entanglements

Image by Tamarisk-Ray Glogauer

1.
the world deconstructs us
takes us apart
until bone fragment and skin smear –
we are identifiable as human alone,
but our humanity exists in the world
we have torn ourselves from.
the one where a phalange in a cave in siberia
is not enough to tell the fern soaked story
of lives lived in tree shadow,
tell the stories between blood and water
breath birth and death that prowls just beyond
the light of fire
the warmth of touch
and stench of living
close.

and yet and yet
we are this world that deconstructs
and cleanses us of our humanity; this
and everything we were before,
the ghosts of our living past
doing a merry bone dance
alongside our daily shuffle
from bed
to work
to bed.

2.
alone in a room
lights dim curtains drawn
air-conditioner breathing comfortably
in perpetual nowhere time.
alone in a room
a child a man
a human sits
amongst the plastic debris
and food waste of their living
controls resting in limp hands
while the room staggers pauses
flashes blue with a repeat message
on the screen
game over
game over
game over

3.
alone in the dark
by torchlight
my daughter and i
check the rabbit house for damage.
woken 2am by a voice
that must have been the soundtrack
for every monster movie ever made
and who knew they even made that sound
until we caught them teeth bared
in a beam of light.
but now is dark and chill as we
cautiously reach into the too quiet night –
trying to hear if they have gone,
honey badger
mid-small and bumbling
cute at a distance, but crazy strong
and ferocious enough
to take on a pride of lions
if need be.

they are not messy hunters
no blood – clean neck break,
prey carried off into the night.
silence.

and hard as it is
to tally these midnight losses
we, the rabbits, the humans,
the badger, the chickens
the goats, the genet, the caracal
the cats, the owl, the sunbird, the moth –
we live by this forest –
live by the life growing green verdant
on this forest edge.

much as we live by the world
and think there is no balance and check
think that this world of glass bubbles
and steel does not have to obey
the laws of the earth that it is –
are surprised when balance
looks like a dust storm,
a heatwave
a virus.

and there is nothing to be taken personally
there is no person, big picture, separate
or alone
the only single entity
on the planet
is the planet itself
and even then
it is unlikely she lives
untethered and alone
in the aching darkness
of forever.

4.
breakfast was toast.
sourdough from the market
farm butter
poached eggs from our hens,
black australorps
large and friendly
feathers dark as night shadows
offering them some protection
on the forests edge,
fiendishly smart at break out
and break in plans,
competing with us for garden greens
which today for breakfast
are piled high on the poached eggs.
coriander and basil,
red mustard , new zealand spinach,
some late chillies and garlic
all chopped and doused in olive oil.
a midwinter mid-morning feast.

after years of this
there is no denying
that our bones are built
of the soil of this place –
our blood the tree sap
that rises in spring.

5.
we have town clothes
well not really, but sort of maybe,
just shoes that don’t tramp goat shit
on the hallowed marble floors
of the local mall,
shawls that don’t traipse the forest
in our hems as we walk,
pockets that don’t rustle a handful
of oathay and a few clinking nails
amid the hush of white noise and unlight
of extended hour shopping
where we walk among many
masked and alone.

6.
long crested eagle
waited roadside post
its crest flapping
inelegantly in the breeze
as we made our way up the hill
down the road
to our home –
we stopped the car
dirt road quiet
and watched
as she watched.
us.
until enough of the laughter,
and the foppish crest flapping,
we took to the sky
lighthearted.

7.
again a prediction of night gales
again a fire risk warning
today 8 july
21 500 new cases
in the last 24 hours.
it is hard to hold the balance,
hard not to surrender to the fear.

8.
there is no prayer
i can speak
for this time –
there are no words
i can shape
into winged beasts of hope
that may fly the forgotten skies
of tomorrow and tomorrow,
seven generations down.
i can only speak
to this darkness
that knows
the dawn will come.
and know that we are,
every bark leafed,
clawed and slippery skinned
one of us,
that we are the hope
of our ancestors
who lived
long enough
to hope.


For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: Interdepence Day

https://earthweal.com/2021/07/05/earthweal-weekly-challenge-interdependence-day/

15 thoughts on “entanglements

  1. Gah! What a GLORIOUS poem, full of the stuff of your daily life, that gives me a glimpse into a wonderful world where humans are definitely tuned in to the natural world. Too many wonderful images and pines to repeat. I simply loved all of it. A wonderful read. Sigh. A wonderful life you have made there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The hairs on my head are tingling from reading your poem. I am in awe of it – such a hymn, such acute understanding wrought from your experience of the world. I feel enriched by it. Thank you.

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    1. Goodness. Thank you Suzanne – I am a little overwhelmed by your comment, in a good way. So pleased it struck a chord with you. Thanks for reading. Beautiful day to you. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another beautiful tribute to the intersected tasks of living with the earth, human, plant, animal, all living things together. Life cannot continue without death. We can lock ourselves away with our machines, but, as you note, the check must still be paid in order to find the balance. (K)

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  4. There is strength here: the supple clatter of a bamboo forest; seeds stuck to socks to hitch a ride; the dive and cavort of ravens on the wind – the life beyond most of our meager bipedal belly button gazing.

    A strong poem, filled with such life – to me, one of your finest ~

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  5. Humans — and their poets — too easily sink into the illusion of fine suburban independence, awash in stuff, its sweetness and glitter — poor metaphors all for ‘the light of fire / the warmth of touch / and stench of living / close. It’s the difference between gliding on the polished floors of a shopping mall and existing daily on a farm next to the wild. The details of that interdependence are so alive here, so tangible — costly and dear in their own way but roots always are. Great poem, thanks for tending it with care. – Brendan

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  6. This was beautiful to read, with many a haunting image:

    ‘doing a merry bone dance
    alongside our daily shuffle
    from bed
    to work
    to bed.’

    This is so poignant in its simplicity. I like how you end on a hopeful note, in spite of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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