Black Gold Burning**

In memoriam: endangered Kemps Ridley sea turtles

Black gold, black gold,
I’ve braved its spills,
old tortoise that I am,
beyond a century,
this ancient shell so far
my salvation.

Black gold has blinded
but never before
taken us with fire,
torching the waters.

These many years I have thrived
in such a heaven of green and blue.
Now flames flick toward me
over the reddened monster sea.

Some of you fight for my life.
Too late, too late.

Black gold burns.

I am gone.

**The 2010 Spill of Oil (black gold)
The turtle is sacred in many Native American traditions, often depicted balancing North America (Turtle Island)or Mother Earth on its back to  express the interdependence of humans with all creatures.

After the 2010 British Petroleum Deep Horizon accident, rare sea turtles were burned alive during oil spill burn-offs.BP originally hired boats to rescue the turtles before they
got incinerated but later pulled the plug on the rescue program.
Source: Captain Mike Ellis, corroborated by LA Times

A grassroots protest led by environmentalists did eventually stop the fires but not before unknown
numbers of these rare and endangered turtles died. The Animal Defense Fund has filed a suit against BP.

All images, artwork and text © 2011 Louisa Loveridge Gallas

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