earthweal open link weekend #46

 

Happy Friday earthwealers,

Welcome to our open link weekend #46. Share a poem and visit your fellow linkers and comment.

Sherry takes over the reins for the next weekly challenge with a prompt that will make you both think and feel. I’m looking forward to it!

Open link lasts until midnight Sunday EST, when Sherry’s challenge rolls out.

—Brendan

 

 

earthweal weekly challenge: GIVING THANKS

 

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, winter approaches with dimmer days and longer nights. It’s not cold here in Florida, but there a wan tone feels durable, tending toward grey, long shadows, a weariness and pall which carol the year’s decline.

Further North, a vaster chill gathers and deepens.

For our neighbors south of the equator, there is an equidistant suggestion of spring; a flush to morning skies and widening buds.

Inbreath and outbreath; one half trudges toward winter while the other breathes a springtide sigh of relief.

There are inversions. As the I Ching says, to and fro goes The Way. While light recedes to a nadir in winter, it is yet a creative time in the inward spaces, perhaps the most fertile of all. Certainly there is flush of good cheer to the coldest winter night. And on the other side of Earth where springtide courses run, it is a time to be out, planting gardens and ramping up new projects.

Of late, pollutants have marred the clarity of these movements. The Anthropocene brews monster hurricanes at the Equator and far East, sets fire to wetlands and foments vast uncertainty in the fast-heating poles. However we may have acclimated to our local weather, changing notes are part of the mix.

Along with the weltering weather, the human community hunkers down to battle other extremes—pandemic, political instability, disrupting norms of truthful discourse and community. The 21st century so far is behaving far more uncivilized than the last!

So: A tempered seasonal, imbued both with traditional cheer and a rattling chill of change in the eaves.

In my country, this week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a celebration of family and community much eroded by capitalism and pandemic. My wife and I will celebrate at home, perhaps to Zoom with distant family; but without aren’t in the mix any more, and no kids (just cats), we’re uncertain about the entire holiday season. A tree with lights? Wreath for the door? Any more? Who knows.

But still we can give thanks. Like Rilke writes in his Sonnets to Orpheus, “praising is what matters!”

Come these Florida Novembrals, breezy with strolling fronts of light and cloud, wisps of rain, sighs in the trees, time is afoot, the sky hiking great lengths across the Earth. It’s not cool or warm, just alternations of wan; days pass quickly into long nights. In my drinking days it was an end of the world time, weeks of blackout drinking and the world about dazed and thirsty for happy hour: now it is inner and nourishing, fleeting fast toward the Christmas holiday. Advent season still approaches and yet feels already over. As David Spangler wrote in Festivals of Manifestation, this is the innermost season of the Christ, giving birth to a great sense of Being within: In these latter days of November, the coming month of December feel almost inaugural.

Let us praise the season we enter, this time in which we still exist, and give thanks for the bounty we are yet surrounded by, the nurture of what’s given.

Brendan

earthweal weekly challenge: KEEP IT GREEN

 

I’ve been deep in a forest of late, departed from the mad tumult of bloodsport politics, soaring pandemics and climate derangement. I’m staying green, hopping tree to tree of an ancient singing tradition, wintering, as it were, while the sun beats down and the winds yet blow.

I’m still there: So I’m not sure what I have in my creel to salmon for a challenge.

We had a minor scrape earlier in the week with the remnants of the year’s 29th named storm, the Greek maiden Etta who had ravaged Nicarauga, flooded Miami and then rattled our morning here with 50 mph gusts. No big deal. The year’s 30th storm Iota take aim again on Nicaragua, swollen and swirling thanks to infernally hot southern Carribbean waters; this, while to the south the Pantanal wetlands burn out of control … With all the storms and heat of late, it’s hard to feel here in Florida there are only two seasons: summer and zombie summer.

For counter-compass I’m staying green, writing in the manner of this unknown poet of distant monastic age:

A wall of forest looms above and sweetly the blackbird sings;
the birds make melody over me and my books and things.

There sings to me the cuckoo from bush-citadels in grey hood
God’s doom! May the Lord protect me writing well, under the great wood.

Anyway, what in the living world delights you today? Sing a song of earth-praise. Let’s KEEP IT GREEN.

— Brendan

earthweal open link weekend #44

Autumn in Queen’s Wood, London. Photo: The Guardian

 

Greetings and welcome to earthweal open link weekend #44. Link a poem and visit your fellow poets and comment.

Thanks to Jim for a weekly challenge which was sensitive to the time and the painful emotions most of us are feeling.

Open link weekend will come to an end on Sunday night at midnight EST as the next weekly challenge rolls out.

—Brendan