12 September 2022

The Iceberg that Sank the Titanic


What if the Titanic disaster was

earth’s early warning system? 

What if ice communicates like tree roots,

and the word came back to bite: 

Bite now! Let over-reachers know that harm will return as harm, that earth’s surface will act for her as mankind believes it acts for a god. 

And so the iceberg drew the Titanic

to her just enough to assert authority

but not enough to kill her—weakness of

design and of command did the rest, 

and anthropocentric till the last breath,

humans ignored the iceberg’s point of view.

No one addressed the ice and asked 

“Who or what are you?  What do you need?  How can we share this planet? Let your heart and our gods speak.

Is it possible that some ice, receding 

over 100 years later, still waits for an answer?


For earthweal weekly challenge: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR ICE

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2022 Susan L. Chast


Brendan said...

Amen! I always thought the Titanic sinking was the perfect metaphor for the Anthropocene -- a ship to master every see, sunk by a lonely wandering calf crying for its glacier. How indeed shall we live without those great mothers of our climate?

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Gah! The ice still waiting for an answer, while humanity carries on in its crazed way, as if an entire ecosystem is collapsing. This is brilliant, Susan - the Titanic as an early warning system that was ignored. Wow! A fantastic poem. "What do you need?" A question no one ever thought to asl Mother Earth (other than indigenous people, who already knew the answer, and lived it.)

Rajani said...

It really feels like nature has been warning us for a long time now... extinction events, disasters - the titanic is a fabulous metaphor to showcase this...brilliantly imagined!

kittysverses said...

Apt Comparison. :)

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

A thought-provoking question. I sometimes think humans must be the stupidest species. "Hey, let's send out a ship without enough lifeboats for all the passengers, what could go wrong?"
"Hey, let's not do anything about the carbon emissions overheating our world. It would be inconvenient to change anything. It probably isn't that big of a deal anyway."
As my late father would have said, "famous last words."