Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances.”

28 December 2011

Letters from the Outside, #53

An honest november chill sets in. You can feel, in the all-night glare of the new christian rec center (Im pinned down on all sides now by incessant electric lights, the cross and old glory) the snow pressing against the black bottoms of the clouds that cover our moon. The last logs of last years stovewood go into the licking heat of the hearth and tomorrow we go to get a fresh facecord. This morning taking out the recycling I am blessed by the sight of a big beautiful fox trotting down your driveway.

Late thursday afternoon the snow comes in fat flakes falling fast into night, four inches of winter briefly blessing the valley and followed by what feels entirely like spring -- warm and wet and gentle and after a week, in the last few days before december, a cold rain that aspires again to snow but has held off for the weeks since I last worked on this letter, balmy and bitter by turns but devoid of snow. Now counting up through the first week of december, the night is warm, the buffed blue overcast sky reflected pewter against the broad deep creek that runs through the valley toward the lake. The wind is only in the tops of the trees, fingertips up a vertebral ridge.

I bought fifty pounds of sunflower seed from the farm down the road and walked the blue dog over the bridge to deliver, with much stealth and good wishes, a lunchbag of the stuff for Sister Mother, a great friend and admirer of the birds. With the cat population as it stands around here, I cant claim to carry four stars from them, but try to repent with suet cages and black oil silos. So good to see the goldfinches go gray, the more marvelous an infusion of Life through the feathers in the spring which we seemed to have borrowed a few weeks from in early december – damp air and the muddy ground, one expected crocus and birdsong. But then just cold without the snow, bitter and bone-deep even out of the wind, the culvert water too cold even for the dog, and chargers of ice on the puddles at the side of the road.

Finally today, a few days before the Solstice, there comes snow. Snow never fails to help me feel better. The glass glitter globe dr. zhivago romance of the whole thing, my reindeer herding d.n.a. thrumming, the deep need to ramble through some lonesome woods and disappear into the sleeping world. Traffic on the walk can be heavy, and most certainly jarring. It works against the desired contemplative reward of my ambling and, standing there still with the dogs pulled up against me, considering the rocks and sticks and whatnot on the verge as the hrududus barrel within feet of us, our motley knot, I think well, if it hits us, itll be quick.

And how excellent it is to come in from the cold with red cheeks and bright eyes and have a little lunch and sit by the woodstove and write to you, knowing that this time next year you will have been three months again my good neighbor, in the flesh.

The pasture has gone from brown to grey, with only cut hay and fen reeds shining golden before and behind the bare black sketch of trees in the riparian way. The Chestnut leaves sound like bones and bamboo windchimes while the eye slides around over the imperceptibly shifting blur of the sky. Something about me here, pinned at the bottom of the wheel, when the world holds its breath before the strong winds of springtime stretch the muscles of light over the bones of winter, brings me inevitably into a torpid and viscous melancholy which only now, the eve of Solstice, sees me rising through.

I dust diligently, of all unlikely things, and bake the rest of the cookies cut in the shape of a heart, like the ones on a card, a valentine. I do Suns and Moons and Hands and Hearts for the most part, whatever holiday we're in.

I dust off all my chunky bead necklaces flocked in beggars velvet from lying on the dresser exposed and they glitter tucked into a little box for proper keeping. From the array im chosen by a bone Maori Koru, offering the bright beginning of a fiddlehead fern, a spiral dance perpetually returning to its point of origin, a soul engaged in change and awakening.

The winter holiday comes and goes with the black roar of water on cliffrocks and the vast silence of night in the middle pacific. There is palpable relief as it passes, stepping out from the curb into the muscular whoosh of a speeding truck inches from its hot metal engine.

Yesterday one had to drive south into the hinterland foothills of unbounded pasture, cornrows and looming, alien windfarms to see a quarter-inch of snow in the furrows and beneath the trees. But today it swirls like the inside of a souvenir snowglobe and I leave the house only to bring in more wood for the stove, to let the cats and dogs come and go, and finally send this letter to you. I putter and muse, nurse a persistent illness, reflect on my freshly minted resolutions.

The light grows, 2012 is upon us, and I try and turn my face to time with an expression of love and wonder. But what an excellent year for liberation. 
We love you.

