopol, CA. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)
Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.
To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”). Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).
Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.
For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!