When Earth Meets the Son by Sara Wright

As I curl up

in my hatchback

open to sky

I am a snail

loving her shell
sun warms

me from behind
Autumn light
shimmers, leaves
a testament
to breeze

 some withered

by a freeze.
Burnt umber
Gold
Salmon
the understory
in full glory
Bare hardwoods 

peer down

 sentries stationed
Overhead
Acorn browned oak 
leaves smudge

 sage greens

dark crimson

bleeds
geese fly by

haunting goodbye
A dragonfly lands
on my foot
Not a grouse 
in sight
Hunted
in thickets
too thorny
for stealth
She’ll
live to see
another dawning
Scarlet pockmarked palms
lie face up

on the ground.

Warning.

 Signs are everywhere.
Insect ridden leaves –
puncture marks
deform once

smooth hands
some shriveled

beyond recognition.

Science and Sages say
it will get worse

How can it not?

Even as I gaze

into golden beech

understory –

 just out of sight

 limbed poles

stacked in

matchstick piles

 live branches

ground to sawdust

 in massive

 mechanical chippers.

 Forest mourning.

Logging trucks
loaded with saplings

guarantee

not a tree will

be spared

And still they repeat

the old story:

“we’ll just grow more” .

Turning a Will full blind eye…

Mycelia torn into shreds

can no longer

birth new soil.


 Earth might return
to the ocean to

begin again?

2. 5 billion years ago

algae married fungi

mosses

climbed out of the sea

birthing green

on bare stone.

Underwater forests
may be all that’s 
left –

 Swaying curtains of kelp

 slippery ribbons –

  hide spiraled tentacles…

 snails without a shell,

shoot through murky water

 mad with sharks –

 will plastic smother

this world too?

Some don’t feel the need

to change.


Here they come

the joyriders

freezing my brain

Weekend Fun.

 Screaming machines

 drown wild
  river’s symphony.

Birds grow silent
A Peace Cloud

evaporates
Molecules explode
Pollution chokes
Wonder.


Blue sky
too thin

Behind this illusion

No one is listening.
Poisoned air

 deadens the day
A blazing sun
Star remains.

This poem was written in response to a glory filled autumn day that despite my intention to appreciate it spiraled into the present Earth Catastrophe we are facing through the lens of NOISE.

The rains had been heavy – four inches deep – swelling brooks and streams and pulling leaves away to expose bare branches. A perfect day to visit the river…

But in the first hour of walking my dogs and I were assaulted by screaming mountain bikes chewing up the roads. Back and forth they drove – robots dressed in armor from other planets.

I refused to allow this obscenity to intrude or so I thought until returning to the car I wrote the poem.

Truth pours through words that remind me that like it or not I am chained to this willful destructive dying culture – I shudder, hanging by a thread. We are all in breakdown.

My intention to live in the present is dependent upon having a meaningful present to live in.

The forested places are my solace because Something is always watching, and listening to me there, but that fragile connection is being broken by an invasion from below – the dark unholy noise that shatters sanity.

 We are a culture addicted to not seeing, or feeling when the earth is screaming for our attention NOW. Sadly, I see that women are half of the problem. Women have been severed from, and block nature as effectively as men do. Women race through woodland trails chattering incessantly, use nature like they use a gym to improve physical health which has absolutely nothing to do with being in relationship with nature. It is true that there are exceptions; some of us are dedicated to advocating for nature and exposing patriarchy as the monster it has become. But this is not the norm.

The destructive power of the ‘son’ is rising as patriarchal noise is normalized for both men and women. I immediately think of the sixties song The Sounds of Silence which if possible impacts me more powerfully today than it did as a 20 year old. That song addressed the negative consequences of silence, the loneliness attached to not being seen or heard. Now we are dealing with the consequences of never having enough silence to think, reflect or dream. The other extreme. All Noise is a form of violence. Most of us are not aware that continuous jarring sounds damage our bodies on a cellular level. The dominance of the noise driven male machine mentality seems to have infected every aspect of the culture. Videos, movies, TV shows play out scenarios of torture rape and murder, school children are shot on a regular basis, Indigenous women continue to disappear, domestic abuse, rape and murder of women is at an all time high and still most folks manage not to see…

 It has become almost impossible to find a quiet place where in Silence, what I call the space in between – nature begins to speak.

 Just last week I discussed this issue with a very successful and well- known scientist/researcher who is also friend of mine. This man is also a powerful Indigenous healer who regularly communes with the spirit world of nature, and like me, he is is finding it harder and harder to find places to go in the woods where silence creates the space for communion.

