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The North Wind and the elementals
some call sprites are real creatures.
They bear their names, given by
the imaginations of men
with pride, and the task they have,
to clean up the stale nothingness,
with equal force. Their nature is
against ours, if we think we are
immune to the retaliation of the earth:
the one rhythm, the one time, the one
real mother – Gaia.

                            I tuned in
early one morning to the sound
of my memories coming back through the night,
recollections of what was good, or had gone rotten
in a grizzling day. The needs of pocket
and the needs of family had worn me
– meditation could not soothe me –
and the fitful anger of a sleepless night,
only solace a magical dream flight
away from weariness.
                            In the March dawn
birds were sending songs
out into the air, hoping for a mate to appear,
and for a while I stood at the garden door,
to drink in some of that energetic air.
It has been a hard winter, and fewer
of the birds that might have sung
on that morning were around, but they
do not pity themselves, or their role
in the world, but sing instead of joy
at being left at the start of Spring
to recover what needs to be recovered,
drink in what the earth has given
and begin again.
                            Yet Spring
soon slips into summer, the old
ways return, the bias and urge
of everything toward itself,
nurturing the self, vanity and pride
high in the egotistical tree;
the cry of ‘I’, the swell of ‘me’
echoes around the canopy. Where eagles
soar, and wheel away among the clouds,
caught in the thermal tremor, the great push
of vacant space around the globe
hurrying, pushing, wearying we sit below
scurrying, persisting, worrying. Forces
of nature, and Gaia sits too,
patient as a continent, watchful
as the lion, as fearful of the changes
being wrought in the world as those
whose spirit echoes hers. For she
has given of her soul to many;
over her surface crawl human ants
taking charge of the everyday, trying
to convince others in their turn, that they
must change, that the rape of seed and plenty
inherited from her must be reversed,
must be stopped, or fear the worst.

Crying aloud, as well she might,
echoed in the song of the whale
the dolphin, the great cry
of the wounded elephant, a poacher’s dart
drilled into its heart, the last
of the persecuted, the single tear
of the orphan, wherever it occurs here.
We wring the notes out, we compose the song
the barter of year, the amalgam of dust
and disease, the overspreading fungus of fortune
the battery of guns, the smoke-filled sky
and the battle-cry, all descend to a chord
slow, vibrant, ringing out above the clouds
single, mournful, the tone and toll of death,
to be heard when she takes her revenge.