Misunderstood throughout history,
tortured, drowned and burnt at the stake,
you scrutinise Trumpian mockery
amid the terrible intensity
of wildfires, plague and death,
and all their haunted weirdness.
You have seen us at our worst;
this wicked summer we have seen it too,
and we rue our inaction in the face of doom.
Forget the shaman, Chiron and Mentor,
all male, all muscle-bound and bristling
with testosterone. We need a feminine touch:
Earth Mothers versed in listening
to the sky, the air, the soil beneath their feet,
the quickening of the seasons’ beat,
who understand the textures of rain,
who can green our planet once again
and still the tongues of rampant men.
With our dead just beyond the edge
of thought, we invoke you to pledge
your wisdom and allegiance to a condemned
race, gentle hands to guide us away from the end.
Kim M. Russell, 22nd September 2020
My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Mentors for a Changed World
In these dark times, Brendan would like us to write about mentors. ‘Can these wise ones help with times like these? Can they rally and nourish a forwarding center? What are the figures, from myth and mystery, from the animal world and our dead, from prehistoric depths and personal history, who can tell us something important about going forward?’
I have taken words and phrases I found in Brendan’s essay and woven them into a poem.