Monday, May 9, 2022

The Poetry of Witness

A hillside falls away; we catch our breath.
Every day, now, we are witnessing the magnitude
of this present we have created, foreshadowing 
a hot and steamy future. Frog and pot,
we simmer just beneath the boil.

Wildfires are burning, rivers turn into lakes
and swallow towns. Trees tumble down a slope
like skidding toboggans, as Alaska melts
and polar bears grow thin.
And we live on. Nothing changes much,
except everything gets worse.
Large segments of the populace go mad.
Hatred, terror and grief are everywhere.
Humanity has lost its way; is there still time
to recalibrate our compass with the
songlines, re-align
our hearts and minds?

It comes to pass, the Mayans said.
We write the poetry of witness, of awe,
of fearful wonder - and the grief of comprehending
in our starry bones that we are witnessing
a leaving. We move forward because forward
is all we know, into the Great Amorphous Beyond
that holds our common fate.
I fear that we may be awaking
forty years too late.

This landslide took my breath away. Brendan's prompt is timely.


  1. I wish this wasn't the case....but it is too late.

  2. How awful. These are very difficult times

  3. Sorry Sherry - that comment was by Suzanne - Wordpress blog - Mapping Uncertainty. I'm having trouble logging into blogger right now.

  4. To "re-align our hearts and minds,"
    that is exactly the cure for mankind.

  5. Landslides may be the loud mad laughter of rocks.

    May as well celebrate each day, though, yes? We are witness to cataclysm.

  6. That's grapeling. Not sure why not catching my moniker...

  7. Our witness is to what it means to be too late, to what this world is how to have a heart open and full of it and capable of loving in the growing magnitude of change. Eyes open, heart wide.

  8. Forward is all we know...and if only the words we keep repeating. But now. We could start something now...

  9. I just found out the other night that the Mayans did ritual human sacrifice. On children. So, let's not look there for wisdom. Birds and clouds will deliver us my friend!

  10. I echo the fears expressed in your haunting poem, Sherry! I witnessed a landslide in Slovenia: I heard it before I saw it; the mountainside crumbling away sounded like gunshots - a humbling experience...

  11. We are living in a time of great change and we are indeed witnessing the magnitude of what once stood and then crumbled


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