Belonging

These slate skies are familiar, in a strange
illogical way; here, there are mountains,
no sea in sight, and though mists appear
like fog, it is high desert with rivers running
through forested landscapes, their waters
unreliable as winter ocean waves in Hawaii
or storms crashing upon boulders on the rugged
coast of Maine, though the danger here is that
these waters run nearly dry this time of year,
not that they will whip themselves into currents
that, to the unaware, can and do take lives
of lobstermen and surfers, alike;

Rains come to this dry landscape,
made fertile only through great effort,
time and patience giving rise to grasses rich
enough to provision livestock who, in turn, feed
many others in that final incarnation within
styrofoam and plastic covered containers scooped
up in supermarkets rather than on the farm;

When my girls were growing up, I would drive
from Maine’s woods and waters to the wide-open
fields to the west where farm families would offer
raw unpasteurized milk and butter, along
with freshly butchered meat, a practice
eventually made illegal by laws enacted
by greedy corporations spreading falsehoods
about the purity of these products
and something was lost in the circle of life,
the understanding of where our food comes from,
the sweat and toil it takes to wake up early
to milk dairy cows, the reverence or lack
thereof in the ending of a life meant to salve
appetites of others, the recycling of manure
to fertilize fields in which we later picked
strawberries, scooped up sweet corn, pumpkins
and other produce our own small plot and my lack
of skill would prohibit for a time;

And now here we are, eight billion and counting,
a planet in crisis and our own species learning
that we must rediscover the old, sustainable ways
of doing things if we are to survive and thrive
amidst too much urban sprawl, corporate corruption
and political greed; we must take back our power
to provide for ourselves and our communities
as we once again discover joy in simplicity
whilst tending to this precious planet and her
flora and fauna as if humans were part
of the web of life, as if we actually belonged.

My flower gardens still provide me absolute bliss.

Squirrely

My stomach lurches and rises, falls
into complacency as I ponder events
of the morning, neighbors meeting
and greeting, my outward self effusive
whilst my insides struggle with parity,
and such is this life of introversion;

I yearn for the human experience,
all of it, and I constantly question
how to fit into the whole of it,
how others seem to manage,
socialization being a complication
long dealt with by a trained persona,
treasured heart-to-heart connections
all too rare and fleeting;

Still, I surely know my place is ever
to understand, to experience, integrate
an unforced and unconditional
acceptance, like or dislike stationed
alongside a badly needed unity
in this fractured human existence;

And then there are the squirrels,
my love of all creatures, even unto
feeling more akin to them than
to my own species, and yet
yesterday, one of these fat rodents
breached the garden wall, slipped
between wood and wire, destroying
newly sprouted seedlings, eating them
down to the roots, dahlia stripped
of too many leaves to survive, flowers
and lettuce decimated;

And I pondered guns and obliteration
and dens and tiny ones underground,
awaiting the return of an imagined parent,
and I simply do not know some days
who I am and what I represent at the core,
if not the celebration of all life, just
as the neighbors mentioned above offer
a live trap, options to relocate, a solution
not dreamt of at first, contributing
to the juxtaposition of confusion
and immense gratitude I feel nearly
every day for my fellow imperfect,
evolving human beings.

I know, it’s a chipmunk and not a squirrel. S/he is not the culprit spoken of ;

Unashamed

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There have been many reasons these past few years to feel deep remorse as an American; things that a government ‘by the People’ should never have enacted on The People’s behalf. I could write a treatise on these assaults to our humanity, but will spare you that, at least.

In our country, lines have been increasingly blurred with regards to separation of church and state, and I am flooded with gratitude today that our Supreme Court, at least, has demonstrated wisdom in reinforcing this boundary.

Freedom to love whom we wish without legal bias can only give rise to protection under the law for everyone. It’s all I can do to sit still and write this. Consider it my virtual dance of delight.

Conundrum

We live in a cultureĀ of individuality:
what we aspire to,
a filling ourselves up
with ourselves.
Ah, the miracle!
We might well fear loneliness
in quest for that unique seed
we term Self.

Still, something inside thrums,
knows to its core we are not now,
nor have we ever been
Separate.
Individual.
That is the myth of modernity.

What have we left behind then,
in this search for singularity?
How can we exist as unique,
save in relation to others?
Without them, who will tell us
of our wonder, our splendor,
our prowess and might,
our superior intellect?

Who will be there to stroke
our massive ego
in a strange little universe
Alone?

iu