I was struck by a singularly beautiful description while reading the New York Times one morning. This poem is an act of pure imagination following the image drawn by writer Thomas L. Friedman, comprising the first stanza. It is also a rumination on the temporal challenges of seeing the relationship between our actions—especially in the realm of technological development—and their effects.
"ON THE SHORES OF OROUMIEH"
after a line by Thomas L. Friedman
by Emily Ruppel
The lake is gone. My job is gone.
My children are gone.
He stands on a dusty platform that was once
his bustling teahouse.
Overhead the mechanical
pleasure of insects crooning and
the desiccated canopy. The feathered
of the breeze rushes past
pillars of dark
and otherwise voiceless patios.
A domed environment for
silent ruminations on
the stars newly visible through the departure
Emily Ruppel is a PhD student in communication at the University of Pittsburgh, with focus areas in rhetoric of science, bioethics, STS, feminist theory, and oral history.
Prior to her doctoral work, Emily studied poetry at Bellarmine University in Louisville (B.A. '08) and science writing at MIT (M.S. '11). She has also spent many years working as a professional writer and editor for academic and popular outlets; among them, God & Nature magazine is a favorite project.