20 December 2011

"i quit cigarettes cold turkey for about eight days and after that started rolling pipe tobacco and smoking it in my brown housecoat in the late morning next to the woodstove.
the neighbor in his little frontloader moving the earth around is, after three weeks of ten-hour days, a sound i have yet to get used to --
coming up from under everything else the incessant roar pricks my ear in this season of burning.
if i roll my own cigarettes, i rationalize to myself,
i smoke less for shorter durations and the fume is prettier.
there is also the fiddle factor, the aura of ritual, and the devils bargain.
i have not bathed in days.
i sit staring out the window, waiting for the light to change."

16 December 2011

the friday song.

03 December 2011

17 November 2011

Dream Song 28: Snow Line by John Berryman
It was wet & damp; white & damp; swift and where I am
we don't know. It was dark and then
it isn't.
I wish the barker would come. There seems to be eat
nothing. I am usually tired.
I'm alone too.

If only the strange one with so few legs would come,
I'd say my prayers out of my mouth, as usual.
Where are his note I loved?
There may be horribles; it's hard to tell.
The barker nips me but somehow I feel
he too is on my side.

I'm too alone. I see no end. If we could all
run, even that would be better. I am hungry.
The sun is not hot.
It's not a good position I am in.
If I had to do the whole thing over again
I wouldn't.

11 November 2011

 Letters from the Outside, #52

I used to want to know the names of the constellations. And then I realized that thats not who, or what, they are. Theyre what someone else saw, and thought enough of himself to want other people to see the same. I think they are more wild and lovely without our cultural imprints or mystical Arabic names. Now I want to know: which one do I come from?

And the next night a wide swath of western sky clothed in magenta, a freeze-frame of tone-negative northern lights, as if some great city over the hill was burning. It stretches in scraps toward the east, where I first spied it, thinking it the late moon rising in its wane. I stand out there and ogle, waiting for some arrival of a sign; the lonesome pilgrim standing in the dark and the cold of an intergalactic bus stop shelter. I find out later that, in fact, “Earths magnetic field was hit by a coronal mass ejection, enabling the Northern Lights to be seen.” 
Well Blessed Be.

I get a Hail Mary phone call from Sister Mothers older daughter, because who else do you call at ten o'clock on a monday night for foreign films on dvd (to summarize and submit as a power-point presentation the next day) in this town? Happy to walk in the late october night under the far-burning stars, Jupiter huge and heartening in the east, then come home to the wee warm hoosie and work away at the pair of fingerless mitts im crafting for Tamlin (from lovely stuff made of recycled plastic bottles in “Forest Floor” green). Impromptu pilgrimage to our Lady of the Waters and up the hill in all the wrong shoes, bees and butterflies, shale altars and sunlight in the meadow.

Working all week, driving east into the newborn morning, the sky is salmon colored, a pale, smoked pink shot with impossible rose and the cloud-shrouded blue sky of day. But the nights are clear, the stars are close and bright, and at dusk the waxing half-moon rides low and level, traveling west. An odd warmth for november after late octobers date with snow. I can still peg laundry up in the evening and have it dry by the next afternoon.

Im faring better this year than last, I think. Working helps, filling the day with someone elses business, being useful, and contributing to general funds. Standing in the glorious chill of nine p.m. November, I look up, as I am wont to do, at the Stars and the Moon and now Jupiter, which always cheers me, and I think, as I am wont to do, “I am alone.” a sudden and crowding presence like having a ream of paper made of charged Light let loose over your head, this fluttering, comforting, reassuring clairsentience of Presence. And then a kind of exorcism, retching into the forsythia for awhile and afterward, a clear, clean feeling, and the return of my sense of smell. An unusual calm, and the words, “I am arrayed with angels.”

I know more now about what I need to do, even though last nights dreams went unrecorded and gone. A hard frost this morning, but theyre still talking in terms of sixty degrees around noon. The houseplants are crowded for adequate light. I am thinking of giving aloe as a gift to whoever would accept one. Seven daughters all in one pot, spotted and stunted and doing their best.

I roast a squash, bake an apple crisp, finish letters long overdue. What a change in the way I feel, this serenity, spaciousness. It may not last, but ill be grateful for however long it stays, pages of Light, messengers of my Belonging. I feed the woodstove, throw a frisbee for the blue dog, take photos of the garden in her ravaged beauty, and pull seven fine beets from the ground.

