earthweal open link weekend #83


Welcome to earthweal open link weekend #84. Link a favorite poem and visit your fellow linkers to comment.

Thanks to Sherry for her timely challenge. Great to see the community respond forcefully and with heart. Such is how consciousness raises!

Ingrid Wilson takes over the reins next week with a labyrinthine challenge sure to get all your wheels turning. Her Anthropocene Hymnal anthology recently published with many of the voices in this forum. Her challenge goes live midnight Sunday EST.

Happy linking!




eathweal weekly challenge by Sherry Marr

May I live in a way
to be worthy
of my own light.

On the bus, riding home from the city, I had time to reflect on the world in which we find ourselves living. More of us are awake than asleep now. We see clearly the many ways in which the human experiment has failed. The signs are all around us. But we need to remember: we are meant to be beings of light.

I feel the dark forces ascending and, drunk with unleashed power, and encouraged by deranged and deluded minds, it may feel like they are winning. Yet the human spirit is amazing; it is still alive and well. In every disaster we see it: humans reaching out to help one another, not seeing the “Other” that cause so many to behave badly – just seeing fellow humans, struggling. Poets, singers and dreamers are still envisioning a brighter world.

It feels like there is a war going on on this planet between darkness and light. I have to believe there are more light beings than dark, and that they will endure. I waited most of my lifetime for the transformation of consciousness to occur. Just maybe that is what is happening now? It feels like everything is falling apart. But maybe this is consciousness, transforming and rearranging?

Reptilian consciousness feeds off fear. This way of thinking emerged from the shadows during trump’s reign, which encouraged the dark hearted, misguided human to come into its own. Impossible to put that genie back in the bottle. We saw it on January 6 in full fury and it was chilling. We see it in Afghanistan, where fierce men holding assault weapons stand in front of a sign saying “your government”. (The fear of the Afghani populace is how we would have felt if the January 6 people took over, which they attempted to do, and said “We are now your government.”)

It feels sometimes like we are fighting for the soul of our country – the soul of our world.



You know how deeply the battle for Fairy Creek has been impacting me. Clearly the forces of dark and light are confronting one another on the blockade lines.

On Saturday, August 21, the “police” displayed reptilian consciousness more blatantly than ever before. Protestors linked arms to protect people behind them who were chained to a metal gate. Police began pushing against them and then drew out spray cans of pepper spray and sprayed at point blank range into the protestors’ faces. One man said a policeman pulled open the wide leg of his shorts and sprayed his genitals. Another said a policeman pulled his jaw down and sprayed directly into his mouth. A policeman on the edge lost his balance and fell. Police, to excuse their behaviour, said protestors pushed him – but their arms were linked; the police were doing all the pushing. The video shows he lost his balance. And the pepper spraying was already going on.

The video shows people being dragged along the gravel roadway – this violent behaviour has been going on all summer. But the pepper spraying incident finally hitting the news finally got the mainstream public’s attention.

Who do people being brutalized call when it is the police doing the brutalizing?

Media has been oddly silent about Fairy Creek. They likely have been told to downplay it. Plus police will not allow journalists their legal right to observe, witness and report. They keep them outside “exclusion zones” and do their dirty work out of sight. (RCMP pension funds are linked to industry. Not much conflict of interest there.)

But protestors have phones, and this bit of film, along with many others, exists. I have a media friend who called up Global News and asked why they were not reporting it. He forwarded the video, and it hit the evening news. People are outraged and MLA’s are speaking up. Finally. Over 90 complaints have been made to the police Watchdog about their violent behaviour. [After this video hit the news, police made a new rule: no one but police were allowed to video what was taking place. That will make things nice and fair and transparent!]

But. As I watched this video, I wondered: what kind of new human is this? This is no human being I recognize. They have drunk the Kool Aid, gone to the dark side. You would almost wonder if some alien species has assumed human guise to destroy us from within.

The face of consciousness rising.


But not all of them. On August 27, I watched another video of police brutally sprawling people face down on the dirt roadway to handcuff them. An indigenous elder woman was crying and pleading with them: “Where is your soul? Bring it back into your body! Please!”

One tall policeman, standing in front of the pleading elder, struggled to not break down in tears. His face showed his deep discomfort at the scene in which he found himself. Perhaps it was his first time there. It was good to see conscience and humanity in at least one policeman, who did not engage in any violent behaviour. But in the village today, I passed a policeman on the Post Office steps, and I had to look away, could not meet his eye. My trust is broken; maybe it has been for a long time – a few police shootings back of young indigenous folk in my community. I do not view them as serving and protecting any more – they serve industry.

