Today’s prompt is to write a settled poem. Thought I would try a sestina today. This is in honor of all those who will be protesting at the Lancaster County government offices tomorrow, protesting the proposed pipeline that will cut through Lancaster County, dangerously close to the Susquehanna River and through wildflower preserves and wildlands and the beautiful Tucquan Glen.
This morning, a single shaft of sun
settles on an opening curl of fern.
A hermit thrush yodels, breaking the silence;
a salamander lays her eggs in a vernal pool;
trout lilies, may apple, and trillium come alive in the breeze;
and a gravid squirrel prepares her birthing nest.
Spring has settled into this glen, this nest
of a valley dappled with sun
where a dread new word is whispered on the breeze:
“Pipeline.” Listen to me, seed and egg and fern.
Hear me. Let the message sink into the pools
and the shadows in these hollows. It shatters our silence.
The time is past for us to be settled and silent.
Safety will no longer be found nestled
in these hills, in these pools.
The trees will be torn out, your secrets open to the sun,
the yellow machines will crush the ferns,
and diesel fumes will waft on the breeze.
Tell it far. Let it float on the wild winds and breezes:
We must not stay silent!
Awake and rise up like the unfurling fern!
Un-settle yourselves to protect the wildness.
Be fierce and penetrating as the sun.
Let action ripple outward like circles in a disturbed pool.
We must work together, pull together, pool
our energies. Tell it to the breeze.
Marshall the forces of our hearts, our will, our reason.
Protect and preserve the settled silence.
Make it safe for the den, the perch, the nest,
for the spider, the swallow, the fern.
We want no pipeline, only the gentle swaying of the fern.
Tell them No. We want to see the salamanders in the pools
in the glen, the intricate basket of oriole’s nest,
the wild honeybees, the lady slipper, the melodious breeze.
Tell them a firm and settled No. We seek the solitude and silence
of the unscarred valley dappled by the sun.
1. The snow of blossoms from the pear tree outside the window
2. The sound of rain on the roof
3. Sun salutations
4. There are always more choices
5. Taking action
May we walk in Beauty!
2 thoughts on “Un-Settling”
I always love your leaders, letting me know the ‘sestina’ is in honor of folks who will evidently be protesting in the rain … a cleansing much like the one that needs happen in our hearts.
I love how supporters of pipelines always trot out the maps of how many pipelines there already are, as if to say that one more can’t cause any more harm than that already wrought.
We are rapidly being overtaken by the results of man’s hubris … may be that the tipping point in consciousness will come in time to save not only mankind, but the home for all of our kindred here on Gaia.
Thanks for all you do!
Thank you for the affirmation. Yes, it rained–heavily–during the protest. Spirits of the protesters were undampened, however. It seems as though local media have really picked up on the sense of outrage. I am hoping that will further our cause.