staring down the sun

Photo by Tamarisk-Ray Glogauer – Wilderness, South Africa.

there is futility in this bearing witness to no one,
bearing witness for who but ourselves
bearing witness for who might come after
when clearly our doomsday prayers
sing the end
the end – no who in sight
no after.

there is an inevitability
in this thin rhetoric,
a confidence in our march
through the end of time
a stark martyrdom –
for the greater good we say
of a planet, our planet
will be better off without us.

(“earth my body, rivers my blood”
tell my heart that i live on a planet
space rock – third from the sun,
that my body is a temple
when the temple is my body
when all the earth is wholly holy holy)

and some of us
have been building boats for sure
waiting for the waters to rise
waiting for our promised 40 days –
stocking up on canned beans
and coconut oil. learning
to spark the flint,
cradle the kindling,
blow breathe blow,
nurture enough fire to live by
(because the end of course
is not for everybody)

but the ark –
the ark itself gives me sleepless
nights pacing the cubits,
bare feet on new wood –
what beauty is worthy of salvation here –
who gets to come on board
two by two – not all
not all lest our salvation
become our sinking ship.
there are too many of us any way.
not you and me – just us – humans you know.

(“earth my body, water my blood”
air my breath, fire my spirit”
how we have burned and burned
looking for the fire
when the fire burns within –
sacred fire in the holy temple
holy holy holy)

carrot seeds and heirloom peppers
are a no brainer for sure –
but what of the useless,
the frivolous the pretty
do we store zinnia and lobelia,
and cosmos on the ark –
do we need them
and which beasts will come
two by two
the spotted and striped
feathered and clawed
the edible
and what of sperm whales
and sperm counts falling
like trees in the forest
what if our ark is barren–
what if it never rains
what if our end is drought.
what if the end is fire
what if we do not know the end
how do we, the righteous prepare,
build a fireproof flotilla
to navigate unknowable oceans.
some nature in the hold,
along with the beans
and our petty fears
and comforts enough
to end a world with –
bearing witness until,
last bean in the can
hot fried by an over zealous sun,
we can no more.

(“earth, my body,
water, my blood,
air, my breath
fire, my spirit”
we live we die we live
holy holy holy)

what if we don’t know how it ends.
or if.
how do we live
if it doesn’t.

For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: WITNESS TO MAGNITUDE


14 thoughts on “staring down the sun

  1. The magnitude of this poem is wonderful. You encompass it all, put our fears into words, take us down the page in a similar descent to the course we are on globally. I had hoped to be gone before the end times. Yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Using the ark as a vessel for our attempts to save ourselves feels just right. What is worthy? Does worthy even belong? “How do we live?” That is the question, the crux. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “learning to spark the flint, cradle the kindling,
    blow breathe blow, nurture enough fire to live by.”
    Getting back to nature has always been my dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here is the fragile ark that sails from despair to hope — it is our own hearted minds (or mindful hearts) that finds its strength and power in “we live we die we live / holy holy holy.” The unknowable ocean is our future but how we live today the assurance that the temple still thrives. Surprising (and happy) to see you post so early in the challenge — first! — You raise the challenge to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – thanks Brendan, I was a little surprised too. Trying to poem a day again for while – just to loosen it up a bit – as a result there is no stewing on your prompt for days. (Although truthfully I am probably still stewing on it a bit.) Happy Tuesday to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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