Casting the Net Wider, and Coming Back Home

 

we are insatiable—
our minds designed to crave,
to seek to hunt to track to
record to remember to find to
experiment
to pass on these traits to our progeny,
to figure out how to share these winding ways as far and wide
as can be imagined
and

we need to both cast the net wider
and come back home

we need to cast the net wider:
“man” has not made it past the moon.
a child born after 1969 does not know the taste
of that thrill
(Mars rovers incorrectly programmed between the archaic
“King’s Own” and
near-globally agreed upon metrics do not hold quite the same j’uj)

we need to cast the net wider:
our possibilities need to be set free,
released from the restrictive confines of
just one way (or the other), from mono-anything,
that we might see hear taste and
rejoice
in the Everything, in the
muchness of everything

we must cast the net wider:
we must begin to believe, once again,
that something new can happen, that
alchemical change can bring forth
something never before seen
in our neck of the universe (or not for a long long time), that
something new can become, out of our selves

and so, like those ascended of every age have tried to impress,
like tired children, like birds, like whales, like herds of
multitudinous ungulates (caribou and deer and such) we must
(don’t you think)
recover, dust off and shine up our inner compasses
and come home.

Return home like a wren to the nest, to where
life comes forth, to where hearth is warm
(or supposed to be), to where
loved ones wait with open faces,
open arms, open hearts, open minds,
just for the chance to light up
in greeting, in sharing story and song and
willingness to collaborate, to
sift through and shift orientation
to home, home, home, like a puzzle piece
turning to be settled and nestled
in place, it cannot be
reshaped by force or complaint, but
by movement, re-orientation, patience,
and time.

and now, now of all nows, it is time to come home.

it is time to come home to ourselves, to the possibilities,
to the potentials not yet uncovered nor turned over,
it is time to reformat old systems of
disparity—between I and other, between mind
and body, between self and world

coming home to ourselves as an act of
closing the gap and sewing it shut, of
leaping chasm and bringing two sides of
something together, forever (or for the mean time)

coming home as a radical act of care for
self and planet and universe and any and all
lands we walk in, home as beam
of light, home as beacon

come home body, come home Earth, come home tree, come home water,
come home wind, come home squirrel and antelope and humpback and hummingbird and snake and crawling thing and winged ones calling from the skies, come home to me rabbit and fox and fur and tooth and dirt and rot and claw and antennae. Come home to me transmission and transformation. Come home, home.

And so, in our capacity to cast the net wider,
let us not forget to catch
ourselves, too.

And in our coming home, let us not forget
the chance to include other.

May we hear and heed the call,
may we become, already, that which
we do not know we seek, but that which we are.

X

 

listen to this poem read by the author on SoundCloud:

Casting the Net Wider and Coming Back Home

You Can Come Home and The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

“the World and the Bear” 2011, C.Savage

You Can Come Home
and
The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

1. You Can Come Home, The Wind

Is the feeling I am mistaking for love free fall?
And is there anything inherently incorrect with that?

There is talk of “groundedness”
and then, the visceral feeling,
of the sprinting spiral trajectory of our entire solar system. **
Of our star shooting through space, even as I sit and type.
**(the former-physicist me wishes for a moment for a memory)

The plane of Between in all stillness practices,
in this moment, is this the feel of subspace,
the place of acknowledgment,
the yogis flexing and bending as their bodies hurtle through an incomprehensible galaxy,
you can come home
you can come home
you can come home

Here.
A dance of matching speeds
human v human on horse
wood v wood-fired metal
glass v gourd
bear v car
nature v structure
speaking v understanding knowing
is it a set up?
is it a construct of the walled mind?**
**(bridge v river)

existence in a spacetime of
imminent collision…
inevitable…
there is no toward
or getting away from

and what is it really,
and what does it matter
and I’d rather leave the
strict suburbs of why
for the open plains of
star time
and
your mind
and weeping until we are done

the rigidity of opposing
v
the flexibility of intertwined roots
lifting the land
breathing the wind

stone, water, love
beyond what is time
beyond what is concept

the feeling of my body
the feeling of knowing
the feeling of wind
the feeling of the whole thing coming down**
**(the feeling of the potential of the whole thing coming down)

i’m all shook up

2. The Bear, The Wind, The Bear

What I know is there is nothing to argue about
A state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder is a state of wonder

what is being in love
what is world worry
what does the Hubble space telescope show us
what is the movement of planets
I gotta stop I almost started to cry

why spend our time arguing about the existence of love?
altho it’s me who squirms away from philosophy.

