Joseph Harrington

from poem of our climate

post-solstice dog days – days
shortening, earth
farther from sun, but
hotter than any other time of year:

from the cool evening, come in,
go to the hot attic,
& you will understand
global heating (or, as we
used to say, the green-
house effect);
or sit in a closed car today
& be very hot

we live on a

on the ground:

friday brought straight-line winds,
uprooted trees, manhole covers
blurped off their manholes by
the force of swelling water

& i spent much of the weekend
breaking, sawing, & bundling
(this could get old, but quick);
tx., ok., ark., mo. also hit again,
e. coast, too (i’m tired
of counting flight cancellations)

k.c. got a year’s worth of rain
in six months; midwest flooding:
“this planting-delay issue,
because of what states . . .

historically important for market
direction.”    all adding up to:
get ready to pay more
at the grocery store
(corn prices rise to five-
year high and counting)

& our poor state parks,
holding on by a shoestring,
now have to refund fees
of washed-out campers –
this w/ “mountains of debris”
to remove


utqiagvik, alaska,
northernmost u.s. town,
topped its all-time record hi
(in its warmest year on record),
@ 80 f   (which was also the hi
yesterday in lawrence, ks)

while in kuwait,
“workers within office environments
are not safe considering the
record heat wave experienced,”
but “employees should try
to compose themselves
regardless of the situation
& avoid conflicts as
much as they can”;

india: “80% of the country’s 91
major reservoirs have below-
normal storage” (fish floating
in clumps or hi & dry); in fact,
11 reservoirs
have no water at all”:
planting delayed there, too . . .
& villagers queue up
two days in advance for water,
but when the trucks come,
only half get it: “there is no rain, so
there is no work on farmlands, and
no money, so
how can we afford water?”
riding train to fetch some:
“i don’t like doing this, but my
mother says we have no choice”—
“don’t blame the hand of God,”
sayeth the court (to the govt.),
“what did the hand of the man do?”

all this as reservoirs overflow
in wuhan, china – as do roads &
subways after flooding;
“the city needs a plan to
mitigate and adapt to

climate change,” says
lawrence-douglas co. sustainability
director jasmin moore;
yes we do but we

avoid conflict
as much as we can


“7 best trees to plant in
small gardens” next to
“kenyan farmers brace for
second onslaught of
crop-devouring locusts”—
caused by unusually wet then
unusually dry weather—
& what happens after
the locusts die back? or to
ornamental trees when it’s
too hot to grow them?

happy belated world
water day! (3/22: who knew?):
many in chile celebrate by
choosing between
drinking water,
washing hands
(minimum 20 sec., y’all!),
or watering their veggies,
as record drought won’t stop
& big ag gets the h2o;

in parts of vietnam, they now
truck in fresh water b/c
the tap water = salt water
(that drought in the mekong
delta, don’t you know);
“water is now as precious
as gold. it would be a sin to
waste even a drop of it
that they brought from
100s of km away”


~400 dead from smoke from
australian wildfires; & food prices
go ↑ & ↑ (1st the wildfire, now
crisis capitalism — i.e., gouging)

it’s flooding in the u.a.e. (true!),
also iraq, turkey, moldova;
& iran, hit hard by virus, loses
≥ 11 people so far in spring
flooding — hopefully no
repeat of last year;
6 flood dead in indiana;
even the dogsled race in alaska
disrupted by inundations (what
w/the snow melting faster & all)

but now the good news:
bumper crop of butterflies
for the u.k. last summertime!
a bumper crop of froggies
here in douglas co., kansas;
& they can raise wine grapes
in scandinavia now—
yay scandinavian wine!

so tune in for our next
exciting episode . . .

will il trumpe give $2 trillion to
cronies in his carbon-farting

will the let-up in co2 emissions
survive the pandemic?

will the economic meltdown
spur a switch to a green

find out here — in the
poem…of our climate

Joseph Harrington is the author of Of Some Sky (BlazeVOX); Goodnight Whoever’s Listening (Essay Press); Things Come On (an amneoir) (Wesleyan); and the critical work Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan). He also curates Writing Out of Time: a blog about creative writing and climate chaos. His creative work has appeared in BAX: The Best American Experimental Writing 2016Colorado Review, The Rumpus, Hotel America, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere.