Subscribe To Our
Poetrybay Blog on Facebook

WINTER 2019-2020


Barbara Southard


There should be a word for when you commit treason against a planet
                                                                                         Bill McKibben

On the coasts of a jeweled blue sphere, a full moon 
draws tides towards her embrace like a voracious lover—
    come closer my love.

Flames roar to life, scattering families in heat and smoke
in a town called Paradise, lives turned to ashes,
                           those who outran, unsure which way to turn.

Water gods gather together and roar let’s get ‘em boys,
tornados thundering through the land like killed-off buffalo 
                           returning for vengeance.

Have you read about mothers who eat leaves off trees, 
boil bones from dead animals found by the road 
to feed their young, while others cling to tops of trains, 
walk under the shadow of death to reach the other side— 
                           unsure which way to turn. 

Children under stress fall into a mystifying sleep, their lashes 
resting heavy on their cheeks. They drift in a dream world,
                           unresponsive to those who love them

while on another continent, others are kept confined 
to fend for themselves 
                               alone, under a burning sun.

There are so many reasons a rock is moved from one place 
to another, displacing busy cities of ants, darting in all 
directions under a blinding sun,
                           their alarm pheromones filling the air.

Crow says it wants nothing more than the safety
                               of a place to nest, food for its young.

Barbara Southard is a visual artist and writer living in Miller Place, New York.  She’s worked as a printmaker, free-lance artist, factory worker, teacher, and currently serves as Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York.


Poetrybay seeks fine poetry, reviews, commentary and essays without restriction in form or content, and reserves first electronic copyright to all work published. All rights to published work revert to the author following publication. All Email submissions should be in body of email text.

To submit poems write to:

PO Box 114 
Northport NY 11768
or email us at

send comments to

first electronic copyright 2004
©2018 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to