consecration

a feather,
a rose, an apple–
small pleasures,
blessings of
continuity, gifts of
joint inheritance,

of stillness–
a hallowing that
exists if
we choose to
walk with the land—unhurried,
emptied, listening

I’ve used words from Jane’s random word list this week from the Oracle II, to answer Brendan’s call at earthweal to the wild stillness

Safari

“Living day by day with elephants, he had absorbed their deeper, more philosophical cues. In fact, he discovered in them the virtues he would work to develop in himself: courage, loyalty, the ability to trust (and the good sense to know when to be distrustful), fairness, patience, diligence, kindness, and humor.”
–Vicki Constantine Croke, “Elephant Company”

Step this way–
sink deep, uncreatured,
into the
mouth entombed
in death—enter the ceaseless
current of slaughter.

Destruction
overtakes rebirth,
permanent–
we cannot
remake the magic of earth,
uninculcate ends.

Silver tongues
make promises, kill
what little
is left, drunk
with power—bleeding life out
to termination.

Elephants once roamed in Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. This species became extinct about 100 BC due to overhunting for ivory. This is still a major threat to both elephants and rhinos, along with habitat loss, which includes all the ramifications of climate change. Poachers are looking for ingredients for traditional Asian medicine. Local residents see wild animals as threats, and/or kill them for food when other sources, such as agriculture, disappear due to extreme weather. And of course Western big game hunters love to take home trophies to prove how manly they are.

The Northern White Rhino recently became extinct.

Endangered African primates include the chimpanzee, the gorilla, the bonobo, and the drill. The cheetah is critically endangered, and lions and leopards are also in a vulnerable state.

Other critically endangered African species include the African penguin, the African wild dog, green turtles, pangolins, and hundreds of species of birds.

For earthweal, where Sherry asks us to consider how humans have changed the African landscape. I’ve used words from the Oracle II list generated by Jane this week.

All the art is from previous posts about endangered species. Interestingly, I only found one other poem written to go along with the images. Perhaps it’s because words are inadequate for me in the face of such a huge loss. It’s easier for me to draw or paint or collage my distress.

this land (the other)

but there is always another side–
the one that is in our face seems real
because we see it—the details,
the form of its existence–
but what of the side we do not see,
what of the one that looks
in a different direction?  the one not
evident, not the same?  the one
we must be careful not to leave behind?

As usual, Brendan at earthweal gave me a lot to think about in this week’s challenge post. His question–What does it meant to be open, unbounded, united and free in an enclosed world?–made me immediately think of this verse Woody Guthrie wrote in “This Land is Your Land”.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

which was the inspiration for my poem.

The late great Sharon Jones sings it like it is.

Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by Ingrid.

This is what we’ve come to

Eric Greitens, a leading contender for the Republican Senate nomination in Missouri, released a new video in which he is depicted as hunting RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

“I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, and today we’re going RINO hunting.” Greitens says as he walks down a sidewalk with a gun in hand.

The video cuts to a house where Greitens, surrounded by what looks like a tactical unit, waits by the door. “The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” says Greitens. The unit smashes the door down and throws what looks like a smoke grenade. Greitens strides through the door. “Join the MAGA crew,” he says. “Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”—(cnn.com)

nutty?  I
wish it were only
the deranged
ravings of
a single unarmed man—but
it is not fiction

actually
millions are waiting
with their guns–
enchanted
by, and obedient to,
a simplistic lie

sordid words
sprayed like stray bullets,
shattering
sanctity,
all respect for life—the
aftermath is death

Merril was correct when she said the wordlist from Oracle II generated on Sunday by Jane demanded a political response. Reading about Eric Greitens and his campaign ad today sealed it.

The headline haiku art and erasure poem are from my response to the Kick-About prompt a few weeks ago of the art of Basquiat. I painted on a page from the NY Times that interviewed Republican Congress members about their thoughts on gun legislation and listed the amount of money they had received from the NRA. Money talks, and erases the truth.

Guns

do something.  question.
sorry—guns are the problem.
where it starts.  guns.  guns.

nightsong

A peaceful message from the Oracle this week. Even with some strange dreams, and the moon waking me, I’ve been sleeping well.

could I rest here
beneath the quiet dusk
let nightsong in

walk along ancient rivers
know the the intuition of trees
feel every growing thing

as earth follows
its rooted moonpath
into the birdlight of dawn

point of departure

spin and spiral
engulfed in wonder
stirred into awakening
blood quickening through

the heart caught pounding
between yearning and fear–
earthsurge pulses
in a wild rhythmic dance

of elemental music–
sensory patterns that become
a voyage of inception
whirling itself alive

Sherry at earthweal asked us to Write a poem about Earth’s wild music. And Sarah’s W3 prompt was a poem of 12 lines or less that includes a contrast of images or ideas in response to her poem “Work in Progress.”

Random List

Waylaid by words
that didn’t seem to
belong to anyone
or anything—animal
vegetable or mineral?

I sang madly,
shamelessly, attempting
to distract myself
with volcanic praise—

What is this blue substance?
I wondered, discreetly
floating beyond all
awareness, and spelling
each watery sound.

Merril’s randomly generated wordlist is entirely to blame for this quadrille containing the word given to us by Sanaa at dVerse, spell.

Sometimes words are just riddles.

before the sun

The Oracle clearly wakes before dawn with my local robin, who continues singing all day, and only takes a short break after sunset before beginning again around 4 am.

here is earth
to wander through my nightforest
to walk with me listening

the air is a garden
of always
of moons shining wild
above rosewater

as if rest were rooted
deep inbetween spirit and treewind
singing with the almost dawn