Friday, 05 November 2021 10:04

Licking a Strawberry Ice-Cream Cone Will Not Save The Planet

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Licking a Strawberry Ice-Cream Cone Will Not Save The Planet

Licking a Strawberry Ice-Cream Cone Will Not Save The Planet

by Fred Voss

In the machine shop we machinists try not to bring up politics or world affairs
that divide
and anger
we can all agree
1,000 rpm on a lathe is 1,000 rpm on a lathe
¾ of an inch is ¾ of an inch
beads of sweat on the back of the neck feel good
when they turn cold
on a hot summer day in a machine shop squeezed by tin walls
a granddaughter’s laugh is enough to wash our soul clean
after another greasy sweaty 60-hour working week
a meteor shower over Niagara Falls
frosty beer foam on our moustache as the orange sun sinks into the sea
the crack of a bat hitting a World Series grand slam
the legs of Marilyn Monroe swaying on high high heels
are beyond compare
a steel block we machine to a perfect 90 degrees
square
but icecaps are melting
forests are burning
seas are rising
coral reefs and lions
are dying
as we talk
only about nuts and bolts and boring bars and worm screws and sine plates
and hockey games and slot machines and 3-point basketball shots and carburettors
and what a great deal it is seeing 4 East London strippers on stage per hour
democracy is teetering
billionaires selling tickets to ride through outer space
as rainforests fall
and as our hammers pound
and our machines growl and shake and roar and scream
and our fists grip monkey wrenches that can make
anything
talking about licking a strawberry ice-cream cone under 4th of July fireworks
and riding perfect Hawaiian waves
and spinning Las Vegas roulette wheel jackpots
is fine
but we who invented the wheel
and built the cathedral
and carved the trumpet Miles Davis
blew
to save a thousand lives
can’t we pick up our wrenches and hammers and find the words
to talk about saving
our only
green mother?

Read 173 times Last modified on Friday, 05 November 2021 10:18
Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 35 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books, and two by Culture Matters: The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, and Robots Have No Bones.