Poems by Katy Gurin

“Terzanelle for ‘Green Seas’”
Episode 5 of Blue Planet II
             By Katy Gurin

The mirror shallows kaleidoscope
is intricate as rot.
Little fish look like sun from below,

down burrow they’re brought,
to be given to his only with the silky gills—
20 years loyal, he’s ornate as rot.

Spring comes willed
by the animalflowers,
whose loosed petals are gathered in fields of fists of frills.

Over purple, green floats up its own silky towers.
Kelp, earnest forest, whirls
like redwood with the hours,

slipping out its knots to unfurl
the flag of its loyal orange farmer. Oh viewer,
what should we do

when the feast of invisible emeralds swirls?
When the immediate thicket is filled with knowers?
When the green shallows kaleidoscope?

What to do when every mouth is a mirror,
and the little fish have coalesced
into a submerged sun?

“Guess Who”*
             By Katy Gurin

You make mind where you traverse the earth,
spreading the guipure of memory.

Divided down to nothing,
you recollect your own veins.

With no brain, you know what you want.
With no nose, you smell it.

                          *Slime mold

             By Katy Gurin

I was told I had just one year of grief ahead
but what is a year if not
a physical thing? A made thing

requiring the work of planets,
requiring the work of anadromy,
requiring the rage of birth.

“The Twilight Layer”
             By Katy Gurin

After a Youtube video about a 2018 Woods Hole oceanographic expedition aboard the National Marine Fisheries research ship Henry B. Bigelow led by chief scientists Andone Lavery, and Michael Jech.

Even after they dredged and picked
through the collapsed creatures,
it was hard to know what scattered the sound.

Who are the opalescent chains?

Was there a parasite, paddling an orb?

What about the deadly feathers, and who is opaque? Is it
a kilometer of lanternfish, blinking their languages?

Even after looking with multibeam, broadband split beam,
and high frequency sound, no end
could be detected.

Each night, unknown beings take in what is burned.
Each day they tuck it into the seafloor.

From “Paleozoic Era”
Permian-Triassic Extinction
             By Katy Gurin

What Paleozoic life took from the sky
was kept as coal, oil, and gas.

Then the earth split
like a bud, and young rock

flooded Siberia, igniting the graves there,
loosing ghosts and their vapors.

A saturated sea husked
its mollusks, and withheld carbon

from corals secreting their castles.
River channels tangled: there were no roots

to steady a meander;
new life exhaled sulfur. The land pulsed

with fungus, as it had a need
for rot.

“After Many Years Spent Contemplating the End of the World”
             By Katy Gurin

I made a list of tasks, then a life
from what scared me most.

Now I beg my wayward mind
to perform unity; I teach my secretive heart

to be public; I try to unlearn
what no longer serves the world.

I live to stop the exhumations.
To keep ghosts from filling the air.

- Katy Gurin is an environmental engineer living in Eureka, CA and working as a consultant on a countywide climate action plan. Katy earned her BS in environmental engineering from Humboldt State University in 2011 and her MFA in poetry from the University of California at Riverside in 2019. Her poems have appeared several journals including Narrative, Sinking City, SOVO//, and Blue Earth Review. www.katygurin.com

Copyright©2021 by Katy Gurin. All Rights Reserved.