Hurricane Ida’s remnants wreaked havoc in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York days after the system hit the Gulf Coast — some 1,000 miles away (npr.org) Here is a poem I had written in the aftermath ..
Yesterday, a cloud burst in mythologies and the rain fidgeted over the retreat
of a tidal pantheon; deities swept away by a current, and we stood awhile, watching
the moon elbow out the dusk. Breathing is burdensome when cars float on water
and corpses leak out of cavernous basements. Every tablet, etched, in the cold
heart of building code was read again and then again. It wasn't enough to blame
Aeolian whim or the raging riposte of Apollo, now that we had marvelled away Gaia's
ozone skirt. Her amnion always leaked in folkloric floods each time she birthed
a parable. She once asked Noah to build an ark so he could ride her waves
and we scrape the sky to impale her in shards where her womb is soft and yielding,
as we sour the air and burn the water and strip her of her emerald sigh and melt her hills
and silt her wetlands. Mostly it was the asphalt plastering her yearning that calcified her veins
and arteries, as she died slowly under our feet we could hardly fathom her sorrow for the tears
rolled off her torso like an oil slick and rode far into the subway for sewers.
Notes on hurricane Ida:
Hurricane Ida was the second-most damaging hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Louisiana on record, behind only Hurricane Katrina. The remnants of hurricane killed at least 43 people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and left more than 150,000 homes without power on Wednesday, the first of September  The streets and subway platforms turned into rivers with the deluge of rain, people were trapped in their cars and some washed away by flash floods. A tornado (strength F-3) leveled houses in Mullica Hill, New Jersey with estimated winds of 150 miles per hour.
According to Tripti Bhattacharya (earth and environmental sciences at Syracuse University) whose research on regional rainfall and climate change was cited in the U.N.’s recent climate change report, hurricane Ida had just the right mix of weather conditions in place to fuel the system. The remnants of Ida met another system, an extra tropical front and combined to create heavy rainfall of er New York and New Jersey. Ida also spent time over a warm waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico which allowed it to intensify very quickly. As atmosphere warms due to the changing climate, it can hold more moisture which translates to excessive rainfall 
‘For every 1 degree Celsius of global warming, the atmosphere can hold roughly 7 percent more water vapor. Cities like New York are often more vulnerable to sudden downpours because so much of their land area is paved over with impervious surfaces like asphalt, which means that runoff is channeled into streets and sewers rather than being absorbed into the landscape’ 
There is need to take a hard look at city infrastructure, carbon emissions, infrastructure for improved and accurate weather forecasts in addition to looking at vulnerability maps and how that maps onto income for those that are hardest hit by such unpredictable weather.
The need for climate responsive architecture:
|Climate-responsive architecture functions in lockstep with the local climate(temperature, historical weather patterns, etc.), the direction of the sun (sun path and solar position), site-specific environmental conditions (such as wind, rainfall, humidity), seasonality and also taking into account the natural shade provided by the surrounding area and topography to design pleasant buildings which ensure physiological comfort of users, energy-efficient buildings with reduced reliance on artificial energy|
I took these photos while we walked the trail at Lobster Cove meadow and Appalachee preserves in Boothbay Harbor. They look like a poem. At 46.8-acres, this preserve boasts of a freshwater wetland, large field and a quite densely forested upland  I loved every part of it and given half a chance, I would have perhaps spent my morning sitting by that soupy ferment of grass and sodden earth, creating botanical drawings or writing floral poetry ..
.. but this prose poem is really about dragonflies and a lyrical questioning of the viability of some species of the order Odonata, on planets that humankind propose to relocate to. Of what use then, is a dragonfly?
I'm hypnotized by the dragonfly's
agile life path
or is it - a flight path?
On taxonomy ~
Marsh trails at Lobster Cove,
court me in grass -
resigned they are,
to the trample of feet,
or fate, in Maine,
land richly resplendent
in the iridescence
of one hundred and fifty five
emeralds, jewel wings, reds,
golds, pond damsels,
darners, skimmers, hawkers,
dragons that fly,
and this isn't metaphor..
I flee to be happily feral
in these teeming marshes,
soliloquising to this multitude.
This thick slice of populace,
if you police the species,
spawn irreverent ideas
of vagrants or migrants
or residents. Of these
I ladle millions with simply
the scoop of my hand,
from a steamy soupy puddle..
Hundreds of dragonflies
are squadrons in the sky,
a flight arena weakening air.