3. The Bear, The Bear

In August I arrived from Peru with Amazon River water, full of pink dolphins, still on my skin
I drove to pick up a friend, hearing his voice after years and years
gravelly like my Russian brother, and the same opening statement
Sorry, sorrysorrysorrysorry, I’m sorry
I know

In the short timespan I drove to retrieve him:
a big, fat-flowing male bear galloped across the highway, I almost hit him,
on the way back, he was dead, huge still, on the side of the road.
We didn’t have time to stop for him. I felt awful. We were on a mission.
The Kontomble had sent a recipe with bear fur.
And we couldn’t stop.

On Tuesday, now three months later, after the weekend of shamanic wind and weeping through music, I was driving to drop my child off at school and saw another bear, dead on the side of the road.

At first I thought it was a dog, a German Shepherd, but it was a bear. I felt sick. I had just mentioned the bear the night before. Here was the bear. I took my child to school. I borrowed children’s scissors from his classroom, I remembered, in my rush of the morning and all the bags, leaving my bag with the knife at home.

I was distraught, I called my friend, I drove up and turned around at the next exit and came back, looking for the bear. I saw it, lying the the grass, and as I got closer began to cry for its smallness. I pulled over next to its body. My friend asked me to be careful, to be aware and present for other bears, if this one was so small, to make an offering. I hung up.

I went over to the bear, crying, truck sound roaring by, I stayed close to my car, I felt fear, I felt a large bubble of fear, pain, disaster. It felt warm, present, watery, a different quality of air. I looked over my shoulder, feeling another bear may come barreling down the hillside on the opposite side of the road. I saw the blood pattern on the road, of the bear coming across, being hit, and stumbling to the side, collapsing. The head wound, the killing blow, was resting on the ground, the young bear’s eye half open. She looked alive, still, resting a moment before death, her spirit still in the air around her.

I was so sad and afraid. I pulled tobacco from a cigarette and sage from the window, I did not have a lighter, I ground it between my hands and sang two songs I do not remember, tears falling into the grass. I was hot and afraid, feeling the bear. Was there another bear? I opened the plastic bag I had pulled from my car door and there were feathers in it. I looked around again and felt there was no physical danger. I knelt by the bear and snipped some of her fur into a towel. The warm bubble disappeared, my tears stopped, I was able to breathe normally again, I got into my car. The Bear.

More The Wind another time.

xoc

Allegiance

Eastern Hellbender Cryptobranchus allegeniensis photo: Bronx Zoo

Listen to this writing on SoundCloud 

“To Whom and//or what do you give your allegiance?”
“How Does Such Allegiance impact your sense of self and thus your writing?”

Aham, my allegiance is to the trout, the stars, the folded cups of mountain laurel, pale pink centered.

“How is your writing a form of peyote?”
“How is your writing medicine to bring back to your community?”
“Take these 15 minutes of peyote time.”

Is my allegiance really to the shovel?
I bought such a beautiful one—German-made, expensive,
not from Home Depot.
I sparkled over its heaviness, its “heirloom” quality—
my five year old asked if it was his and I said “sometime.”
I hacked through 4—or, really 2 square feet of crabgrass and
cursed the roots, cried about deforestation of my place,
which isn’t really my place,
which doesn’t feel like my place,
without any living trees,
and hoped the cherry tomatoes would volunteer again,
and glared, sweaty, from my kitchen over a glass of cider.
This is work for machines.
And as I write this I think, “no.
I will take the shovel to the decorative parts of the land and
put in my peas and my radishes where the crabgrass
has not yet taken over.”
I will water the pear trees and make offerings to the
one great oak left—
I will tie it round with ribbons and flags
and people zooming by with confederate plates might wonder—
“what the fuck is that little girl doing, dressing up a tree?”
and will I have the bravery to make shrines?
Will I have the peace in my heart to walk with questions to the native peoples and request introductions to places.
I need an invitation, a calling card.

And the little, pointing, laughing, curious, drunken, activated little spirits say:
Stop with all that lamentation. You have had your introductions,
you have made the spaces and the fires in your heart and the
mountains see you, darling,
and the rivers love you,
dear one,
and the fishes and the dreams request your
full presence.
So turn your eyes TOWARD, instead of AWAY FROM.
Turn them into eggs, turn them into bellies, turn them into
honey and holes.
Listen with your spots, with your salamanders.
Speak with your stones and your hands and your bloody heart and your toothiness and your
radiant eyes. Speak little one, speak young one, speak.

