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.

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

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

“Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”
“To market, to market, to buy a big gun.”

we confuse
omniscience and
ignorance,
redundant
in our habitual
failure to protect

we collect
wealth, polluted with
jealousy,
smothered in
waste—we admire and support
incompetence, greed

we spend time
staring at our screens–
glowing with
apathy,
motionless, a shadow of
imminent demise

Jane Dougherty posted some randomly generated words this morning for us to use to make a poem. After seeing “blue-eyed” I could not get Dylan’s song out of my head, and the word “market” provided the reply, mirroring both the news and my continued distress about it.

I struggled to go somewhere else, but ended up with the above depressing and not-very-poetic shadorma chain.

Dylan (as always) says it much better than I.

I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Agnes was here (before Hugo, Fran, Floyd…

…Isabel, Jeanne, Ivan, Charley, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike, Irene, Sandy, Maria, Irma, Harvey, Michael, Laura, Ida…)

the glass falls shattered by the wind
the water rises to the trees
the heavens cry that we have sinned
approach the ending on your knees

the water rises to the trees
the air in spirals bends the sky
approach the ending on your knees
you’ve passed the time for asking why

the air in spirals bends the sky
a wild revolving cosmic hole
you’ve passed the time for asking why
you must surrender all control

A wild revolving cosmic hole
the heavens cry that we have sinned
you must surrender all control–
the glass falls shattered by the wind

In his discussion this week at earthweal of extremes, Brendan specifically mentions unrelenting storms and hurricanes as part of the new weather patterns brought on by climate change. When I looked up the damage and death from hurricanes in The United States and the Caribbean the last 50 years, since Agnes in 1972, it was hard not to be stunned by the continued lackadaisical response of our government to the obvious magnification of severe weather. Band-aids for situations that require surgery.

breathing

I woke up this morning thinking of Sue Vincent. The words the Oracle gave me reflect that. She must have been in my dream, although all I remember is the ending which had snow and bright yellow dogs.

The art I was drawn to when looking through the archives for something to illustrate the words was also done for Sue’s prompts.

almost like light
this dusky song
a gentle color

of secret sound
murmured by roots and rain

how to follow
through beneath beside

ask the ancient path
to walk with you

letting go

why wait for now to pass?
always living in to be
tomorrow is not where we are, ever

each minute, hour, a chance
encounter we can’t foresee
full of spans impossible to measure

where am I?  here and now
and no place else—out or in,
over or under, it doesn’t matter

each fragment itself whole–
each moment contained within
the present completeness of forever

I haven’t written a kerf poem in awhile. The W3 prompt this week, a response to Burden of Time by A. J. Wilson, also has the restrictions of 12 lines or less, and the use of the word fragment. The kerf, a 12-line poem, was just right. You can read A. J. Wilson’s poem here.

Illustrations are two variations on the seed of life motif.

Beyond After

For how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first of May?  Until the end I thought it was the beginning of the middle.  Time happened, then all of a sudden what you once believed in could no longer be retreived.  The truth was hard, never soft, never easy.  But it contained a life.

May came, but you did not see it.

And so it begins, and so it ends, always with a question.  And if there is no answer to give—only a silence that acts as if asking were enough—how does the wheel turn?  Or is the question the pivot on a circle whose edge contains only unknowing, infinite stillness?  Is that where you are? 

How can I be sure?  Every answer is the wrong one in a world where there is nothing left to say.

A prosery for Merril’s prompt at dVerse of these words from Sara Teasdale.

“For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”