While in Alberta …

I heard that birds
died by their thousands
the air is acrid
water, toxic, sits in foul pools
downstream, fish fight for life, and fail.
And scientists say, anyway, it’s safe to eat them.

I heard that extraction costs
outweigh the benefits of a fuel
bought with death.
Finances in dollars, yen, sterling,
balance against life like lead on a feather.

If the meadow knew, would it weep?

filled with dancing colour and drizzle and sun
and birdsong and butterflies and blues and yellows
and pinks and reds and grasses uncountable

weeping for the tar sands
for fracking and wrecking
for drilling and dumping
and wasting

Here in the meadow, I count
flowers like blessings

I breathe

fresh air, fresh air, fresh air.


For a starter pack of information on the Tar Sands in Alberta, follow this link to articles that have appeared in The Guardian

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