By C.S. MacCath
20 September 2010
It was not enough; the Hafgufa,
rock-toothed maw of the deep,
insouciant crusher of vikings
into bone splinter and driftwood.
It was not enough; the Lyngbakr,
heather-backed false island,
splitting fathoms to air its blossoms
and diving again, like any heedless behemoth,
with Örvar's luckless men on its shoulders.
Those krakens of saga, primeval beasts,
implacable as deepwater currents,
birthed from the World's abyssal womb
to chasten sailors who fouled Her blood;
they were, in the long telling, not enough.
"As far as scientists can tell, the undersea oil is actually a witch's brew of crude mixed with dissolved methane, stretching 15 miles long, 5 miles wide, and 300 feet thick in the case of one plume detected by the Pelican, and 22 miles long, 6 miles wide, and 3,000 feet thick in the case of a plume found by University of South Florida researchers aboard the WeatherBird II last week. The latter plume reaches all the way to the surface."
Now slick leviathans spew from the sediment;
mephitic fiends, nameless, insensate,
pitchy tentacles undulating inland,
dragging the seabed, aquiver with methane,
shaming the World with Her own shit—
while brown pelicans blacken,
feathers clotted, bills dripping crude
into hungry, hatchling mouths,
and bottlenose dolphins slip to the shoreline,
toothy grins fixed in a death-rictus.
Far below, the slumbering krakens never waken.
Hafgufa gapes, cavernous gullet
choked with tarballs. Lyngbakr bursts,
carapace crushed under too many carcasses.
Inadequate monsters, undone by their betters.