A Poem for the Wild Ones

No matter
how hard they try,
they can not
keep us apart.

They can pour concrete
over the rich, dark Earth,
put us in a plastic chair
inside a sheetrock box,
hook us up to electronic devices,
and tell us we have to stay there all day…

and still we will be breathing the breath
of towering pines
growing on rugged mountain slopes
and tiny green plankton
floating in distant seas.

And even though
the water we drink
travels through many miles of pipe,
is doused with chlorine
and may be contained in plastic bottles…

still we will be drinking water
that has tumbled over granite boulders,
hibernated in frozen lakes,
and reflected the morning sun
from a spider’s web.

And even though the salad we eat
may be grown hundreds of miles away,
harvested and washed
by hands we will never see,
and packaged in a plastic box…

still we will be eating
leaves from plants
whose roots embraced the fertile earth
as their tender green bodies reached for the sun.

And no matter how relentlessly
we have been trained
to sit still,
to hold our tongues,
to follow the rules
(even when they make no sense),

still we are animals of flesh and blood,
kin to deer and bear and whale,
with untamed passions in our hearts
and deep wisdom in our bones,

still there is a wild one inside us,
running barefoot through the forest,
gathering sweet berries,
dancing around the fire,
praying to the sun,
singing to the moon.

Published in Elephant Journal (April 2019) and in Poems of Earth and Spirit: 70 Poems and 40 Practices to Deepen Your Connection with Nature
(original title: “No Matter How Hard They Try”)


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