Making Sense of Headlines

A pressure cooker percolating
20,000 years, maybe more.
A caldera itching to blow
the lid off a new age,
to smother yet another 
Iowa cornfield in ash
three inches deep, 
to at long last cast
California into the sea

There’s a business man
fuming in a Motel 6.
It’s a Kentucky county
dry as the Sahara,
not a sip for 60 miles

There are scientists
in Kampala counting gorillas, 
670 all that remain
of a beast-race once peopling
the entirety of a continent

In a beachfront bar in Juantico,
another round of boat drinks
Tiny umbrellas adrift on salt-rimmed seas
Glasses held high, tipped
at the line of cars heading inland
All hands, here at the bar, 
betting Olaf will be downgraded
to a mere tropical storm
before he wades ashore

Chinese men congregate
in Shanghai bars,
play American scrabble, not knowing
what the words mean, simply having
memorized the order of letters