TWO GREEN LUNGS
"Everything seems fine with the world though terrible things happen," I wrote in the poem "Fieldwork" (Yellow Crane, Brick Books 2018).
Lately I've been thinking about water, about the colour green, about the Aral Sea and the desert its shrinking has formed. Just a few decades of human intervention (since the 1960s: irrigation, reservoirs, dams on the rivers that feed it) changed everything.
On May 1, 2020, the Sardoba Dam in the Syr Darya river basin in Uzbekistan collapsed. Lives were lost; lives and land were changed.
Today these two shimmering tracks arrived on my desk, from Galya Bisengalieva's forthcoming album Aralkum (this September, from One Little Independent Records).
The album cover shows the area as it looked in about 2000: two green lungs, taking their last gasp.
Haunting, heart-rending, beautiful.