“All land is sacred:” Another kind of remembrance

These are the things I want to remember this Remembrance Day: everything that is alive that impresses itself on my senses, not the celebratory stories of European wars and muscular bravery, the pomp and pride that says “Look what we did; this land is our land; war is sacrifice is glory.” What terrible stewards and guests we colonials have been and go on being; even when we think we’re at peace we wage war on other beings, wrecking and murdering, fissuring the earth and all of its resources in the name of conquest, ownership, profit and, ironically, “survival”–a survival that is ever more clearly on its way to choking us all. Our noisy honking drowns out the very voices to which we need to listen. Truly I do not want to study war anymore, neither on this day nor any other; its racket, its glorious tales of the seizure of territories, is not where we most need to hone what Toni Morrison, in Beloved, called our “rememories,” or remembrance of memories right now. Continue reading “All land is sacred:” Another kind of remembrance

Another kind of wildness

A sonnet that begins with words yanked, one from each line of “returning the books to their shelves” by Bernadette Mayer. city time         19          stream taxi it mulch then window nothing books cold phone shelves Feeling far from the city finally in Desolation. Time to walk and stretch and swim and think until 19 o’clock in the evening when I hope we will eat a … Continue reading Another kind of wildness

Behind it all/ Songs from rural zones #LIV

Morning arrives cloud-dark and humid. Low tide. Wind in the trees and a flow of birdsong. A great blue heron flies off when I step outdoors, cracking loudly. Cicadas. The buzzing of insects. A kingfisher ratchets by, sounding an alarm. Blue scent of air, as if soon it will rain. Finches in the trees. The air sweet, odour of cut grass and salt air, a … Continue reading Behind it all/ Songs from rural zones #LIV

How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house

Paper wasps in the mailbox might seem a potent metaphor for a writer: you never do know what you will find when you go out to collect the daily mail. Often enough, alas, something that stings. But sometimes the wasps that arrive aren’t figures of speech; sometimes they really are industrious insects, just minding their business in a place where we don’t want them. One … Continue reading How to get paper wasps out of the mailbox amicably and other reflections–or, how to build a better wasp house

14 Reasons for Hope: A Phenomenology of Place

In this strange and fecund season here at the edge of the sea, I am thinking a great deal about climate change, for its signs seem acutely evident now, all around us. We appear to be witnessing major shifts or collapses in sea bird populations. Species of fish and shellfish we’ve not seen before show up here and there, and morning and night we mark the heights and declines of the tides–they are more extreme; likewise, storms when they come carry away larger and larger chunks of various shorelines. In such a space, what, for every living thing, might be reasons for hope, for looking to a future? And what might any living thing hope for (or against)? Continue reading 14 Reasons for Hope: A Phenomenology of Place