They meld in a singular
poetic brush stroke
of airy romance
even as my botanical eye
purloins them from a vast kingdom
to stricture within an Order,
of specialised missions,
their godly wings for escort,
or those that pivot
to a singular pursuit
of combative intent
and thus, genus is recruited
to sub orders and
other such self effacement
There are 155 species of Odonata in Maine which include the 112 of Anisoptera, which is comprised only of dragonflies. These hold their wings horizontal to the surface they alight upon, while damselflies (Zygoptera), hold them vertical, this being an important criterion besides the eyes, for easy differentiation between both, although they look quite similar. Beyond that, you could mull over the variation of corrugation patterns, the curvature of the various ridges and deep valleys on the plane of the wing membrane, or wing span and attached musculature while considering that individuals within the same species vary considerably as also, between the species. Yet, it was of great interest to me, that measurements based on the wing profiles from a single wing of very few dried specimens spearheaded whole studies and scientific hypotheses on the effect of these morphological characteristics on aerodynamics of the dragonfly.
It’s a dragonfly, I want to know why it flies .. so ..
Now imagine this complex wing architecture, the attached musculature that enables the independent movement of each of the four wings and the aerodynamic magic that propels the dragonfly through three dimensional trajectories, through space. The ability to manoeuvre in a way that they can fly backwards without any added expense of energy, their speed, agility and their capacity to hover, aids them in their remarkable predatory routines. It makes my heart skip a bit when I understand they exclusively intercept other flying insects while in flight, perhaps like humans attempt to do in aerial combat. These remarkable creatures can cruise, pursue, intercept while on their territorial flights, in chasing others like them or in stalking prey and some can even fly in formation.
Flying is arduous and requires efficient management of energy. In extensive studies of the relationship between the wing planform of Odonata and aerodynamic efficiency during flapping flight, it was found that dragonflies must generate 221% of the power that would be necessary to produce the same lift with perfect aerodynamic efficiency (i.e. from an ideal ‘actuator disc’ or ‘lifting line’ in laboratory conditions). Damselflies, operate with a less efficient wing shape in comparison and have to generate 275% of the power that would be required under ideal conditions, simply to fly  The overarching question in these studies of wingspan efficiency is, why are insect wing shapes so variable. No one has yet discovered an optimal solution from the standpoint of aerodynamics as insects have several adaptive and non-adaptive factors that contribute to wing shape, and only some of these adaptations will have any aerodynamic or mechanical relevance.
Currently, no suitable wing model exists, to replicate what is experienced by the mechanosensors present on the wings of these living creatures, that are responsible for relaying sensory signals required to power a flight. Eliciting predictable and repeatable flight responses in laboratory conditions has been tricky as well, but most importantly, inorder to generalize and validate flight strategies in the real world, field recordings are essential, but we find that a reliable field data logger for Odonata is yet to be developed.
Thus it stands, we do not understand many things about dragonflies and there are several reasons to continue to study them, least of all that such research will advance humankind’s understanding of unsteady aerodynamics, flight control, sensory integration and the evolution of flight  but each dragonfly has its own unique functional design and form, therefore, the task of learning about the metabolic cost of flying to each organism and drawing conclusions thus about flight strategies, is much more complicated than it appears. Until now, no human to the best of my knowledge, has produced a successful dragonfly except for another dragonfly.
My need to know and understand arises as a matter of habit, marking with gravitas this breezy situation which sometimes, a marsh walk can be. When I excitedly tell my husband about surprising facts I come across , I mean, who can not notice the science of it on a leisurely walk .. he wonders the same as I, why one’s mind cannot quite exult and float, elated on fresh air and sunshine alone 😄 Well, I try …
.. not to think of some innovative blueprint for a new drone, designed perhaps like a dragonfly or a damselfly, or scientific research pondering the inefficiency of those horizontally or vertically held wings, that somehow refuse to be consistent in their shape and size  There I am, in a marsh, dragonflies in a flight arena of sky, exhibiting the same tendencies as the rest of the sentient species and I realise, there isn’t enough grass nor sky for everyone. There are entire societies at play here not to feel crowded out, and I, a bystander, looking from the outside at their arduous frolicking and wondering of the aggressive sexual behaviour of dragonflies that suddenly taints every romantic vision of earth and sky that I would like to weave into my marshy poetry. Somehow, writing lyrically of how happy I am to see dragonflies engaged in territorial displays over grass, is akin to admitting I enjoy bullfights or so I think and I laugh, for I do or maybe I don’t. In all seriousness though, it prods me to think of the limits of acceptance, a virtue we are smug to extol, or of the questions we are reluctant to frame …
Do you know how we map
the flight of consciousness ?
I think that is what it is ..
the question I mean.
I wish I could veil my glance
in poetry, blissful membranous
euphemism, like lined coffins
for the dead but I would be
unfeeling not to notice
the corrugations in
those angelic wings.
