The ant, his sting—
the scorpion, his horn—
the lowly on this earth
rise up, adapt.
The cactus spine,
the thistle’s quill
survive the brilliance
that has blinded us.
The coyote knows
we have never been
except as providers—
making his living
knowing how we think,
to clean-up behind us.
All our wealth and power,
instant ease and comforts
feed him, yet we are starved
for something more secure
than convenient hearts
carved to hang bejeweled
around our necks
on heavy chains.
It is no secret,
we have lost
that sense of awe
that boils us down
of any real
Before and after the weather report
we get news from far away places:
tragedies and terrible things
that want to linger in our minds
asking questions—but we don’t like
the answers that must be true
about the nature of humans opposed
to peace, that are driven to leave
horrible impressions behind.
We watch the cows come into water
in a well-spaced line, taking turns
at the trough, then count quail babies
herded on the lawn to escape the cat.
Within a wrinkle among so many others
on the durable hide of this planet,
we inhabit a canyon shaped
by the allocation of water
apart from the world outside.
I wake to dreams running
with Japhy Rider glowing old,
each awakening begins
a new act, a new setting,
new and easy conversations,
and we are grinning.
I am small in all this,
absorbing each moment
as it unfolds, and fall
into that fuzzy parallel plane
where souls gather,
the dead and alive—
where scientists and governments
cannot touch the caring core
of humanity, where Wall Street
wanes. I wonder now awake
if he remembers me
from last night’s sleep.
We are, and always have been, subjects
of the weather, of the blazing sun
and phasing moon, the swirling winds
and tides—subjects, lackeys to the Queen’s
whims and oversights—all men’s progress
subject to a careless sleeve. We think
we know her moods, read the signs,
taste change, but wait for instruction.
We are among the insects of the grasses,
our labors short-lived and forgotten
on this planet, with our real selves
but a mumble in the background.
We must learn to sing, find a voice
to harmonize with every changing
circumstance—a steady rhythm
we can dance to without stumbling.
No one of us can save the world
its pain, far greater than we care
to imagine, but before us each
new day, a place to put our hearts
and hands to work—opportunities
to improve the space in which we live—
a contagious caring running beneath
the outrageous currents we can’t control.
WPC(1)–“Forces of Nature”
What has become of us,
quick to fire
at silhouettes in shadows,
raw anger mobbing
We need a holiday
some space and peace
with this economy—
time to care.
An early Christmas wish,
a common gift
we all can share.