Monday, 27 of March of 2017

Category » Karen Coulter

Karen Coulter – In Arms of the Earth

RRR
 
lonelinessTrying to move beyond human loneliness
in the arms of the Earth,
assumptions and dependency on another’s
troubled mind a sickness
cured only by faith in the vast patterns
of unfolding natural time
Vanilla leaf and Pathfinder reaching up again
from the crumpled life trails we leave
many of us staying behind to ensure
that these five century-old firs
will still be standing to shelter the dreams
of our tribal children
singing old and new songs by the campfire,
expanding the circle of warmth and light
stopping from our hurried ways to talk deeply,
dive into the cleansing lake waters
with friends we only see here,
only touch once every one or two years.
More and more relations
of fertile colors of Earth joining us
Ignite_Earth_Firstin story, ritual, dance and struggle
-a young girl raising her hand in the
Nonviolence training,
Offering to risk the felony rap when all
the adults declined
-a brother from Chicago learning the wonders
of the “carnivorous forest with skags”-
together we find our way slowly further
like the small snail waving its feelers,
lifting the shell of its past life
over the small twigs
and crushed plants of our wanderings.
Naked bodies like the day we were born
swaying around the fire
pounding rhythms, swirling flames
and fireballs of pulsing energy
yet the bodies hold tequila;
the flames fume of kerosene;
a loud electric generator raises the volume.
We scavenge through a post-industrial
nightmare but bring up
industrial garbage
northcpastefin our art of returning
as if we need to saturate ourselves
with the sounds of gunfire
in our mob-like purging.
Even as we step into the green-tinged world
of the Thrush’s song
we scare away the bear
who would forage through our lives.
Its been such a long road here
of death, jail, love and courages-
time to rip up the asphalt
that is compacting our vision,
destroy the circumscribing painted lines
telling us to stay in oppressors boundaries
earth first victorylike the roadpeckers in Warner Creek
and the bunnies on the Jack Road
but digging deeper into ourselves,
looking into our actions
and seeing our goals clearly reflected
seeing the sun sparkles glittering
on the waves more clearly
after diving deep into the cool that refreshes
History, a dead machine of lies
Our story, alive and breathing
glowing in the embers
of the fire that warms us
and lights our faces
as we look at each other
and see ourselves.

Karen Coulter
August-September 2001 Earth First!


Karen Coulter – Big Seated Mountain

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Dzil Nchaa Si An (Big Seated Mountain)

White clouds racing across deep blue
fast, steady as the light footsteps
of the Apache runners
concentrating with each step
all energy into the earth
to heal her wounds,
vowing protection
asking guidance
spirit giving back to the source of all beings
earth returning strength
up through runners’ legs
so sweat drops unnoticed in the long climb
sacred earth objects giving strength
through runners’ hands
grasping rock and feathers
resistance and flexibility
the earth power felt by all
exchanged in smiles

Scattered throughout the sky island forest
red squirrel leaps, gathers, nestles and chatters
living ancient natural life
their dance of joy and death
as the cold metal helicopters whir louder
and louder
National Guard with infra-red sensors
buzzing the squirrels’ defenders
the mountain’s defenders
as we slam dance the caribou polka
threaten their monopolies with our poems and songs
our hugs and unity in purpose spread across the meadow
like wildflowers
Oppression nothing new to the Apache people
no longer new to us
borne silently by the great spinning cycles of life.

last night our tree climbers were tracked and stopped
but there are more of us
more life in us
and we have time–
time, and blood pulsing warm through our hearts
We don’t just come together to passively watch a movie,
to read the news digested for us
we come to dance beyond our shattered cultures
to reshape our tattered lives
by living for more than ourselves
by breathing for the squirrel
by running for the first people
by climbing the mountain to protect her
until glass flies in shards
from the passive observatories
mimicking a deranged spectator society
the glass flies glinting in the hot sun
reflecting our elders–the trees, the animals,
the sky, the people who grasp real life
the concrete crumbles back into dirt
the metal bars erode slowly back to rock
from our prayers, our steps and our hammers.

Karen Coulter
Sunday July 4, 1993


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