The Lavender and Parsley still spry, the Calendula still sporting fine flowers (whose last petals need plucking), the Mugwort green, but everything else a black and skeletal remain bearing seedheads for the birds and next springs resurrection. Full Taurus Moon and I cant sleep, so I go outside and sit in the last of this long stretch of fine weather, the light of which, even obscured by clouds, is bright and the bare cuneiform branches of the Oak trees speak of coming rain, and then, if the voice on the radio is to be believed, of snow
which comes a few days later for one fleeting moment, thin dry bits of frozen dust that spangle the dogs back and arent enough to merit a shaking off.. I bring the old wooden chair in, whose resurrection is a winter goal.

Too many losses and regrets like the dead leaves rustling and whipping around except there is no joy in this pile I rake inside my head, and jump into. Next day the sky is an old grey batting but I get away with another load of laundry for little sails on the line. The green leaves of the lilac tree seem to spoil winters quiet dignity, obstruct the script of twigs against distant hills. For it being the grim season I am doing alright, and am ultimately grateful for the struggle I am allowed. In my dreams I cannot find my sword, and I am tempted to think it will take another few lifetimes for me to earn it. We love you.

for zuzu.

04 November 2011

the friday song.

22 October 2011

 Letters from the Outside, #51

Its been too many moons since my last letter, and I apologize. Let me begin this late letter by wishing for a day next year as glorious as the twenty-fifth of september was this. After that it was october a week early, the wind blows and the trees turn, leaves falling in thin yellow slivers through the thick canted light. Dog trots through the tall grass dewspangled and deer trod. The wind has reclaimed his coldwater quality and the sun valiant behind a cloud-Pollocked sky only strong enough to melt the edges. I have “what shall we do with a drunken sailor” inexplicably looping through my head.

The woods are lovely, every aperture in me opening when I am with them. A blush of rust on the far hillside and the wooly bears are decidedly polarized from what ive seen of them, either pine or mahogany with no interruption from the other. I realized the Chestnuts are a pair of mothers and daughters, former flanking the latter, broader, fecund, old enough to ovulate. The slender branches of the maidens within bearing only leaves. An excellent example on someones part of land stewardship. I dont fill my pockets with the glossy nuts this year. I take one.

At noon in the western sky, the waning crescent moon powerful and lovely from even so far away. Thirteen crows give the benediction and the leaves estranged from their source lie heavy on the ground. The switch is off. I walk into thick mist cogitating on Druid Oak rites and set off five fine doe from the high, wild rosebushes. The cattle are a henge through the pasture of mist. The rills run loud and hard, the Apples of Avalon shrouded. I stand and listen keenly to octobers incantation to split the husk and scatter the seed, and then to sleep.

Indian Summer comes, days flirting with eighty degrees, and we celebrate The Anniversary of My Latest Arrival in pilgrimage to the conservatory, the flame speckled koi and the vanilla scented orchids and the staghorn fern. A room of hundred year agaves and pin phalanxed cacti keeping tender fingers from the sweet water inside. I feel my soul battery recharged, absorbing the humid high oxygen easy breathing of all this pure green growing behind glass. Two tiny Tortoise and several scattered congregations of Box Turtle in the burbling rock ponds. A prevailing sense of peace and sanity we carry with us on a walk through Holly, Magnolia, Hornbeam, the winsome Autumn Crocus and a thousand magical enclaves under the old trees, in small rolling rooms of manicured grass and light and shadow.

A visit to the marble Neptune, offering wanderers the scallop sign, all roads returning to the Ocean, all jagged fragments of some greater glass sphere softened in the turning tides at this foreign shore of Time until we are incorporated, the sand itself for others to leave their fleeting footsteps in. Old graves disintegrating into geology. At the chinese restaurant my Crisp Oracular Dessert proclaims, “If I bring forth what is inside me,what I bring forth will save me.”

Resurfacing work between the two little towns turns the road into miles of Pennsylvania Turnpike, the hypnotic challenge of lined pylons.

