Back on Earth

After my recent sojourn into the realms of physics, down to the smallest energy/particle units and out to infinity and parallel universes, I’ve just been grounded again by reading Becoming Animal by David Abram. It’s a beautiful vision of this Earth in (not on) which we live, and of the sentience we share with all other beings, including such “things” as stones and clouds.

I’m posting a poem I wrote some years ago while camping at the American River. I shared it recently in a circle of women and girls gathered to celebrate the dark moon. Some of you wanted a copy, so here it is:

Poetry as River

“Poetry is a river”, Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

Clear water murmurs
the rhythm of its passage,
carries reflections on the surface,
dark tree silhouettes.
On the bottom, colored pebbles,
green stone stanzas shine
below transparent liquid
recitation of moments,
days of bird song, canyon wren,
nights of starlight, constellations.
Poems glitter in gravel,
sparkle among the silt,
sometimes pan out after
hopeful washings.
Persistent words caress the rocks,
carve whorls in serpentine,
tumble massive boulders
like marbles, circle
in eddies, rest in quiet pools
under overhangs.

With patience, poems slip secretly
into our nets. They hover,
like dragonflies in sunlight,
swoop like bats at night,
perch on a leaf beside the river,
flex multicolored wings,
illuminate and illustrate,
and then pass on as we do,
replaced by next year’s torrent,
snow melt and rainfall.

Sylvia Patience

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