Saturday, 23 of August of 2014

Tag » Ecology

D.H. Lawrence – Snake

DH_LawrenceA snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
The stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
TheBethDailyVerseBeing earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him?
Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him?
Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

TumblrAnd yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
WaterTroughAnd looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
FPE-girl-and-snakeInto the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Taormina, 1923


Anthony Burgess Speaks: 1985 — The Rage of D.H. Lawrence (2/4)
Anthony Burgess Speaks: 1985 — The Rage of D.H. Lawrence (3/4)
Anthony Burgess Speaks: 1985 — The Rage of D.H. Lawrence (4/4)

Karen Coulter – In Arms of the Earth

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!

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