Is everywhere the place
where the glade is pleasant,
the woods cheerful,
the waters run deep ?
Sometimes, all those things, yes
and the female of the species
dropped dead. It startled me
from my airbrushed soliloquy,
for blade strokes -
in a viridescent marsh,
had squelched irony
from the maw of design.
Nymphs in the shallows,
are a Neverland
of eternal childhood.
In the wake
of an artful airlift
for angelic pursuit,
are embattled skies
of conflictual ardour,
and comically painful
those cerci on neck ..
The kama sutra of aerodynamic love
yields outlines of hearts,
lyrical hymns to creatures
great, cherubic, winged,
but the females fake death
to squadrons of a militant
Will we need dragonflies on Mars
with no oxygen nor water to monitor?
And what use a desultory
as it bites the barren of dust?
Each wingspan a solitary delight,
those 180 degree flips
three dimensional trajectories
of love, for survival of the species
through nicks and bruises ..
Mating in dragonflies is a unique affair in that it involves serious terms like tandem linkage and wheel formation and a great deal of aggression  It is highly acrobatic sport and eventually a mating pair forms this heart shape as in the picture above. The male first grabs a female by the back of her neck with claspers at the end of his abdomen that are called cerci which are structural appendages that actually fit into species-specific grooves in the female. Once this tandem linkage is established, the actual consummation takes place which is quite interesting but involves sexual gymnastics involving abdominal segments and appendages for scooping out of rival sperm, some vicious territoriality, pursuit of multiple suitors and a very tired female at the end  The high male-biased ratio in adult dragonflies at breeding habitats, has in part, contributed to females using different habitats to avoid male harassment.
Females of some species of dragonflies (Female moorland hawkers or Aeshna juncea for example) are vulnerable to being harassed when laying eggs since they aren’t protected by their male mates. This isn’t the case with all dragonflies but many of the species exhibit sexual conflict. In Moorland hawkers for instance, eggs are usually fertilised in a single sexual encounter with a male, and copulating again could damage their reproductive tract so after the act, females crash dive to the ground at very high speeds and fake death 
As I marvel at the dragonfly, I appreciate what humans can learn and possibly unlearn from our compatriots on this sometimes green and golden earth, while I question if there is more to the poetry of the species than simply one upmanship, mean spiritedness, lusty escapades, romantic illusions and other attributes of our inherent genetic propensity, that mainly drive every conflict, every conquest, every war and all tribalism.
How much of dragonfly do we wish to be, plainly rhetorical musing …
As events played out recently, I had the sweet fortune of being the celebrant for a very private exchange of marriage vows (yes, y’all read that right ! 🙂) It was for a lovely couple, very good friends we’ve known for many years. I also had the privilege of solemnising a unity candle ceremony, as well as being a witness later in the presence of an officiant, authorised to lawfully seal the union. It has been a most wonderful experience, in these grey and hazy times.
Later, I wrote a poem to mark the occasion, a tribute to their nomadic lives as they work for the betterment of children’s lives the word over. I tried to capture what it means to be a couple, while being part of the United Nations, separated often by geography and time, which will resonate with those that are involved in long distance relationships. It is a poem on how love sustains across borders, time zones, long separations, days, months, years… a few aspects of the story are deeply personal to our friends, the rest being poetic license. I’ve tried to add a touch of their organic world and weave in some of the countries they have lived in … I have experimented with the first person narrative style which in this poem, stands for either of the couple speaking to the other.
The theme song of this intimate ceremony was an enchanting instrumental based on Verve’sclassic bitter sweet symphony. I have italicized what I borrowed from the song. There’s also a bit of Bizet’s Carmen at the end, which too has special significance.
The last month has been a whirlwind of sorts and when beautiful things happen around you seamlessly, like a river flow or you yield to the river perhaps, then surely, life is blessed.
The poem has been arranged to appear like a wave (best viewed on a large screen or tablet), given that a precious friendship was seeded in the aftermath of a Tsunami.
Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, that's life..
bloat of whale song, birdsong, petulant -
the rattle of tanks and thunder,
giant waves cascading cymbals on shores
for heartbeats lost
in native lands.
I'll take you down the only road
I've ever been down.
You know the one
that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet ..
those hopeful rivers
merging sinuous sentiment
into the shapelessness of ocean
s p a c e beneath the breast,
a vast rhythmic rise
in tidal moons, waves licking shores
now awash in stories loosely anchored
to transient shoals,
sedimenting the ocean floor
in breezy metaphors of flying fish,
fish like mammals breathing our air ......
