Three Poems

Climate Change

I check current burning regulations
on the DNR site, surprised it reports
the fire danger is LOW. I go
out back to the fire pit, burn
junk mail, cracker boxes,
toilet paper tubes. On the news

fires rage everywhere,
consume property and lives with
apocalyptic fury. Arctic temps
reach 90. It’s 51 when I wake up,
too chilly for some folks but better than
heat. June rains soak us,
wash out bridges, leave enough
moisture behind to grow apples and hay.
We hug the second largest
lake in the world, operate
in our own unique climate.

I envision an end-of-the-world scenario:
people from California and Texas
rush to the cool forests of Wisconsin,
fill up abandoned motels,
burn barn boards to keep warm.



It starts with one house,
tidal waves its way over fields
obliterating furrows and fence lines

becomes a burial plot for empty lots
baseball games
butterfly hunts
puffs of dust under small bare feet.

Like a tourniquet, it ties off creeks
holds water hostage
detours ducks
confuses deer

uproots blue cornflowers
Queen Anne’s lace
builds sterile boxes
blocks out farm smells
songs from the grave.


Thinking about Volcanoes

Twelve million people in Tokyo
live sixty miles from Mt. Fuji,
cool four hundred years.

Imagine the chaos if the mountain
wakes up, walks off all those
serene brushed scenes, buries
the bustling city in ash.

About Jan Chronister

Jan Chronister writes from her home in Maple, Wisconsin. Her chapbook, Target Practice, was published by Parallel Press (University of Wisconsin) and her full-length poetry collection, Caught between Coasts (Clover Valley Press), was released in 2018. Jan’s poems appear in anthologies published by Main Street Rag, Outrider Press, Pure Slush Books, New Rivers Press as well as numerous journals. She currently serves as president of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. For more, visit www.janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com.

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