Friday, 23 of February of 2018

Barbara Meyn – At the Planning Commission

According to Amazon, Barbara Meyn published four books. A native of Northern California she passed away peacefully on January 10, 2011.
In the introduction of her book The Abalone Heart D. L. Emblen says of Meyn’s writing: “The importance of the place where she walks is not in her footprints, which are very much like anyone else’s. It is in the genuineness of the work that comes out of the place, a genuineness which grows out of the care with which this poet takes in this place.”

That it should come to this–that we
movers of earth, cutters of trees,
polluters of springs and streams
should sit in a heated public room
deciding where fences shall be run
over the unresisting land,
decreeing where power lines shall go
and houses of the rich be planted!
In the beam of the overhead projector
a French-curve map stains the wall,
lots laid out like steaks and chops
on a butcher’s cutting chart.
I’ve seen this mountain in another light,
toothed with the quiet symmetry of firs,
after a night when deer and fox and owl
fed and went to sleep, coyote’s song
brought the dark alive and skunk
left a subtle warning on the wind.

Restlessly I cross my legs, uncross them.
I have had my say. Now it is up to the five
behind microphones at the front of the room,
visibly tired, thinking of dinner,
craving a cigarette, a coffee break.
I forgot to tell them about the salamanders
dark as chocolate, torpid with cold,
that move up the mountain about this time
every year, how easy it is to drive
right over them if you are unaware.
I forgot to tell them about the golden eagle
that clings to the top of the transmission tower,
feathers in the air, talons clutching metal,
half in this world, half in one we made.

Barbara Meyn
August 1993 Earth First!



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