Hurricane Sandy

Before you even came--
winds plotting massive destruction
rains raping crops
trees toppling over
crushing cars
cutting electricity;
there was the tornado
of her home- a whirlwind of ripped papers, decades old,
a hornet’s nest of broken records,

dying plants
paper clips, rubber bands, pads
eclipsing the little light
left inside,
dangerous wires
tethered to sockets--
threatening to explode in my hand
like a damaged umbilical cord.

She was my stepmother,
and I had to rip through the furniture
splintered like fangs,
monstrous mounds
of garbage
dead bed-bugs
trapped on glue strips;
I threw all her belongings
into the incinerator,
felt the heat of her books
and bones,
before the floods
that washed away the fire
that stopped the subway
and put the City to sleep.



------------------------“Many structures were so damaged
------------------------They pose a danger to public safety
-------------------------and other buildings nearby,” NYT, 11/18

There is hurricane Sandy
that sent a coast cowering,
a monster of a wave
many homes gone;

then there is Junior’s Restaurant
on Flatbush and DeKalb Ave.
where fried chicken wears a winter coat,
mashed potatoes, white mittens of butter,
a wardrobe of pickles, beets, cole-slaw
deep-fried fashion,

accessories of all sorts:
the Yuppies and their children
squealing with delight
at the fries as large as fingers,
the massive Irish and Italian families
sifting through the ten page menu,
African and Caribbean Americans
of all ages
who would never leave
without a slice of cheesecake
oozing with strawberries,

and me, with my husband,
hoping New York could never be washed away
or burned down;
Junior’s will rise
like a phoenix
to feed the hungry,

who always leave
filled to the brim.



------------------- A Found poem from Nov., 2013 NYT article by Gina Apostol

This year’s
post-typhoon Haiyan cleansing
is an unimaginable orgy
of grief.
Amid drowned bodies
beneath the matchstick rubble
of ephemeral homes,
sleepless relatives
look for clues
in shadows,

but this history
is Tacloban’s story.
and its twin, oblivion
is how they have survived,
like the learning of other’s tongues-
the resilient ruse.

even when women look
for their dead babies,
and sons search
for their fathers, long gone.


Copywright (C) 2014 by Pamela L. Laskin. All rights, including electronic,
reserved by the author. Used by permission of the author.

eco-poems by

Pamela l. laskin

Pamela L. Laskin is a writer; teacher; mother; cyclist; walker; swimmer; reader and good friend (to those who she befriends). She writes poems, short stories and children’s stories, and many of her poems and short stories have been published in various journals and magazines, among them: Boston Literary Review Earthwise: Forum: Iowa Woman, Midstream, Manna, Piedmont Literary Review, South Coast Poetry Review, and Young Miss magazine. Five of her children’s books have been published. Dear Hades, In a Glass Ball, and Trick or Treat are three of her poetry chapbooks that have been published. Since poetry does not pay the bills, she teaches. Her students are as diverse as her writing—from elementary school children to college undergraduates and graduates at City College of of New York to senior citizens at a local senior citizens center. She finds that her teaching inspires her writing, and writing inspires her teaching.