Diggers Dig

Pakistan is digging trenches —graves for people who have not yet died as the country prepares for another recordbreaking heat wave. Scientists place the blame for rising temperatures squarely on climate change. —IndiaTimes, May 23, 2016


pakistan pregraves 03
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diggers dig.
picks trace dolorous arcs in dry air
making long scars for many corpses.

diggers dig.
sharp bell-like clangs of steel on stone
echo from the depths of this new scar.
the swoosh of pick-heads through air
end in thuds as pikes take their bites.

    diggers dig.
men sling dry earth over shoulders.

they lean into their work.
they heave the earth upon itself
raising mountains of waist-high ranges
that parallel the long straight wound they carve.

   these sweating ghosts-to-be
who may soon be thrown as well
into the coarse cut of their work,
a ditch that will soon be healed, forgotten, lost
when the undulating range piled by gravediggers
is thrown back in to bury hearts that break,
covering myriad sins: myopia,
misanthropy, masochism, mistake,

    diggers dig
this ditch where now-breathing, sweating,

living, loving dead will go—

    diggers dig.
we’re so good to ourselves, so profligate

we‘ll waste even our own last breath, 
we’ll make a place for it in a hewn slash,
bury it in our blue mother’s flesh,

the one we have not wisely loved
but sold for cash
instead
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by Jim Culleny
5/25/16

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