In this video, at the side of the road, a young woman played guitar and sang about the birds and the trees and her soul, determined to hold onto nature and beauty in the midst of cruelty and injustice.  The land defenders’ message is positive: “Our community is filled with love, and together we are strong.” They are fighting to save the last of the ancient forest, the very last of the Old Ones. An irreplaceable ecosystem that holds more magic than humankind yet understands.

I worry. Someone could lose their life at Fairy Creek, while the government remains unbelievably silent.

(If you wish to add your concern, an email protesting the logging of old-growth to Premier Horgan from other countries would carry weight. )

And covid is on the rise again. Now there is a new Delta Plus One variant. Like the human virus, covid is once again ascending, gaining power. I have a double vaxxed relative who is recovering from covid. Kids are getting it. Babies.

Out of control violent police, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, the Personal Freedom Over Personal Responsibility anti-mask folks, right wing white supremacists – the picture isn’t pretty when it comes to how advanced or evolved we are as a species.

But let’s not give up. When things are this dark, we need to shine our light even brighter. When you shine light on cockroaches, they scatter.

The old power structure isn’t working. It got us here. It holds on tight when it is threatened. It fights for its life. But it has to go. For survival, we have to transition to a new way of being on the earth – which is actually the Old Way. This will happen either with or without us.

I recall something I read in 2016, when our hearts were stupefied and broken at the election of one of the darkest hearts on the planet. In Kali Takes America, Vera de Chalambert said “Donald Trump became the President of the United States. But make no mistake, it is really holy darkness that won this election……. it is the Dark Mother, the destroyer of worlds, oracle of holy change, the tenderhearted be-header, that won this country. Kali has brought down our house in a shocking blow; all the illusions of America, stripped in a single night. We are not who we thought we were. Now we must get ready to stand in her fires of transmutation. We need them.”

An oracle of holy change and the fires of transmutation – I like the sound of that. Perhaps that is what we are living now. It is prophesied that in the dark days of floods and fire, the Rainbow Race will rise, all over the earth. (I see these warriors of the rainbow at Fairy Creek, and I love them with all my heart. They are fighting to save us all.) It is prophesied that in dark times,  Shambhala warriors, armed with compassion and insight, will walk the halls of power. (I think Barack Obama was one of them, and it freaked out the extreme right so much they lost their grip on reality.) They say we ourselves were born at this time because we are the ones who will help make this evolutionary shift. That feels hopeful to me.

All this time I told myself we were born from war– but I was wrong. We were born from beauty. Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence—but, rather, that violence, having passed through the fruit, failed to spoil it.― Ocean Vuong, from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

These evolved and tuned-in beings are at Fairy Creek, linking arms and singing for the trees, putting their bodies between the heavy equipment and the last of the Ancient Ones. I see them in the hot dog vendor who once a week feeds the homeless. I see them in front line workers who help the sick, fight the fires, resuscitate the addicted. I see them rescuing animals from the wildfires, desperately saving lives from the flames. I see them in the response in our hearts – we poets across the planet – as we sing our sorrowful/hopeful songs, longing for that better life – the life we were meant to have here in the garden.

We can never give up. The transformation of consciousness begins with individuals. When the light goes on for – and in – conscious beings, we understand our place, our connection, on this finite planet in our care. The choices we make personally do have impact, even though we may feel they are a drop in the bucket: recycling, reducing consumption of meat (and everything else), using public transit, avoiding plane travel, withdrawing support from corporate offenders, demanding change from our supposed leaders, becoming activists for the world we want to see, for whatever cause stirs our hearts the most.

People are already out there, cleaning oceans, repairing streams, planting trees, protecting trees. Some advanced countries have already made the switch from dirty to clean energy. Some have banned fish farms from their waters; others make roads from recycled tires or plastic. Some are growing bamboo and hemp, more quickly renewable than trees, giving forests a chance to mature and become the biodiverse ecosystems they are meant to be. (Remember the best carbon storer on the planet is a mature tree. It is insanity, in ever-increasing drought, to be cutting them down.)

Time for us to shine our lights, boys and girls, as brightly as we can, into every dark corner.

Your challenge: In the midst of everything going topsy-turvy, in a dark-hearted world, let’s pick up our pens and direct our faltering hope, our vision – OUR LIGHT – in what may very well be our last gasp at the brink of the abyss.  With our Shambhala warrior pens, let’s expose what is wrong on the way to making it right. Let’s keep shining some light into this broken world, which remains so heartbreakingly beautiful, in spite of everything.