earthweal open link weekend #11

Welcome to Open Link Weekend #11 at earthweal.

Post a poem in whatever theme or mood that suits you. Share something new from your creel of winds, or a greatest hit from your true and blue lists.

Include your location in your link so we get a feel for the breadth of global reportage. And be sure to visit your fellow linkers and comment.

Open link weekend ends at midnight EST Sunday night to make room for Monday’s weekly challenge. March 16 will be (duh) PANDEMIC. I’m very interested to read how minds from around the world and grappling for words for this vapor of a changing Earth.

But for now—pull up a stool and sing us a song of whatever!




If there’s anything we need right now in this weird, shouting, overbright, panicky moment of a rapidly unfolding pandemic, it’s medicine songs—voices of assurance from far and wide, deep and old.

In his book The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram points out that the role of the traditional healer—the so-called medicine man—was not primarily to heal humans, but rather to keep balance with the wild which surrounds and sustains every village:

The traditional or tribal shaman … acts as an intermediary between the human community and the larger ecological field, ensuring that there is an appropriate flow of nourishment, not just from the landscape of the human inhabitants, but from the human community back to the local earth. By his constant rituals, trances, ecstasies and “journeys,” he ensures that the relation between human society and the larger society of beings is balanced and reciprocal, and that the village never takes more from the living land than it returns to it … The sorcerer derives her ability to cure ailments from her more continuous practice of “healing” or balancing the community’s relation to the surrounding land. (7)

If we would address our virus-stricken new reality—a global change dissembling and crumbling normal routines right before our eyes—we must first try to redress our own disruption of the natural order. (Coronovirus ain’t nothin’, compared to the human stain!) We should inhabit tenors and tones which  correct the imbalances wrought of climate change. Let us pray for the healing of pangolin spirits, poached almost to extinction for game markets and bad medicine. May we rebuild a bridge to green recognitions and assurances. Giving voice to the Earth, we balm our afflictions.

Who knows—maybe our quarantines will help turn our gaze to the lushness of our back yards and the wilderness beyond.

I mean, what else are we gonna do?



William Stafford

The least little sound sets the coyotes walking,
walking the edge of our comfortable earth.
We look inward, but all of them
are looking toward us as they walk the earth.

We need to let animals loose in our houses,
the wolf to escape with a pan in his teeth,
and streams of animals toward the horizon
racing with something silent in each mouth.

For all we have taken into our keeping
and polished with our hands belongs to a truth
greater than ours, in the animals’ keeping.
Coyotes are circling around our truth.