Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lead us not ...

In case you're wondering, I'm planning to ignore the fact that today is the last day to comment on the PolyMet NorthMet SDEIS. (For the record, I did submit comments some time ago.) I am looking forward to seeing what the USEPA and the MN DoH have to say, although with considerably more hope that the former will come closer to speaking truth than the latter. When I was growing up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, we used to refer to the way PolyMet and several of our state agencies split hairs and dance around the truth as "shuckin' and jivin'."

Lake Superior and tributary
Lake Superior and tributary         © harrington

But then again, we Minnesotans are only human. How can we be expected to do the right thing in addition to doing the legal thing (keeping in mind that the two are often not the same)? Here's some more encouraging(?) headlines from today's news stories:
My point is that it's getting harder and harder to look to either the public or private sectors for responsible leadership. To brighten that gloomy outlook, remember Spring is coming (the equinox is a week from today) and next month is National Poetry Month. This year's poster has the following lines (which could also be applied to Spring in Minnesota):
"Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, / Missing me one place search another, / I stop somewhere waiting for you." from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."
I think this year My Minnesota will focus on a poem a day from a Minnesota poet. Let me know if you have any different suggestions. Meanwhile, in honor of Spring and manoomin (wild rice) and in hopes that MPCA will get it right, let's enjoy:

marshland swans
marshland swans        © harrington

Marshlands

By Emily Pauline Johnson 
A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim,
And meets with sun-lost lip the marsh’s brim.

The pools low lying, dank with moss and mould,
Glint through their mildews like large cups of gold.

Among the wild rice in the still lagoon,
In monotone the lizard shrills his tune.

The wild goose, homing, seeks a sheltering,
Where rushes grow, and oozing lichens cling.

Late cranes with heavy wing, and lazy flight,
Sail up the silence with the nearing night.

And like a spirit, swathed in some soft veil,
Steals twilight and its shadows o’er the swale.

Hushed lie the sedges, and the vapours creep,
Thick, grey and humid, while the marshes sleep. 

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