A few weeks ago I attended Deena Metzger's Writers' Intensive. Once again, a profound week with a wonderful group of writers. The intensive does not focus on writing poetry, but rather on stories. Still, one poem came in response to the poem I received at the beginning of intensive, something to contemplate and consider. I may blog some of the personal story I wrote about later, but in any case, here is the poem.
water use in our dry
will be restricted.
My little pomegranate tree,
only two years old,
just burst out with three deep red flowers.
Last year the tiny fruit fell off, too heavy
for spindly young branches to bear.
I don’t want the baby tree to die
from lack of water, so I will
catch shower-heating water in a bucket
and save the liquid from steaming artichokes
to dribble onto the dry soil.
The rains do not come, cannot come.
No rain to evoke sadness
or a flow of memories, but sadness
and the ghosts of memories arrive.
What comes from the sky is dust,
what water arrives is in our eyes.
Looking up for omens and comets,
we struggle to see, to hear something,
to wait for a message, to change.
And still, I love the earth.
The earth Is not the world.
The world of drought and fire,
floods and reckless storms
is of our making.
Our tears are salty and insufficient.
The blown dust and ash clog our eyes.
Yet despite all the horror, all the brokenness,
the redwoods and pines draw up
and display their good green life.
The earth still and always reminds us
to keep on, to love anyway,
to sit down with our ancestors’ ghosts,
to keep telling the stories.
The earth has everything, bears everything –
us, the trees, the life-giving waters,
the myriad other beings.
With all that we have done to her,
can we do any less?