The reef edge was always steeply laced
in a filigree of the statuesque -
Coral corralling within aragonite bridal veil,
feelings in free d
Rewind to retrospect:
Small Giant Clams
netted and harboured secrets
to the future we never dreamed of
except in stories that read as life itself,
long after the deed is done.
Washed ashore briefly on coral sands,
we were a tsunami of affections
seeking anchorage to archipelagic sentiment,
creating little islands of purpose,
islands of recreation,
sand banks of spirituality, floating islands,
floating plankton, floating algae, swimming
in the shallows like the time
I almost drowned
and pulled you to seaweed depths
but you came up gasping for air,
to a soul clarity,
we both did ..
Time flew, like I flew, like a raven
off the ark, to the ruins
of an ancient fairy tale,
where salt water couldn't drown
a covenant struck in a yielding heart,
the only living thing which I thought existed
in the semi arid of those lifeless blunders
that overstay their welcome on the dunes.
The stars of the desert as brilliantly
luminous as our eyes, blinking binaries
when I looked for you in asterisms and you
looked to me
under a red blanket.
You came with a sprig in your beak
to drier sands,
where we etched
the holy books of faith
to our own religion
under a blanketing sentiment ..
feelings relocated, landlocked,
then clarified in three layers of lake
amid a thousand cichlid kisses
darting under a blazing fire.
Those sun burnished hearts
south of the equator strangely rhyme
the same, while venous blood flow upwards,
downwards and across
that expansive meter
of grassland, where we fostered
the lives of children like it were
a spiritual mandate.
Those leached affections pooled
into a reservoir of love, a lake
that turned clear as crystal
in that turbid genesis ..
the celestial was most surreal
when I woke one day to the milky way
obscured by the million lights
along a river,
dazzling a grid of avenues and streets
and I know that to this layered night
was hitched the hem of your sunrise
and your cape of night stars
the one that would course through time
to find me with stories
etched in constellations,
of warlords and poppy fields
where the only rebel was the heart
for it floundered on land carpeted
in the brightest, sometimes the whitest
snow, ravaged by battle tanks, redeemed
by roses along savage roads
and land as soft as noni
and my heart yearned
under the same sky,
yours and mine,
by the geography of employment.
It takes a while to find one's feet
in the clayey soil of mangroves
skirting the bay where tigers
tread to glide and humans barely stand,
for the passage of time
has been cobbled in death
trod by the advancing cavalry of years
of those we knew who never grew any younger
and now, will never grow older,
but we had each other,
our days vivisected
to a standard operating procedure,
so we thought, zooming through
the virtual multiverse
which sagely conspired to confine
breath to national pleura ..
deaf to the ventilating heart,
blind to the diminishing 'soul'?
Are human lives as poetic as mangroves -
inhaling through aerial roots ?
Or a stone cold reclining Buddha -
His holy feet rubbed in gold leaf
having little use for a Midas touch?
Illusions of habitat, these ..
Reality is solely etched in our partings,
our separations, our prolonged confinements.
Our measured lives
to the everyplace invisible
punctuating our complacency,
like a sardonic smile
lurking without a body,
The world at its loudest SOS
made every moment a past tense,
as crepuscular as terse beliefs
situating ambition in twilight, that future we all desire
I arranged this poem as a series of linked morae of seventeen syllables of the haiku/senryu 5/7/5 pattern.
In a world of the brilliant spark of life, the desire to survive, rival species, judgment and chaos, I took inspiration from periodical cicadas.
They are quite an interesting bug of the order Hemiptera, genus Magicicada and comprise seven of the approx. 3,000 species of cicadas which only occur in the eastern United States. Unlike most cicadas, periodical cicadas lay eggs that hatch and then their nymphs burrow underground for either 13 or 17 years, depending on the species, while subsisting on xylem fluids of rootlets. Brood X of 2021 (roman numeral – ten) was one of the largest groups. Cicadas emerge when ground temperatures reach 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This year it was in May. Males of the periodical cicadas sing using special organs called tymbals which are membranes that vibrate very quickly when pulled by tiny muscles and this vibration creates the cicada’s song.
Cicadas protest the harsh light. A horary ear splitting drumroll of sunday sermons -
simply pungent polemic crowding around in a bowl of sticky gruel ad infinitum
Stars made no promise to enflame the sky, poet! Yet, how we believe .. unctuous metaphor,
sparking delusions, imagery combust .. piss .. on the bathroom floor. The Stoic's ablaze. We
rise to bright, indifferent self immolation. Stars fade, cool, splutter supernovas. The light's not always about us.
We are, because of ...
For those interested, there is the cicadasafariapp available online, that maps annual cicada emergence and helps share and identify species.