Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Trio of Thoughts on the Future of Energy

Someone Has Faith in the Future

Recent travels led us
alongside miles and miles
of new plank roadways
intended to thread
a 345 kilowatt power grid
through the swampy valleys
and over the wooded hills,
paralleling I-90 and I-94
as they wend
            toward the Dells.

Giant steel tubes,
laid out last autumn,
still wait,
prepared to stand in for
superannuated wooden poles
that once sated our appetite
for electric power.

A few already are standing,
bolted to the earth,
arms extended,
awaiting orders,
for something to hold;
eager for cranes
and trucks
and dozers
to test the plank roads
straining to string the wires
and complete the
            dreamers' dreams.

Those who predict –
almost gleefully await –
the end of all things,
would never build
a grid for the future;
they see no future.

Only those with faith
"as a grain of mustard seed" –
only those who say
to mountains, "Be removed!"
to valleys, "You are no obstacle"
to swampland, "Paved,
            you shall be a highway" –

These alone
are they who see a future world,
voraciously impatient,
unrelentingly demanding the
mega-watts these planners
            will deliver.

A Ballet for Our Babies
(Haiku Form)

The wind blows where it
wishes, and it wishes to
blow in Illinois.

Today I saw it
play a leading role in an
open-air ballet.

Across the miles, rows
of stately dancers – turning, face
to the wind – performed.

Lithesome arms, in slow
motion – choreographed by
unseen directors –

each took a slice of
wind, and then another 'til,
with quota filled, they

restructured breath as
kilowatts, kilowatts as
baby formula.
Convening a Panel on Clean Energy

Forty thousand
photovoltaic-powered panels,
pivoting on fulcrums,
teetertotter from morning to evening,
ever facing their dark surface
            to the Indiana Sun.

Opponents and proponents debated
the merits and demerits of the plan,
appointed commissions to
ascertain the costs and feasibility
            of clean energy.

Back and forth, up and down,
the fortunes ebbed and flowed;
elections tilted
one way one year,
the other way another –

the doers won;
a forty-thousand-paneled panel
teetertotters now beside
            Indiana I-70.

In league –
arrayed in unanimity –
they're drinking in,
and pouring forth,
             Sol's inexhaustibility.

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