Saturday, June 26, 2010


I don’t think I can
write it
or read any more
press releases
and watch them
treat the symptoms
instead of the diseases
I’ve done it myself
and I know
how it ends.
Or doesn’t, I should say,
it doesn’t.
Believe me, I’ve dabbled
in dispersants for years
to treat my own
surface spills
but they only
doubled down
on what I tried
to kill,
shuffled the problems around,
until the pain
came down like
a toxic,
This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry was to write about the oil spill by starting with why it was hard to write about the oil spill...


  1. A wonderfully written piece! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I really like the rhythm of this piece, and the way it builds to the finality of that toxic rain. Great message too.

  3. Yep. That's how it is. Well done!

  4. Erin, 'oily Louisiana rain' has both feel and image that ends the poem nicely.-Irene

  5. Really like the rhythms and the tension that you build by 'not wanting to', and the release at the end. Really good write,


  6. Who can ever forget that image....seems like least when I taught Vietnamese students ten years ago I could look them eye,
    knowing that I tried to do something all those years ago.

  7. Marvelous, Erin. Personalizing it the way you have done speaks to how the whole world is watching the Gulf disaster, one broken heart after another after another joining another joining another...

  8. erin, i really like that you say it doesn't end. the voice in this is wonderful:

    "I’ve done it myself
    and I know
    how it ends.
    Or doesn’t, I should say,
    it doesn’t."

  9. I really liked your thoughts here, Erin!
    The "oily, Louisiana rain" is one perfect line among many.

  10. Toxic rain doesn't always fall from the heavens.

    Well done, and I think you might have inspired something....

  11. Weasel and Pamela--thank you!

    Francis--I'm pleased that you liked the rhythm as it's something I struggle with at times.

    ds--thanks for the yep. :0)

    rall--I wonder what I'll be able to say I did about this. Yikes.

    Lydia--Yes, I think we're all joined in a kind of helpless grief.

    Carolee--Thanks very much. I almost took out the "I should say," so I'm very glad you think it works.

    Cynthia--Wow. Thanks! So glad you liked the ending.

    Mark--excellent point. Hmmm. What have I inspired?

  12. Excellent. Fine phrases and vivid imagery!!

  13. I like that phrase you drew from for the title. I have dabbled in dispersants, too, and they always make matters worse.

  14. Oooh. Absolutely beautiful, and I can hear the pain oozing through your lines. I'm most impressed with how you related the oil spill to your own personal struggles...treating the symptom instead of the cause.