 Once a week he climbs a mountain that is far enough away from the mass of humanity to commune in peace with nature  “to keep his sanity”. My friend is becoming my latest teacher helping me to find just the right resonance to move into the light trance state that allows the spirits of nature to come through. Because I love frogs he is making me a tape of frog songs. It’s up to me to sense just when the resonance is just right to allow me to enter that trance state so that eventually I can do it anywhere. However, silence is still a necessity even if it is induced artificially. I too go to the forest as often as I can. I am drawn to the lowlands that have been left alone and are rich in plant and understory diversity as well as having an abundance of old hemlocks and pines. Unfortunately, roads that run parallel with these woodland paths allow screeching machines to drown out the sound of running water, or needles falling making it impossible for me to experience peace, let alone enter a light trance state. I feel invaded by this foreign culture, a culture I cannot escape.

 Our woodlands, if they are not yet stripped of their trees are being invaded by blind outdoor hikers racing up the mountains to get to the ‘view’. Obscenely wide trails cut through forest remnants allow screeching mountain bikes and four wheelers (ridden by both men and women) to ‘re-create’ at nature’s expense because “the machines are such an important economical resource”. These trails are also cluttered by runners or people chattering endlessly as they move through the forest without ever seeing it.

 Last weekend I ran into a retired logger, the kind that used to cut wood sustainably, and yet after spending 60 years in the woods he had no idea of what I was looking at or photographing – it happened to be a large lichen that used to be very common in this area – one of my favorites – now rare because it is dying as a result of too much air pollution. How was it possible that this man spent his entire life in the woods cutting down trees and never saw one of see these extraordinary Beings? Lichens embody community. Blue green algae married fungi eons ago and crawled onto land along with mosses, the ancestors of all plants and trees.

Susan Griffin addressed the relationship between women and  the earth in the 70’s. What happened to this eco-feminism perspective?  Today, we need women to rise up first as earth advocates, and then on our own behalf. To help the earth mediate the devastating effects of capitalism and climate change is to help us save ourselves. The earth will not be destroyed by humans; in some form the planet will survive.  However, whatever happens next will not bring back what has been lost.

If there is any hope at all to reestablish relationship with nature/ourselves to cease the ‘war on nature’ it will originate with women. We seem to have forgotten that women weave those threads of interconnection as part of being female, as long as we are females who are in touch with our natural intuitive ability to be in intimate relationship with the natural world even when grieving comes first.

BIO: Sara Wright is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.



Categories: Eco-systems, Ecofeminism, General, Nature, Poetry

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. wow I have no idea what happened here… I edited this piece but WordPress is doing weird things these days, changing information – I have not been able to write a post of my own for my WordPress blog for over a month – and the directions given in the forum are too hard to understand…. I apologize for this mess.

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  2. I went back to check this article in my computer and it is written there correctly – so WordPress made up this mess. WordPress is also changing the lines of poetry i write – I am starting to take all this craziness personally… feeling some despair as well – can’t get this problem solved.

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  3. Sara, I think this was my fault. I had an overlay problem and then started over but I may have left up some of the previous version creating another overlay. I think I have fixed it now. Email if not. I hope this is OK now.

    It is a very meaningful post, thank you for it.

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  4. Thank you for this post. Your comments “[they] use nature like they use a gym to improve physical health which has absolutely nothing to do with being in relationship with nature” and “cluttered by runners or people chattering endlessly as they move through the forest without ever seeing it” reminds me of an experience in Girl Scout camp more than 60 years ago. We were on a night hike, singing campfire songs. Then one of the counsellors said “Let’s walk quietly, listen to the sounds of the woods”. A transformative experience! And even recently, as I was walking in the city, enjoying my neighbours’ gardens and the sound of the birds, one of my neighbours rushed past me, saying over her shoulder, “I can’t stop to chat, my daughter and I are competing to see who can make the most circuits of the block in the shortest time”. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much to think about in this post. I also had a similar experience regarding the lack of silence. We have lots of conservation land near my house and I often go walking there, but there is always the sound of civilization because developments have encroached on wild areas so much – cars, people talking, and especially, this time of year, incessant leaf blowers. I was in a real forest a week or so ago and I was struck by the silence and how peaceful and healing it was. There was an occasional sound of leaves falling or animals rustling nearby, but these enhanced the silence. Lack of noise should be a right. It is so important to human health but there are only the most vague bylaws about it. Many towns around me are trying to ban leaf blowers – the blowers are not only sound polluters but also pollute the environment and disrupt larvae and other beings who live on the fallen leaves over the winter. So at least that is a step, a small one, in the right direction!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unfortunately, unless we radically shift the CONTEXT of noise pollution the removal of one machine will simply be replaced by another.

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