While Weeding and Staking Seedlings

With my hands in earth
my heart in my hands 
my heart in my hands in earth 
that fed me for many a year. 

My soul would lie down here and sleep. 
Surely my great weariness 
would seep out into this good earth.
Stars would wheel across the sky, 
perhaps a late and waning moon. 
And in the morning, the sun would rise 
and I would turn my face towards it 
like a plant. I would rise refreshed 
having dreamt the dreamings of the land. 

But in the meantime it is enough 
to feel its grit between my fingers
to blacken my nails with it. 
I pull weeds and stake the seedling trees. 
With my hands in earth, attached as they are 
to my wounded heart, I listen. 
I hear myself apologising for the acts 
of human kind. I apologise for being human. 

But the earth answers:  
Humans are part of what I am.
Humans have a right to be here. 

Humans are part of my whole. 
They just need to come back to me. 
They need to lie on me and feel their true place:
that they are one small species among many
that the earth owes them nothing and gives everything
that earth is their mother and earth will 
receive their bodies when they die
and because of that, they need not hurry 
nor worry

nor tangle their thoughts about tomorrow.
They simply need to lie down here and close their eyes. 
Let the moon shine and the stars light their nightly piss. 
In the morning, the sun will rise 
and they will turn to face it like plants 
and they will know their place
in the scheme of things. 

Edges

The performance poem I wrote for the exhibition, Solastalgia, at Fabrik, in Lobethal. More details about this series of exhibitions, here.

The drawing is mine, drawn with charcoal from my burnt home. It ended up being about 13 metres long on the beautiful wall of this gallery. It is as ephemeral as my home apparently was, and will be washed off that wall eventually. But all kudos to Melinda Rankin (director of Fabrik) for facilitating it.

Also kudos to all of the people involved in the exhibition, especially Jo Wilmot (creator of Solastalgia, The Exhibition) and Evette Sunset who said I mentored her when it was the other way around. We all learn from each other anyway, so who needs labels.

Thanks to my good friend David Salomon of Simply Splendid Productions for recording and creating this movie.

Charcoal Drawing With No Name (detail)