m-a-c: The Muses: Pome: Mother Earth: Her Whales

by Gary Snyder

  This is a superb collection
  of poems (from the spiritual
  to the political).  Enjoy

             This edition published by
               Shambhala Press
             ISBN 0-87773-952-8

             Cost is $6 and is
             published in very
             small, pocket-sized
             perfect for carrying
             along on an outing!

             It contains over 60
             of Gary Snyder's
             poems about "North
             America" (aka
             "Turtle Island")

Mother Earth:

Her Whales

   An owl winks in the shadows
   A lizard lifts on tiptoe, breathing hard
   Young male sparrow stretches up his
          big head, watching --

   The grasses are working in the sun. Turn
                                   it green.
   Turn it sweet. That we may eat.
   Grow our meat.

   Brazil says, "soverign use of Natural
   Thirty thousand kinds of unknown plants.
   The living actual people of the jungle
        sold and tortured --

   And a robot in a suit who peddles.a
                    delusion called "Brazil"
         can speak for them?

         The whales turn and glisten, plunge
           and sound and rise again,
         Hanging over subtly darkening deeps
         Flowing like breathing planets
           in the sparkling whorls of
              living light --

   And Japan quibbles for words on
        what kinds of whales they can kill?
   A once-great Buddhist nation
        dribbles methyl mercury
        like gonorrhea
              in the sea.

   Pere David's Deer, the Elaphure,
   Lived in the tule marshes of the Yellow
   Two thousand years ago -- and lost its
                          home to rice --
   The forests of Lo-yang were logged and
                           all the silt &
   Sand flowed down, and gone, by 1200 AD --

   Wild Geese hatched out in Siberia
          head south over basins of the
                         Yang, the Huang,
          what we call "China"

   On flyways they have used a million years.
   Ah China, where are the tigers, the wild
          the monkeys,
             like the snows of yesteryear
   Gone in a mist, a flash, and the dry hard
   Is parking space for fifty thousand trucks.
   IS man most precious of all things?
   -- then let us love him, and his brothers,
                                   all those
   Fading living beings --

   North America, Turtle Island, taken by
       who wage war around the world.
   May ants, may abalone, otters, wolves
                                   and elk
   Rise! and pull away their giving
         from the robot nations.

   Solidarity. The People.
   Standing Tree People!
   Flying Bird People!
   Swimming Sea People!
   Four-legged, two-legged, people!

   How can the head-heavy power-hungry
                         politic scientist
   Government    two-world   Capitalist-
   Third-world   Communist    paper-
                          shuffling male
        non-farmer   jet-set  bureaucrats
   Speak for the green of the leaf? Speak for
                                  the soil?

   (Ah Margaret Mead . . .  do you
            sometimes dream of Samoa?)

   The robots argue how to parcel out our
                            Mother Earth
   To last a little longer
            like vultures flapping
   Belching, gurgling,
           near a dying Doe.

   "In yonder field a slain knight lies --
   We'll fly to him and eat his eyes
            with a down
      derry derry derry down down."

        An Owl winks in the shadow
        A lizard lifts on tiptoe
          breathing hard

         The whales turn and glisten,
           plunge and
         Sound, and rise again
         Flowing like breathing planets

         In the sparkling whorls

         Of living light.

              Stockholm:  Summer Soltice  400072

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