Give your heart fully to the things you love
without fear that it will be removed from your body—
for it does not reside there anyway.
Remember the green, the smell, the water full of toes and
hellbenders.
I give my allegiance to the hellbenders and their
ugly, magnificent kin,
to their riffles and ruffles and
nose holes and hiding places,
I burn pyres for their deaths and for their lives.
I give my love and my honor and whatever I have—
my voice.

from a writing prompt at Asheville Wordfest: Geopoetics
session with Todd Levasseur: Writing Through Collapse

xoc

Asheville Wordfest

Mine

I want to exchange words.

I want to absorb your vocabulary, I want your words in my mouth, I want to speak your language. I want to see recognition in your eyes. I want you to know, to understand, that it is you, a part of you, taken in, loved, and given back into the world (like breath, like breathing).

Communication, Relationships, Meaning—cornerstones of (my) life, beginnings of (a) path. They make my boat, and river, and body, and forest-mind or mind-as-forest. They make up my lake, my star, my mountain, anything I extend my hand toward or could even address as “mine.’”

“Mine” as not a possessiveness but an offering—fingers outstretched. “Mine” as “I am willing to believe you if you tell me you see me as myself.” “Mine” as “I can sink into this physical environment and know your eyes are everywhere, because I see them//because I see with them.” “Mine” as a feeling just had, fleeting, a feeling of between-two. A sensation of confirmation, ever-curious, never-guessing, something only briefly known, waiting to know again. “Mine” as “myself—in relation to—…”

The mountains claim me
“Mine.”
The sea claims me, the air claims me, the trees, the birds, the whales, the insects, the spiders claim me, wrap and prod me with their stick legs, their mossy fingers, wands,
the birches and the birch springs claim me,
the rushings and the whirrings and the whinings and the silences,
the soft paddings of feet and the intricate markings and the innate swivelings of ears
claim me
more than myself
“mine”
mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.
Ours then.

Audio on soundcloud

 

re:Orlando and the Current State of Things

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May our collective vision be
not obscured.

May our traumas and sufferings
heal us toward a different path.

May each voice be heard
at least one time
in singing.

May smiles light our faces.

May we stop fucking making trash and killing people.

C.Savage 6.12.16

Love Remembers. Lillie and Daniel’s Wedding Poem (April 6, 2014)

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(photo Nanny Glick)

love
loveliness
appreciation
dedication
celebration.

love as a path
in nature
in the brain.
love is
in our hearts
in our minds.
love is in the air.
love. is.

so.
why does love
continue to take us by surprise?
love—
that we know about,
(that we think we know about)
that is all around us,
(though we may not remember to remember)
suddenly
or bit by bit
love becomes new.

do flowers, fresh from bulb
remember they have before been bloom?
their eruption from dormancy
as much a shock to them
as it is to us—
coming through long winter
to be amazed by the spring.

love remembers.
love remembers us to ourselves.
love remembers us to ourselves.
respectively
and
collectively
love remembers us.
love remembers
lest we forget.

C. Savage 4-6-2014

Intimacy with Water

I ask the water to
hold me
I ask the water to
forgive me
I ask the water to
envelop me
I ask the water to
unfold me
I ask the water to
read me like a letter
I thank the water for letting me know myself
better.

I ask the water about
love.
I ask the water about giving life
life.
I ask the water to
hold me
I ask the water to
forgive me
I ask the water about
love.

C. Savage 9.15.15

Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers can jut out many blossoms per stalk.
I am amazed.
Yellows grown to greet me at my doorstep.
I have eyes
my eyes grow
wide and
tear-filled and
joyful
I can grow my own tears
I have grown my own tears of
hopefulness and delight
and it was easy
I didn’t do anything but
pick a place
that would suit
ME.
Here, grow, here, you, grow here, for my pleasure, because I love myself.
I plant you I look at you with wonder I wait and watch the leaves grow broad, the
stalks grow thick enough
like a neck
to support a head, I watch
as buds begin to pucker out
furry—I didn’t realize
furrier than I would have thought
little hairs spine-ing, pokey, what are they for.
I take many pictures, capture the little spider-looking brown-purple hairy budlets
that slowly grow leaves of their own and keep going
developing into close-fisted structures, clenched against bloom
ugh, the waiting, they seem to say
the unfurling seems difficult, like wetted chicks pushing from egg, or
petal-pupae,
they look sticky, until they dry themselves,
butterfly-from-chrysalis
in the sun.
And now I see them,
every day,
they greet me as I cross
over my threshold
they smile down on me
these beings I have given place
to radiate
life.

7.15 xoc

sunflower.budSMALL