Wednesday, 13 of December of 2017

Tag » restoration

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!

Lucille Lang Day – Flows into the Gulf


Melted snow from the crests of the Rockies rushes
past pinyon pines limber pines lodgepole pines
corkbark firs ponderosas gathering silt as it reaches
bur oaks cottonwoods staghorn sumacs silver maples
passes prairie cord grass winds through cattails duckweed
skunk cabbage finally to mingle in the Mississippi
with water draining from thirty-one states where hunter-gatherers
lived with bison herds for ten thousand years

Now the river carries oven cleaner
human feces and caffeine
medical residue from hospitals and laboratories
scouring powder and soap from millions of houses
antibiotics from all the cattle ranches in the Midwest
solvents from farm-machinery plants
pesticides from corn and soybean fields
ingredients used to make plastic
enough estrogen from birth control pills to bend the genders of fish
thousands of tons of herbicides
fertilizers that cause algae to form massive green carpets in the gulf
which leads to an explosion of bacteria that decompose algae and kill
everything in an area the size of Massachusetts each year

All this even before 206 million gallons of oil
from the Deepwater Horizon blowout
before hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil dispersant
containing chemicals that destroy red blood cells and cause cancer
It all enters the shimmering, translucent bodies
of arrow worms and dinoflagellates consumed by oysters
the algae scooped up and eaten by shrimp
the crabs that crush mollusks and shrimp with their chelipeds
the sea bass whose stout jaws clamp down on any smaller creature
Of course, it’s in our blood and hair and fingernails
It floats in our hearts and permeates our brains as surely
as hope or anger It’s in your body and mine—
these molecules that cling like lovers to our bones

First published in Ambush Review #3, 2012

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