Iris Cornelia Starkaugen sees better and farther than most people. She’s a homeless woman who cannot bear to be barricaded within walls for they produce static in her visions. She needs to be outside in the open, free to wander the streets of South Beach, even though this exposes her to the dangers of such a curiously nomadic existence. To meet her is such an unusual experience that she has made it into several travel blogs, as if she were a monument or a scenic spot. Not only does she see in advance whom she will meet on a certain day, she prepares for them snippets of poetry in which she has written pieces of their future, along with the earth’s future. Many times these poems describe for the passersby the very moment of their death. Those who don’t understand, and there are many, call her a witch. Those few who do, those who come to believe her prognostications, heed her warnings and flee. The floods due to climate change are coming, faster than anyone anticipated, and South Beach is marked for sudden and complete inundation. Iris is handing out more and more of her poems, detailing destruction, prophesying multitude deaths that will all occur at the same time, and that moment is fast approaching.
Here are four of Iris’s poems as performed by Shameka Holloway, Derrick Skinner, and Nadia Rusakova.
“I saw a tree being cut down today” performed by Shameka Holloway.
Shameka Holloway is a communication enthusiast and lover of travel. She is currently a writer/on air talent for a Fortune 500 company.
“once upon a time waits for no one” performed by Derrick Skinner.
“There is no one left” performed by Derrick Skinner.
“To a lady walking her dog on 9th and Lenox” performed by Nadia Rusakova.
Nadia is a native of Saint Petersburg, Russia. She currently lives in Atlanta, GA, and works as a media production manager.