Once we knew our way
By the beautiful features
Of the land,
The moon as it hung
From the vast and shining sky,
And the star
True as ever
To the North.

We once wayed far and fast
For fear of what wandered near
And hungry.
And the blood in our ears
Hushed the cracks
In the nearby thicket.
Fear bayed us move
Now and quick.
And in returning
To the peace of cricket clicks
And the crackle of a fire
We lingered longer
Than we do now
On any sight that
Pleased the eye.

Once we dreamt only of landscape,
Both desert and flesh,
And the languid rivers
Dividing softly parted land.
We dreamt of stars over lakes
And the splash of the fish.
And on these visions
I long for and wish.

The tree painted melancholy
On an ever arching sky,
Plumes of smoke and cloud,
Bursting from a boar bristle brush
In the hand of Heavens creator,
And we would weep at the beauty
Of the painted sky
Set ablaze by the fire of the sun.

The oceans
Hummed a whispered song
Of stories millennia deep.
And the song of the whale bade us
Listen to the words of our holy Mother
And stay a while longer in her embrace.
Water from her womb sprung
All matter of life.

My heart it pulls me from asphalt
And metal scraping sky.
It tears me from cars racing
And the quick lip of a sly guy.
And my heart it breaks in lament.
Have we wondered so far
From our Mother’s sweet grip
As to allow darkness
To rise from her fallen beasts?
Liquid despair feeding a
Rich man’s folly
And the people that know better
Swept quickly under a tide
Bred from denial, selfishness, and neglect.

These memories embedded
In my cells, bones, and eyes
The night encrusted starry sky
Over oceans and land
Beasts on feet and on fly,
And here
I wonder
I wish
I miss
The absence of mankind.

-Angel Marie Russell

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