Monthly Archives: February 2015

You return again and again to the bones of your ancestors

You return again and again to the bones of your ancestors.

Smooth as silk and bleached by the sun

you caress the softness of them

and can feel the place where healing took place after a bad break.

Kneeling, body sinking heavy into hot sand

you gently lift each femur and rib-bone

nuzzle each knuckle and toe.

You need answers.

Your people are dying.

Murdered and hunted,

thirsty and ravaged

you cover miles of terrain each day, exhausted

but still cannot sleep at night.

There is an ache in your chest

that will not go away

even when you breath deeply

or splash cool water over your arching back.

The old stories don’t hold true anymore,

the old songlines are broken, like so many tattered maps blowing in the wind.

You lay with your family under the full moon and

remember the days when the water was sweet

and your belly was round with child

and how the food practically dripped from the trees.

You look up at the stars and wonder how it got to be this way,

so broken.

And so you return again and again to the bones of your ancestors

looking for answers in the curve of a vertebrae

or the jagged edge of a

sawed off tusk.


Elephants, keepers of the ancient memories. What can I say? What explanation can I give? That my people are touched by madness? That we are intoxicated with power and drunk on destruction? That we will not settle until this planet is dead and we choke on our own boiling rage?

I don’t have any answers. If I could I would sit at your feet and listen. I would travel many miles upon your broad backs to the place where the river meets the sea and play in the water with your young ones.

But I’m here. In my small house next to my own small, sleeping child.

My people are young compared to yours

and stupid.

We have so much to learn from you,

but I’m afraid it may already be too late.

Your numbers are dwindling,

your grief must be very great and difficult to carry.

I want you to know mine is too.

I wish there was more I could do.

Thank you.
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.

Thank you for listening,



The tipping point

There have been mothers who lived for so long underground in the dark that they could recognize their children’s faces with the lightest touch of hand. Yes, there’s his delicate nose, and her whisper soft eyelashes. The curl of soft hair tucked behind tiny ear.Yes, these little ones are mine.

There are mothers who have pressed palm of hand to tiny crying mouth praying for silence willing danger to go away. Waiting, waiting, waiting…minutes, hours, days. ok safe to come out now.

There are mothers who have walked 40 days through deserts colored with purple shadows searching for water only to press lips to springs long ago run dry. Always thirsting.

There are mothers who have willingly walked into gas chambers in a gruesome kind of trade. My life for theirs…please, please, please. Breasts still heavy with milk, grown cold.

And there are mothers who have held their children close as bombs dropped outside, or as soldiers cleared the streets, or as forest burned to the ground

praying, praying, praying
that there was someone there to listen.

And now?

The threat is very real. Sometimes it’s a soldier with a gun. Sometimes it’s a bomb. Sometimes it’s war, and terror, and violence.


But sometimes it’s the terrible knowledge

that your young son will most likely know elephants as legends

and Monarch butterflies as magic stories

told at night.

Sometimes it’s the understanding that he will most likely only know frogs from story books, and rhinos from movies.

That he will live in a world without fish, or most birds, or fresh water to drink.

And that it’s very likely that at least one of his parents will one day die from cancer.

This is a time of great threat. But many mothers have lived with that. The horrible knowing.

Only this threat we’ve brought upon ourselves. This threat could be stopped. Anytime we choose.
And yet

most everyone is doing nothing at all.

This is a genocide, an ecocide of such epic proportions

we may be wiping out our children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s lives. And their children beyond that.

We don’t need to go to mars.

We are alien enough here as it is.

We have reached the tipping point.

And it will take the greatest mother’s love

to forgive us for that.

I know the pain is blinding.

But sometimes it is the blind who can truly see.

Thank you to everyone who has chosen to fight the system in whatever way you have deemed fit. Here’s to the resistance, alive and well.

And hopefully,


Thank you for listening,

Revel as baby. Photo by Lynn Johnson

Revel as baby. Photo by Lynn Johnson