After a few days of glorious seventy-degree swansong, October takes on the sodden mantle of November. Damp and chill as I revel in, my woolens and my seven-league boots, the comforting cool humidity, the long evening, the season of my most recent incarnation and today the advent of my thirty-ninth tour around the Sun. A fine day by all accounts, the sky speaks of coming rain but today a little wind and sun, a walk down the road with hawks keeping close to the ground, preserving their precious energy on low branches scanning for wee rustling beasties searching themselves for provisions with which to survive the coming season. The dark spreading margins of our incrementally abbreviating days send us out of the house into inkwater mornings and home again through an already encroaching dim. The morning clouds are apricot or periwinkle, the creek rushes high from all the rain and, like time and angels, passes through us toward the Ocean or the Sky, sounding just like the wind winnowing whats left of the leaves on the trees. The Oaks will be last to lose their brown leather leaves, but this year everything got cut-off, caught off guard.

I reaped one small pumpkin, self-sown from the compost pen. The gardens overgrown with Tulsi and an array of field weeds, a seasons worth of tomatoes returning to dust. I did observe that, having not purchased any Mennonite seedlings this year, and despite the extraordinary wet, and the fact that that sort of thing lives in the soil in perpetuity, there was no blight. The Cleomes are a fragile dream and Tithonia saturate saffron Faerie crowns. Im still picking Calendula petals, and the Monkshood has bloomed, as the Bleeding Heart withers to reveal the Rhododendron daughter, deep green and waxed for winter. We Love You.

07 October 2011

the friday song.

30 September 2011

its the birthday of W.S. Merwin.

For the Anniversary of My Death
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day   
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

-W.S. Merwin

17 September 2011

the saturday song.

15 September 2011

14 September 2011

for zuzu, through our duration.

Here's a woman, brought by northwind, brought by northwind, pulled by waters, washed ashore by waves of oceans, drifted here on rising billows.  When but I begin my chanting I'll sing seas to mead and honey, bottom gravel all to saltgrains sands of sea to beans uncounted.  Just by once my girdle tying, just by once my shirt on taking, once by fastening my buckles, once my feet in shoes by thrusting.  Rise, my nature, off the earth now, lift my sin from ground beneath me, lift my sin from ground beneath me, Fay from underneath the aspen.
Letters from the Outside, #50

Autumn heralded in with chainsaws and the sound of acorns falling onto trucks in the driveway. Roadside bunting of Goldenrod flowers. I put on some Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and water the plants. I seek the sun like an old cat, sensing its wane, its growing scarcity.

September, traditionally treacherous month, melted butter on the ledge from which by my fingertips I hang. A sudden spate of social occasions, unexpected reunions of long yesterdays spectres. The project delievered I find myself reading again, and the walk. Perhaps it requires a certain frame of mind; an acceptance, or surrender, to things As They Are. Early september heat of what feels more like Indian Summer, sitting soaking in the light of a sun the wane of which we sense in our animal bones.

Ribbed crippled old dogs in the bed of feedstore pick-ups, a texas polka band on the radio playing “in heaven there is no beer.” my Tithonia blooms, and the Wolfsbane buds and everything so late to the party this year, theres no time left for ripening in the cycle. Theres a grief in me as old as I am, and it keeps me from attending to these letters of yours, for fear of filling the pockets of pages with stones. My strawberries are profuse with blooms. I find the cats at play with winsome prey and it steals my appetite, all the senseless suffering of the world condensed into this moment, which cannot be salvaged nor saved, and I turn away. It has rained and rained.  The garden is mud and the bewitching smell of Tulsi, ancient and sweet.

Roadside Goldenrod, Jewelweed and Sumac in her red flocked fall coat, the ground thick with Hickory nuts, culverts running with rainwater and frogs, while I stand in a dense expansion of sunlight in the center of a circle one southward Monarch makes time to cast around me. The cows graze their quiet way in the shade of the windbreak til the tip of the peninsula thins into a shady grove, and follow the sun across the creek to haybales and evening home. I unpin my hair and let the wind have his way with it. In the sky, a rainbow serpent, or a swan. The farther I go the closer I come to understanding how finely-tuned I was when I was born. How years of abuse and neglect have left a callous as ugly as it is numb. How does one exfoliate a soul?

The old woman plants a patch of black-eyed-susan where the plastic lamb used to be and replaced the mirrored gazing ball with one of driveway oilslick dragon tchotchke hues. Fairy cathedrals of Cleome in the garden where one of the relocated roses offer pink rannuncular assemblages of petals, regressed back toward some ancestress hardy and more fragrant than the rarified hardware store hybrid it arrived as. The moon a pearl in a bowl of fog, and the nights are not yet cool enough to keep the crickets from their recitations.

