KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Haiku: 7 words
Publisher’s Note: 133 words
Climate Crisis

algal bloom

by Robin Anna Smith
 
algal bloom
the ocean flushes
with waste

 

 

Photograph: Toxic Algae Bloom, by ESA (European Space Agency)

Toxic Algae Bloom (02/10/2013)1

Satellite image copyrighted © by ESA (European Space Agency).
All rights reserved.


Photograph: Toxic Algae Bloom, by ESA (European Space Agency)

Red Tide (22 November 2008)2

Satellite image copyrighted © by ESA (European Space Agency).
All rights reserved.


Red Tide at Knysna, image grab from YouTube (2014)

[Red tide, a closer view]3

 

Footnotes:

1. ESA image downloaded and reproduced here unmodified and not for commercial use; link was retrieved on 30 June 2019:
https://m.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2013/10/Toxic_algae

2. “The coast of the United Arab Emirates hosts some of the largest desalination plants in the world. While the water they release may affect the coastal ecosystem, harmful and non-harmful algae blooms can also greatly affect the desalination plants.... Satellite data can be used to identify and monitor red tide events—such as this one spreading from the Gulf of Oman into the Persian Gulf. This image was acquired by Envisat’s MERIS instrument on 22 November 2008.”

Image downloaded and reproduced here unmodified and not for commercial use; link was retrieved on 30 June 2019:
https://m.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2013/09/Red_tide

3. Image grab from YouTube of Red Tide at the Knysna Estuary, Western Cape, South Africa, in “Knysna red tide warning” at News24 (17 January 2014); link was retrieved on 6 July 2019:
https://www.news24.com/Green/News/Knysna-red-tide-warning-20140127


Commentary by Clare MacQueen

Only seven words long, the pint-sized haiku above, but what a powerhouse! “Algal bloom” makes me imagine the Red Tide growing on the face of the ocean, and the word “flushes” does double-duty in this poem, encompassing blushing as well. And the last word does triple-duty, in referring to the waste nutrients flushed into the ocean from agri-business for example which help feed the Red Tide, which in turn creates toxins and kills marine life thus creating more nutrient and bio-waste to add to the vicious cycle, which in turn is a tragic waste of life, of the ocean itself, and ultimately of humankind. In other words, we’re all being flushed down the toilet, so to speak. Kudos to Robin Anna Smith for packing so much meaning into such a tiny poem.

Robin Anna Smith
Issue 12, Summer 2019

(she/her/Mx) is a writer and visual artist who has won awards for her senryu, haiku, and haiga. In 2018, one of her haibun received a Pushcart nomination. Her work is published internationally in numerous journals and anthologies, and focuses on disability, gender, and trauma, as well as systems from a neurodiverse perspective. Her first collection (a mini-chap), Systems Askew, is forthcoming.

Robin is the founding and chief editor for Human/Kind Journal, a venue for topical and contemporary Japanese short-forms and art, and an Associate Editor at Yavanika Press.

More info, including an Artist’s Statement and links to Robin’s work, at: www.robinannasmith.com

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