Wind power: four movements

turbine

Allegro

Out on a sailboat
secure in her windbreaker
she enjoys being buffeted so much
that her husband grows sullen & points
the boat toward shore

*

Andante

The wind took all my money
& threw it
in the gutter
says the poplar tree
& I’m left swaying like an idiot
with my arms still up

*

Adagio

He came home from Afghanistan
& couldn’t find the mountain at first

old Backbone Mountain had shrunk
almost to nothing

pinned down by 400-foot turbines
moaning through the night

*

Largo

Stiltgrass spreads like cancer between the pylons
a green feathery shroud for the clumps of feathers

the beaks & talons
blue as old ice

the delicate finger bones of forest bats
stripped of the brown parchment
on which they flew

What profit hath he
that hath labored for the wind?

& overhead the bone-white blades scything the air

__________

For more on the ecological and social impacts of industrial wind plants, go to windaction.org and browse the important documents section.

12 Comments


  1. Every mountain
    every wind corridor
    A death-scythe target

    Reply

  2. Thanks Pica. I imagine everyone else is wondering why the heck I am picking on such a wonderful, green industry that is going to save us all from global warming.

    Reply

  3. Out on a sailboat
    secure in her windbreaker
    she enjoys being buffeted so much
    that her husband grows sullen & points
    the boat toward shore

    Why can’t the husband accept her joy? Why does it make him uncomfortable? Sad.

    Reply

  4. Loved the visuals this brought……each and every one great, though Largo is my favourite :)

    Reply

  5. Thanks, y’all. Shai, sometimes I think the impulse toward jealousy might be hard-wired, even if it does represent a “grasping at wind,” as Qoheleth would say.

    Reply

  6. sometimes I think the impulse toward jealousy might be hard-wired

    Indeed. And the “other” need not be a person, as the stanza portrays.

    Sometimes culture, convention, or religious upbringing/values can steer us toward fighting the hard-wiring. Maybe it is better to submit to the idea that jealousy can’t be thought or willed away. The actions one takes in response to what is natural may appropriately be governed by culture, society, etc. But those structures that help make for civilization can do nothing, and shouldn’t even try, to actually change us.

    Reply

  7. I like Andante the best. It’s kind of Allegro ad absurdum.

    Reply

  8. At windaction.org the image of the wedge-tailed eagle crumpled, but standing was devastating.

    Reply

  9. National Wind Watch is another great source for information about the adverse impacts of industrial wind development, which by necessity must be in remote rural and wild places. See the “wildlife” category in their Resource Library.

    Reply

  10. Wind Power is one of the best alternative energy sources that we should utilize, it is very clean and non-polluting. I was able to built a small wind generator at home which can power small appliances.

    Reply

    1. Small-scale, backyard wind installations and giant industrial windplants are two very different things. wind power does nothing to slow down coal-burning, because coal (and nuclear and hydro) are still needed to balance the grid, wind energy being sporadic and impossible to store. If anyone ever comes up with affordable battery technology, that could be a game-changer, but until they do, industrial wind power will be an expensive and habitat-destroying symbol of good intentions gone awry. I think small-scale wind and especially solar installations can play a role in a greener future, but only as part of complete shift of priorities, away from building out and toward building in, radically decentralizing the energy grid, focusing on conservation and on earth-sheltered, passive solar design, and as for the overwhelming percentage of greenhouse gases that are actually produced by industry and agriculture, moving toward a steady-state economy and creating tax breaks for people who don’t reproduce.

      Reply

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