The Wind

Be with the wind,

dear child,

be with the wind

because the wind will never fail you.

It tells it like it is:

present yet invisible

until it pounds its mighty fist,

roof tiles falling,

refugees sprawling;

the next day gentle,

subtle whispers on the cheek,

nature calling,

mother asking

for a forgiveness she does not owe.

 

Be with the wind

because “wind” is just a word,

because “truth” is not a story

or a prayer or a hymn.

 

The only truth is beneath our feet,

in the air that speaks

with an ask that is beyond forgiveness,

a force reminding us

that change is imminent.

 

November 23, 2019

Inheritance

What legacy

have I been born into,

have you been born into,

have we been born into?

 

The farmer,

the preacher,

the banker,

the slave owner,

the slave;

the pawn,

the mom,

the sister,

the son,

the game.

 

It’s all a game of competition

or at least it all seems like a game of competition…

 

The Earth is not a game.

The Earth is life;

and we are part of the Earth.

 

We have each been handed an inheritance

that we had no control over.  You’re right.

 

We’ve all been infants, breast fed, bottle fed,

learned to read if we were lucky.

 

But how much did we really learn

if I am unable to read the society around me–

if society is unable to read itself?

 

Who created this inheritance, thought it was a good idea?

 

What is an inheritance anyway?

 

If leaves learned to read, write, speak

as we have…

perhaps we would have an answer.

 

January 22, 2017

“Nature”

“In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it) become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.” –Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed has been an influential text in my own life and the work that I do as an educator.  But there is another, arguably more crucial way to interpret this term, “oppressor.”

We oppress the Earth through the way we live.  Every single day.  Killing this Earth and the life that lives on it.

Balance is the way.  We cannot take and not give back.

There is no refusing this fact.

We must put our energy into changing the way we live as individuals, communities, as a society as a whole.  For there is no “nature”– the term simply separates us from a whole we could never truly separate ourselves from.  There is simply this Earth and the beings that live on it, all depending on balance and diversity to survive.   No matter what we believe, we must KNOW this to be true.  And we must start practicing it.

Perhaps we are not inherently flawed as human beings; we are simply living a destructive lifestyle.

Sadly, tragically, however you feel about it, the Earth will not turn around and “save us.” It will balance itself as it sees fit.  Thus we, humans, the majority of us living in some form of modern society that takes more than it gives, must turn the quote around.  The oppressor must admit to their oppression and not only restore our humanity but redefine it.  Being human should not be about power.

Perhaps it should be about life.

It is much simpler to imagine ways for an individual to change their lifestyles than ways that an entire society can change.  If you or anyone you know has ideas, please share.

January 3, 2017

Home

The journey

inside a man

will always

begin and end

with a woman.

 

She taught us

to peer up at the sky in contentment rather than glee,

to leave the grass un-trampled, to look for food

where you’d least expect to find it.

 

She is

every shade

of blue and green

and brown and grey

and when night falls

she continues to rise,

moving every current,

every tide.

 

When you awake to the sun

remember

that it is the same sun

that existed 3 billion years ago–

my mother, your mother,

was there, too.

 

In her younger years

she raised her first child,

told them they’d never need to walk alone

that if they fell, to trust her

that if they lived, to thank her

and if they died, to thank her, too.

 

She is never prideful,

ever present, ever strong.

 

She surrounds me

and fills my bones.

 

Earth:

our first mother,

our only home.

 

November 12, 2016