Joann Renee Boswell

The FimbulwinterThis will be the time of the terrible winter that will not end, the Fimbulwinter.”  
		— Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology

post-election maple leaf optimism
sunk deep in frog-throated decay

pretense is yesterday’s game
those fallen reds intensify my blues

I bristle green
freshly sharpened pine

or perhaps hemlock
less poisonous than I’d prefer

divided tides crush salty
our cerulean dot keeps spinning

some say we need each other
oxygen / carbon-dioxide cocktail

give me my Evergreen latte
inimical to humanity

can we launch them into space,
market Red Planet paradise?

by now you’re asking
who’s speaking?

planetary President Tree
or lonely American progressive?

she sounds tired
either way


you think it’s hot here, surprised
that your physiology isn’t supreme

I’m shocked you frozen Neanderthals
even evolved enough to find us

	we didn’t need your discovery
we flourish regardless, whizzing

around you, quite dramatic runaway tease
your star-crossed microbial mystery muse

you made Earth the norm for life, confused
when alien biosignatures are alien

I don’t want to be rude, but, duh
open your exploratory instruments wider

such puny imagination —
	is it arrogance or ignorance?

poor things climbing into metal
to stroll through your clouds

and all that putrid sweet polluting 
those gloriously natural scents

sniff our tantalizing primordial jungle,
how cute your sulfur imitations 

what you call rancid
diapers of Satan’s spawn

	we call Eau de Phosphine
no goddess is complete without

Vile Venus, you reply
(we’re merchandizing that one)

persistent, nasty possibility
	thirty miles up, you say

hellscape surface, inhospitable furnace —
astonishing you still can’t reinvent life parameters

we are even now in your minds
yellow hazy greenhouse energy

	an estimated abundance
very final and macabre

Joann Renee Boswell is the author of Cosmic Pockets (Fernwood Press, 2020), a full length 
collection of poetry and photography. Joann is a teacher, mother, photographer and poet currently living 
in Camas, WA with her partner and three children. 
You can read more at joannrenee.com
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