Poem a Day: 22

The prompts today were Quirk and Earth–lovely little sound play there! This happened while I was out walking:

Sentience
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

What is this being human,
but the quirk of birth
into this form of organism
here on Earth? Are you
more person than the plants
who daily give you grateful breath,
receiving yours in sacred
reciprocity? Am I more being
than the stones made
of the minerals that map
my own bones and blood?

What is sentience,
but knowing oneself
within one’s place? And
that flat rock up on the hillside
does it with much more grace
than either you or I.
Rocks and rivers, ibises
and spiders, fish and fox—
all inhabit their beingness
with as much instinct and
awareness as you or I
could hope to muster.

What is the human drive
to settle always at the top,
to strive for dominance,
defining us as something
always more complete,
more comprehensive,
more masterfully apt,
than ape or aster?

Hasn’t this been the root
of our disaster, the lines
we draw between ourselves
and the living, breathing
world around us? Thus
we place ourselves
outside of place, when we refuse
to acknowledge other knowing,
other forms of growing
into personhood and being.

Better we should recognize
the neighborhood of beings
who surround us, each
with their own song and story,
each with their own wisdom,
if we knew only how to notice.