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The old Shaman

placed his hands

on the trunk

of an ancient tree

.

fitting his fingers

between the ripples and creases

of the bark,

until he heard a whispering –

.

“Oh, spare me from

the greed of the axe

and the fickle see-saw

of humanity!”

.

But from the distant edge

of the forest

the old Shaman also heard

the growl of a chain-saw

.

and he smelled the exhaust

and the gasoline,

and he heard the shouts

of timbering men

.

and so he bowed his head

and wept,

as a drop of pitch

landed on his cheek.

.

.

(c) 2019  Betty Hayes Albright

.

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When we raised our heads

the sky broke apart

and we saw God.

We stood on stilts

and remembered our names.

But then we saw gashes

in the garden below

and heel marks

from heavy boots.

We saw wolves and bears

pacing around us

watching our eyes

and we threw off our stilts

and danced around the fire

till Gaia was smooth and warm.

And in the circle of creatures

we remembered their names.

.

(c)  1995,  2017  Betty Hayes Albright

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So, in Alaska it’s okay once again to murder wolves in their dens (even when they have pups), and to shoot bears from helicopters.

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I’m re-posting this old poem again, in protest of a recent decision by our new “leader”, and wondering what will be next. Backwards we go…..

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