Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Reflections

Environmental over-load and unfortunate sad stories.  Three parents of my daughter's peers  have died from cancer within the last two months.  Lovely people.  Devoted mothers and fathers.  All under fifty.  Another friend is dying of lung cancer.  Another dear friend is doing well post breast cancer treatment (radiation).  I just had a mole removed that might be melanoma.  I'm scared.  I'm hoping it is nothing, but I cannot help but worry.  I'm also due for the full round of tests--colon, breast, blood.  None of these tests are fun (blood being the least bothersome), but all are deeply nerve wracking and fear grips me right in the solar plexis.  My mind races to the worst; unfortunately, I can see the outcome of these cancers quite vividly, as I have sat near too many bedsides of the dying.

The thing is: we all know so many people in the same situation, and we're all living in this kind of high intensity state of environmental fear.  A perpetual eco trauma. 

It is in moments like these that I don't like doing this work.  When I'm in my own personal panic, I don't want to read about nuclear radiation in Japan poisoning children and leaking into the seas, or about toxics, fracking, tar sands, deforestation, and all the rest.

I want to escape into the world of Anne of Green Gables.  I want to walk in the woods, throw off my clothes, jump into a pond of cool green water. 

Maybe that is why I send my daughter to a camp that is from another time.  They don't play competitive sports, or do computer art, or put on fancy plays, or get in buses and travel the country, or learn how to make robots. Instead, they farm,  sleep outside, swim in the lake, cook in the kitchen.  They make simple crafts in the woodshop.  They put on on a play in a barn and wear costumes cobbled together by hand.  They folk dance and sing.  They go on a canoe trips and hike up a mountain or two or three.

Oh to a more simple time I long to go!

Fracking: Hydraulic Fracturing 101

Fracking: Water Quality

Fracking: Air Quality

Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Riding Hood

a hand in the dark
careful what you wish for
spoken only in sleep

wild storms wild love

you were covered in fur

from me

what wound had you 

in your skin
what cancer burn

that love
sweet love


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Luminescent Motherhood

Olivia sleeps with the light on
dreaming of horses and ice skates
throws herself upside down
on bruised knees kicking  
arms locked around
this flat heart

I miss the nursing child
baby in the sling
gums on my chin
calling, Mama nuna
I thought when god gave
me a baby
she would stay
a baby

but she grows longer, longer, longer

when will she die
or leave me?
when will I die
or leave her?
have I left already?
would I feel such shyness
if I had had more children?
or if I had not
lost everything
including my
eyebrows and pubic hair?
or if my parents had
died happy deaths?

mother under serene white
lights hallow
nurse telling me to
rub her dry skin with lotion
feet peeling with disease
(for years) I could not bear to
touch or see her epidermis
waiting for my mother to die
too quickly in the ICU
asking for her other daughter

father broken head
big body no longer
wrapped but zipped and
carried off by stranger men--
after we so many hours, sung
Joel's rabid guitar
by the rivers of Babylon
where he sat down
and there he wept
how did the sun
do this?

do I cry out?
(what that spindly spider child
wove and dug
under my baby's skin
taking the prescient
precious red)

about my own cancer?
about such volumes of bluegrey bile?