ODE TO PHIL  (Ground Hog Day, February 2)

Published by Beverly Damore on

By Steve Davis, AZIPL Board Member
While in Maui a few years ago, I spoke with an elder Inuit woman from Alaska.  We got to talking about whales and she told two stories about signs of something gone wrong in the immediate environs of her village of 200.  Last year a humpback whale swam up the river and became lodged and had to be killed.  It was the first time anyone in her village had ever heard of such a thing.  And then a large Alaskan bear made his way into the village more than a month before the accustomed hibernation period was to end.  His hunger and aggressive hunt for food resulted in a nervous and terrorized populace and so the bear too had to be put down.  “Something isn’t right,” she said.  “These creatures seemed confused, disoriented.”  Sad.
But, there’s one creature whose nose knows:
Ode to Phil
Way in the back of his wintertime burrow
There stirs a small creature with a nose for tomorrow.
Out of deep dark and into the chill
Emerges the Climate Change Activist, Phil.
Although an icon, his predictions go unheeded.
With patronizing smirks and guffaws he is greeted.
Gleefully fawned over, he’s not taken seriously.
On February 2 he’s celebrated deliriously.
Puxatawny he’s called ‘cause he’s in Pennsylvania
But his warning doesn’t thaw the frozen megalomania
   of Presidents, senators, deniers and such
   who don’t respect him or science very much.
No wonder he scampers back into his nest
To heed his own counsel and take a brief rest
   until he can exit without all his fur
   and sunbathe in un-season-al temp-er-a-ture
For he’s the first forecaster of sure global warming.
This varmint bears truths that are highly alarming.
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