Roots pull at me, tangle
my feet, gripping toes and ankles
until I sink farther away
from where I believe
I should be going—not towards
the blue horizon but down
into the soil the dirt the dark places
we have christened impure, as if
thinking ourselves immortal
we could escape fertilization
or destination, retain this body
(the one made in God’s image)


The earth seasons our years,
lingering, overlapping, following
leeways as they transfer
our gravity, our weight, what
we haul behind us, into wind,
wings humming with abandonment,
a recklessness of sudden clarity—
spiraling inside the buried remains
of both past and future—
a shiver, a storm, a torn heart—
what can we do but embrace
the uncertainty and lay our burdens


For earthweal, where the prompt is wild and sacred.

29 thoughts on “Consecrated

  1. This poem made me envision the changes in the body after death – where all things are conserved. All matter remains and is recycled into other things… I see divine sparks emerge and wing back to their origins…

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  2. Both pieces art are so different and both are perfect bookends to your poem. The top one looks like the end of one cycle and the bottom one the beginning of another. I’m very much of a cicada mind on this, with the grub that lives in the soil for 17 years until it crawls out… Time’s reversible spiral is the wild card.

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  3. Ground consecrated as we devote our attention down. As Gary Snyder writes in “The Practice of the Wild,” “life is not just a diurnal property of large interesting vertebrates; it is also a nocturnal, anaerobic, cannabalistic, microcosmic, digestive, fermentative cooking away in the warm dark.” Love the soak in lower and upper worlds in the art.

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  4. There’s a dream feel to this, a repetitive timeless dream. Everything connected. Your first image makes me think both of roots and cells, and the second image of lungs and breath–and trees rising above the ground.

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  5. This is such a powerful call. If more people saw the worth of what we walk on, present ground instead of future heaven, things would look very different here… I persist in believing they still can.

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  6. You capture our arrogance so well here: “ if/thinking ourselves immortal/we could escape fertilization/or destination..” and our spirituality and potential with “..a recklessness of sudden clarity..” in the second stanza that resolves your theme with such a clean, organic rightness…I really admire this one.

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  7. Gravity pulls us all down in the end, even birds. Gravity is a wonderful thing. Without it we wouldn’t have an atmosphere to breath, we wouldn’t be here at all. We should maybe accept that roots are where we’re going, cherish the deep places.

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  8. I like that top painting very much, Kerfe – it feels in some way different to other work you’ve done, in so much as the scale of it could be huge and expansive. I think it needs to be at least 2 metres wide and hanging on a very big white wall in a very expensive gallery 😉

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    1. Thanks Phil. It’s quite small actually, and you’re right, different than my other paintings. I did it a few years ago, and recently came across it again. I really like it, but somehow I can never recreate things I’ve done in the past. But it’s in my mind, so who knows? A friend of mine once advised me to work very large, but I’ve never had a proper studio to make that possible.


  9. This is so beautifully written. Your imagery is wonderful. I love “the earth seasons our years”, and I can FEEL that pull of the earth on my aging body. Wonderful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The entire human journey is here–up into power/arrogance–and down into our mother earth. I felt Light when we “lay our burdens down” and embrace uncertainty. Your art? Expressive, Impressive.

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