Monday, March 29, 2021

How We Hold It Together


I'm thinking today of how
another crazed man armed with a knife
killed a person and injured six others
in front of the Lynn Valley Library
yesterday in North Van. 
This used to happen in the U.S.,
but now it is happening here,
hate crossing the border.
The dark hearts have been unleashed
and given permission; they
are enjoying the unfettering
of their violent impulses.

How will we ever get these disturbed genies
back in their bottles?
The good news: the people who intervened
to save lives, who kept the man there
till policemen arrived.

I'm thinking of how we hold it together:
the bottle of red wine I carry home
for watching the news; a treat for dessert;
good books and old familiar movies;
a heart-leap, noting pink edges
on the fat, bursting, ready-to-open cherry buds
on the big old trees out front;
a treat and a pat on the head
for the wolf-dog next door,
who lifts my heart with his
wild and toothy grin.

Somehow we still make a life,
make a living with whatever is at hand:
sunshine and forest walks, a chat with
a neighbour, kindness, given and received,
wherever we can find it.

Meanwhile, the big wheels we cannot control
continue their ominous turning.
Hillsides bleed tears; forest defenders stand
in front of logging trucks.
Fish trawlers empty the ocean,
no thought to the generations ahead
who will have no fish.
Capitalism gobbles the world faster than
we can replenish it. Our hearts ache
for all we are losing: forests and shorelines,
as all the wild ones silently disappear.

We are a small universe among other universes,
the poet says. That gives me some peace.
If not us, then some creatures, someday,
will open their eyes on a natural world
once again. They will begin their careful living,
understanding what we have so clearly
not understood: put back what you take,
so that all of the future
can live.

Inspired by "After Reading There Might Be an Infinite Number of Dimensions" by Martha Silano. The italicized lines are hers. The universe line is Brendan's, at earthweal, where we are contemplating turning points.


  1. "How will we ever get these disturbed genies
    back in their bottles?"

    so well worded

    much love

  2. Thank goodness for the red wine, the books, and the old movies....yes, somehow we find a way to hold it all together as so much in the world seems to swirl out of control!!

  3. Your third stanza pinpoints the way I keep it together, except I have a cat not a dog. The natural world will prevail and the crazies, I hope, can be shuffled back to the bottom of the deck. Or under a rock, as the as the case may be.


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