A day of revelations, Full Pisces Moon the sunlight warm goldenrod honey bright butter colored waves along the shore of the road miraculous backlit hawkweed the wild dappled Apples, pregnant bellies of orchards of seed, Chestnuts gestating in their seamless spiny pods and the smell of Concords. Foxgrapes ripen on the vine. Offerings to the Pine, second station of Mary, and I gather dense resin in a maple leaf, and in surrender am offered this significance: Pathkeeper. So I ask for guidance to find that Path and tend it true.

I am sitting outside in the late morning sun and can still feel the weight of my walking bag against my body. “You arent carrying that bag anymore.” Grant me the strength to put down the satchel of ghosts. To reclaim my open heart and my soul. The past is not a place we can ever go again, it is a purgatory, and thief of the living. Hold onto Wisdoms souvenirs and let the wind and rain and sun scour the rust away.

I hang laundry, patch a blanket. I pick tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, walk to the crossroads where the wind blows and the leaves fall and the dog trots through the tall grass dew-spangled and deer-trod. In her dream I am as I am, petticoated in earth and sunset and the dusky lustre of winegrapes against greek leaves and tendrils set in wood or sugar green. A house of marvels and laughter escaping forbidden from the heavy door, out into the wondrous, waiting world. These dreams are a gift, little candles in the window sitting vigil for the wandering soul.

I bake a hotmilk cake, oatmeal cookies, and then put together a stroganoff for supper. By eight the yard is dark, and the rain comes with a bolt of lightning which turns the darkness around us inside out to white. The Calendula petals dry, the Blackberry cordial brews. I should have picked that Tulsi on the full of the moon. I am as I am and Great Goddess when will I stop apologizing?

Grateful I am evolving, my satellite soul traveling the spiral of All That Is, unfolding to a flower and ripening to a seed in endless cycles akin to infinite others and entirely significant, always forward, never straight. 
We Love You.

06 September 2011

 steven jesse bernstein.

"...her mood disappears and is replaced by a wet church steeple...angels roasted on porcupine quills..."

this ones for ripton.

"...He read poems from a stage with a live rodent in his mouth, its tail twitching as baseline punctuation. He tried to cut his heart out in order to hold it in his hands and calm it down. He once urinated on a heckler and tended to throw things: beer bottles, manuscripts, drumsticks, his wallet, a sandwich."

28 August 2011

Letters from the Outside, #49

Chicken roasting, Lammas bread rising, I sit on the threshold after a fruitful, feverish Zuzu Birthday Project session and listen to the lovely sound of our garden drinking in the steady, gentle rain. Mad weather, oscillating wildly between sunshine and shadow, thunder rolling around the edge of a cerulean sky buttressed bright with clouds. The days have been full of rain, and the nights cool. So the tomatoes, like the corn at the crossroads, are where july should have found them. And without light or heat, these tropical fruits wont ripen, or grow. The cabbages, however, are flourishing, waxing moons of pleated leaves that catch the night rain in their skirts, and the dew.

Some notes from the road: O.D. On the sidewalk where I started, they strap him to the gurney and stand around the garbage can shooting breeze. Anabaptists headed south for harvest of their own farms, and I change seats after the smell coming off the stubby, rough-handed man across the aisle hits me, and my heavy bag fortuitously fails to detonate a plastic ziploc of spew someone was thoughtful enough to seal. I thought it was really interesting that because of these Plain Folk, who eat slabs of velveeta on generous wedges of iceberg one woman keeps in a old blue suitcase, the bus would not be offering a movie on the overhead screens.

Filthy haunted restrooms where everythings strictly drip-dry. The one driver who took nine or ten swings at backing out of the gate before we moved along into open spaces, curly-headed faun clouds in a sky people are photographing with their phones. The unmolested woods of Sovereign People territory exuding comfort and sanctuary. Border Patrol, dead serious and self-contained, one hand on the gun. The little Amish girl babbles Deutch and licks the windows.

Light on the lake water that comes from a sun, red as a freshly forged nailhead shattering in the cool of the thruway treeline and filling the bus with a steam of darkness. A teen preacher in the seat behind me, whispering scripture and doctrine in a honed, hypnotic liturgy that shrinks the world to the unlikely pair of us and I invoke the names of Lilith and Mary while he spits his chew into a plastic pop bottle.

