Pigeon (Anthropocene Poem)




Early December,
downtown Vancouver
and it’s raining
more than the usual
cats and dogs,
it feels like the city
is trapped
in a giant car wash.

All year long the weather
has been acting like a child
that hasn’t been taught limits.

Three months of summer drought.

We woke up one morning
and white ash from forest fires
covered the deck,
and that evening down on the beach
we were treated to
a red ball sunset
worthy of Beijing or Mumbai.
The Indian guy in the coffee shop
told me it made him feel homesick.

Something’s happening to the frogs.

The Oregon spotted frog is Canada’s most threatened amphibian,
I saw that on TV program called
“Canada’s Most Threatened Amphibians”.
Also threatened is the northern leopard frog.

Sea stars have sea star wasting syndrome

We’re losing song birds, bats and bees

The world is an orchestra
and the string section is leaving
one by one.

Sixth Extinction,
soon there will only be us.

At the corner of Georgia and Granville
a pigeon waddles through a puddle
created by a blocked storm drain

and I’m thinking:
Who’d be a pigeon on a day like this?
Who’d be a pigeon at a time like this?


This poem originally appeared at dVerse and  earthweal

38 thoughts on “Pigeon (Anthropocene Poem)

  1. earthweal

    This is so much what I hope to see at earthweal — its local and so focused on what it means to live on a fast-changing Earth. One thing about local witness is that we can calibrate the change against what we are used to seeing. “All year long the weather / has been acting like a child / that hasn’t been taught limits.” I also love how the local is global — the murky Mumbai sunset — and the account of fellow residents who have vanished — frogs, birds, bats, bees, and starfish losing their beams. Hope to see you again at earthweal. — Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yvonne Osborne

    Weather extremes are our new norm. There used to be a thing here in Michigan called a January Thaw. I wonder how many can even remember what that was. “It’s no time to be a pigeon.” No time at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Truedessa

    My heart sighed at the lost of the string section. I hope the rest of the orchestra will remain. The image of that red ball sunset is amazing as well as the connection with the local resident who is reminded of home. Wonderful capture of your part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherry Marr

    Oh I LOVE reading a poem from Vancouver, knowing exactly the corner you mention. I might rather be a pigeon in these times, than to know all I know. Smiles. I, too, love the conversational voice in this poem. Well penned!



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