Sunday, February 28, 2021

Cryoconite Chronicles

Three things, or rather, three kinds
Of things: soot, rock dust, microbes.

Wind whips up, first, dust and soot
From factories, towns, and farms.

Microbes get carried along
Or join in later. New homes!

They fall and lodge in the snow,
Especially on glaciers.

A patch of cryoconite
Looks brown or black. It absorbs

Light the white ice would reflect.
The ice warms, melts. Holes in snow

Host more cold-adapted lives—
Rotifers and tardigrades.

New snows rebury it all,
But so long as more soot blows,

And less snow falls, and the world
Warms, cryoconite holes grow.

You think that blank page is vast,
That its white space could blind you,

Its nothing go on and on,
And no one could write enough

To end horror vacui
For good? Write. Watch. Keep writing.

So many hungry things live
In small words that eat white ice.

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