Seems less a bus station than a disaster relief area, drawn, exhausted people wrapped in tattered blankets, shuffling in slippers, clutching plastic bags of what they managed not to leave behind. Two in the morning a woman and child herded off by tall, blank-faced men in neutral suits into the black-hole anonymity of a witness protection program. Or so im told by a number of these purgatory dwellers, and my own story soon gets back on board and slides quietly away into a greasy neon night. I visibly startle a lanky looming Jamaican with my use of the word, “patois.”

Knoxville the absolute nadir of this 80's Bowery-era add-a-bead haul, if you dont count the smell of the Chattanooga station, which persuaded me to take my chances in the rocketing porta-potty at the back of the bus. A woman performs her morning prayers somewhere behind me, “Thank you, jesus” audible at regular intervals, matter-of-fact. I have not eaten for six-hundred miles and the turkey croissant I eat in a manner reminiscent of hyenas at an impala carcass in Atlanta is nothing short of miraculous. Thank you, jesus.

The kid sitting behind me plays with my seat and clicks his footrest rather dramatically one setting at a time before releasing it to strike with a clang against the base of the chair. He tires of this folly, and contents himself with kicking at the back of it and rocking the entire seat back and forth, those first tentative parries with an stalled vending machine. I read a street sign for Beaver Ruin Road, and know im getting closer to where the Rosemary is a grand Faerie Queen garbed in green needles and flourishing in this climate to the size of foundation shrubbery. Where the Scuppernong arbor is a dappled chapel of serrate leaves on woody vines and the ceiling vibrates with the music of insect friction and the one large garden spider waits in the center of a web three feet across in the corner, shaded and waiting.

There is a Fig tree and Angels Trumpet and a duck so heavy-bred for flesh it cannot fly. Where the sunlight is a tangible thing, atomized lead apron on your skin, and theres a loaf of Sunbeam on every table in every chicken joint in town. Where the muddy rivers glitter with mica and pyrite and theres armadillos now im told, drifting north with climate change, and the lonesome holy feeling of the georgia Pines. Where theres a woman who lives with her dogs and an English Sparrow where we walk the creek split road with a herd of cows retuning home at twilight and the pygmy goats traveling tetherless along the red clay track and I ate good barbeque and behaved badly, desperate for the shibboleths, the Unspoken Rules that only arrive with time, of which I hadnt any. We love you.

"And if the question were asked: What is more real, the mundane or the sublime? most would hesitate before they gave an answer. On the one side, details: say, the aftermath of a breakfast, dirty chipped plates in the sink, their rims encrusted with egg yolk. Against this, the unnameable: small aching heart with boasts, what can you know? Outside the cage of everything we ever heard or saw, beyond, outside, above, there lies the real, hiding as long as we shall live, there stretch and trail the millions of names of God burning across the eons. When all through this our end will come before we even know the names of us.

For many the egg yolk prevails." -L.M.

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

"The perfection of the Absolute where all Becoming stops and pure Being, immutable, timeless, unchanging, hangs forever like a ripe peach upon the bough." -E.A.

"...and the whole incident was incredibly frazzling and angst-rod and filled almost a whole mead notebook and is here recounted in only its barest psycho-skeletal outline." -D.F.W.

"At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards." -H.S.T.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." -D.T.
"Cometh a voice: My children, hear; From the crowded street and the close-packed mart I call you back with my message clear, back to my lap and my loving heart. Long have ye left me, journeying on by range and river and grassy plain, to the teeming towns where the rest have gone - come back, come back to my arms again. So shall ye lose the foolish needs that gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve to heal the fretted nerve. Treading the turf that ye once loved well, instead of the stones of the city's street, ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell, but the wind that croons in the ripening wheat. I that am old have seen long since ruin of palaces made with hands for the soldier-king and the priest and prince whose cities crumble in desert sands. But still the furrow in many a clime yields softly under the ploughman's feet; still there is seeding and harvest time, and the wind still croons in the ripening wheat. The works of man are but little worth; for a time they stand, for a space endure; but turn once more to your mother - Earth, my gifts are gracious, my works are sure. Instead of the strife and pain I give you peace, with its blessing sweet. Come back, come back to my arms again, for the wind still croons in the ripening wheat."
-John Sandes, The Earth-Mother (excerpt, 1918)