Earth Singing

Thousands of years of spinning
make me dizzy, and yet I see
more clearly than I did before,

despite the salty tears brimming
not with creatures of the sea
but plastic-coated. Scale and claw

are permanently swimming
in pollution. Furthermore,
I want to be relieved

from the constant digging
at my flesh and bone, the chainsaws
that destroy my ancient trees,

cause my asthmatic breathing,
make me sleepless and heart-sore,
until I feel I might be breaklng

down. My axis is creaking,
I feel my surface quaking,
and everything is out of sync,

except for songs and poetry,
they still flow and will for evermore.

Kim M. Russell, 3rd May 2021

marble toy

Image by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash

My response to earthweal Wounded Healer: Songs of the Earth Shaman

Brendan has started May with an interesting essay. He starts with a writer I knew very little about, Oliver Sacks. I had heard of his book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, but never read it, and I have seen the film ‘Awakenings’.  I was taken by his use of narrative ‘as the more faithful, direct and humane path to successful diagnosis and treatment’ and Brendan’s idea of ‘the wounded healer, one who can heal because h/she has experienced themselves the deep springs of life and death’. He gives an example from Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus, and the ‘wounding experience which qualifies one to heal’ or write poems. He gives examples of wounded healers throughout history, from shaman to priest and saviour, alchemist and psychiatrist.

Like Brendan, I wonder if the ‘damage and addlements of my youth fed and blossomed my adult into poetry’. He asks, ‘if that is so, why not the world? What are the Songs of the Earth Shaman?’

23 thoughts on “Earth Singing

  1. It seems we were thinking along the same lines here, Kim, though you ended on a far more positive note. I think the songs will live on in one form or another even after we are gone. I love the idea of an aging creature, harried by the outside noise and irritation, but so much bigger than it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ingrid. Poor old Earth, we’re bringing it to its aching knees. I’ll be back to read later – I’m taking a break to get some washing on and eat some breakfast!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm. Lots of wounded earth here but hard to see how poetry heals. Is it like bacteria that survives the fall? Maybe Earth Shaman is a busted metaphor, I’m struggling with it too. How does a plastic-littered ocean become the Earth we saved? How does an addict’s needle-pocked arm become a road of singing souls? Dunno.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the idea that poetry and songs will continue to flow, heal and bring awakening Kim, where more and more people will treat Mother Earth kindly. I see so many amazing conservation projects and positive initiatives around me 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I resonate with the asthmatic breathing. I carry an inhaler in my purse for those tense moments when I need air. We need to keep our air clean so all humanity can breathe in generations to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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