John Nimmo


   After Carl Phillips

Someone said we didnít care
about the air any more

than about the loss, but
we did care in the best

possible way, reckless
and half-mindless. We believed

evil is destructible--of waste
burned, only the good,

only the pure, only
the ash remains. Now,

as if it were the seed
of healthy harvest,

we bury our trash;
as if the point

were to fabricate
proof that we commit

to the living earth, we confirm
its fragility through

subterranean flatulence.
Of the old incinerators part

of the point was the smoke:
it should be, deliberately,

unbreathable. When it rose,
it carried someplace else

our virginal pride,
our sanctified intent.

John Nimmo's poetry has appeared in Stirring, Rattle, Wisconsin Review, Sand Hill Review, Tattoo Highway, Convergence, and other publications. He has won a cash prize in the Foster City International Writers Contest. He has an active career as an environmental physicist, and lives with his wife Elsa in Mountain View, California. See his poetry website at

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