Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Mitigation of Toxins" by JoAnne Growney

When I'm feeling apocalyptic about the environmental catastrophes underway, inducing paralysis, I'm occasionally guilty of projecting a "silent victim" status on this robust planetary system.  It's true, we've been trashing the place, but if we'd just let it work... (Sandburg: "I am the grass.  Let me work.").  And we, to do our small part.
"Mitigation of Toxins"

A stand of poplars is a self-assembling
solar-powered pump-and-treat
ground-water protection system.
Brake ferns filter arsenic from soil;
Indian mustard drinks up lead.
Sunflowers shrink strontium levels.

........An uncommon man, an occasional woman,
........buffer the malice of others, keep
........the rest of us from tilting the world.



-JoAnne Growney
"Mitigation of Toxins" first appeared in Innisfree and may now be found in Growney's collection, Red Has No Reason, (Plain View Press, 2010).
Used by permission.

JoAnne Growney grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. After a first career in mathematics, she returned to poetry. Her most recent collection is Red Has No Reason (Plain View Press, 2010). Growney promotes math-poetry connections and climate concerns in her blog at She teaches an ongoing poetry workshop at a neighborhood wellness and recovery drop-in center.

Growney attended Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2008.

Split This Rock


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