• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Great Barrier Reef: Skeleton in the Sea

Unlike the thousands who marched in San Francisco’s Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice last Saturday, it was a minor triumph for Mobile, Alabama to have a rally at all in a downtown square. Ten feet above ground blue ribbons circled pillars of the bandstand where speakers stood. I said these were not decorations—they marked where sea level would be if Greenland melted.

The ribbons recalled a little renegade foray that tied similar ribbons across downtown to warn of the danger about fifteen years ago. Those empowered to take effective action ignored this and generally went about making things worse, as did most of the rest of us.

So now the situation is more dire and urgent, as shown by the ongoing fatal bleaching decline of the huge coral reef off the northeast coast of Australia. Its fate is the canary in the ocean for us, if we were wise enough to heed the message it conveys.

In hopes of helping spark remedies at last, I said this:

Radiant layered living home
Built by corals laboring eons
Spiney structure clad in colors
Brought by every
Oozing, crawling, spreading, clinging, pulsing
Darting, dancing, floating, meditating thing.

No Babylonian hanging garden
No rose windowed cathedral
No Aztec Xochimilco
Rivals its hued teeming miracle
Great Barrier Reef
Luminous coral city in the sea.

Great Barrier Reef
Long holding all in balance
Cannot escape the saturation
Bath of rising fever
Brought by forces from afar
Blind to all below their sight
A slow relentless
Oceanic heat stroke
Expelling life
Bleaching coral white
Great Barrier Reef
Skeleton in the sea.

Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
Mix with water
That is us
We are water
That stood up and walked
Water that learned
To think and talk.

Imagined lords of land and air
We melt the ice
And the ocean rises
To reclaim us
Our feeble cities
Vanish beneath the waves
We and all our works
Become
Like the Barrier Reef prophecy
Skeletons in the sea.

More articles by:

DAVID UNDERHILL lives in Mobile, Alabama. He can be reached at drunderhill@yahoo.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail