necessities s

How much is enough?  Too much can still feel impoverished—it’s not just money or things (we know that we know that we know that…and yet)

We need another warm body—kind, accepting—one that touches us not in anger, but with love.

We need air that does not scar our lungs, water that quenches without leaving toxic residue.  We need food grown with earth knowledge.  We need multitudes of species–unafraid, unshadowed by our destructive impulses.

We need shelter from harsh elements, windows and doors that open without fear.  We need roots, a place of refuge to call home, a circle of people who reciprocate with trust.  We need to both render and accept, exchanging gifts with mercy and grace.  We need to be needed, for our days to have a reason.

We need stories that ask questions, that challenge and celebrate and comfort us in times both joyful and dark.

We need to be able to provide help without diminishment, to acknowledge the mutual relationships of life.  We need to share what we have too much of with those who don’t have enough.

We need laughter and light, leadership without tyranny.  We need to know we belong.

the future
of past expectations

the depths
of the unimaginable

the path
becomes a river

held shimmering
by the sea

necessities close up s

Sarah’s earthweal challenge asked us to think about the balance between the individual and the community.  I think it’s hard to disentangle one from another, even for those who insist on their “individual” freedom.  The cliche is true: no man is an island.  Everything, all life, depends on relationships for survival.

35 thoughts on “Necessities

  1. At first I thought it was a cross-section through a tree, the swirling words the growth rings; and I think it is the perfect shape for your words and poem, beautiful, wise, and in touch with the Earth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Marcy’s mention of the image of tree rings. Because as you know, no tree grows on its own but depends on networks beneath the soil and in the air. You have written something really beautiful here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Claudia. The tree connection wasn’t intentional but it’s a good one–trees are intimately connected both with each other and with the ecosystem. They are good teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, Kerfe, that it is hard to disentangle the individual from the community, however much one isolates oneself, since the individual is a product of community, and even a lone wolf returns to the pack from time to time. I like the structure of this poem, with the list of necessities, so detailed, and fleshed out on a skeleton of the repeated ‘We need’, that becomes micro poems, echoes or water dripping to the final image of those ‘hands held shimmering by the sea’. Like Macy, when I looked at the image, I saw a slice of trunk and growth rings, and it is perfect shape for your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful and true. I like Marcy and Claudia’s comments about the trees, too.
    I also see the infinite circles of life–micro and macro. The image could be a fingerprint or a star system. Everything’s connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderfully expressed – all the things that make life life……..the image is amazing. I love the “hands held shimmering by the sea.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so moving, Kerfe, like a prayer for people who don’t pray. These are things we all need, and we won’t get them if we squander our energy in squabbling over bits of the cake. (I thought it was a tree trunk too).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If only we could all do that. The old systems are mire in sectarianism, urban/rural, all the different so-called ‘communities’ that need to be allowed to do their own thing even when it means beating up another ‘community’, the petty squabbling, the hypocrisy. The company of trees and birds is calming.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Somewhere on a PBS show last night I heard someone say, the complete human being gets closest to animal magnificence. How much we have to learn … I loved the progression of We’s in the poem, a communal statement of collective I’s. Hands held by the sea, yes yes yes. The singing forest canopy of we. Thanks for sharing this at earthweal. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

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