Monthly Archives: November 2021

earth climacteric

and money
and strength
capitalizing on itself to mow down whatever
can be made grass
i needed something to rise
as whole and shining moving through the dark
it’s a time of flouishing within a hard
vigil that hurts as it goes
bumping and ripping our fingernails on the walls we try
to keep ourselves safe from knowing
the lives we share
in this world between we are midwifing
we’re weaving a dream we can’t see
on these screens and these waves and wires
in the skies the energy we draw and circulate back to earth in our bodies
and souls
we are keepers of what can’t be known,
what is a birthing to be made whole like a woman screaming herself
into being
for the first time
*This poem came after a gathering with about 25 lesbian radical feminists, sharing intensity for a short time that felt cataclysmic and transformational.  Part of what is always on our minds now (all of us) is the Earth's changes and our grief over human (euro-cultures, patriarchy, capitalist) destructiveness towards her and life.  Paula Gunn Allen, in her 1991 essay 'The Woman I Love is a Planet, The Planet I Love is a Tree,' used the terms 'menopause' and 'climacteric' for these changes, and said:

'Our planet, my beloved, is in crisis; this, of course, we all know. We, many of us, think that her crisis is caused by men, or White people, or capitalism, or industrialism, or loss of spiritual vision, or social turmoil, or war, or psychic disease. For the most part, we do not recognize that the reason for her state is that she is entering upon a great initiation-she is becoming someone else. Our planet, my darling, is gone coyote, heyoka, and it is our great honor to attend her passage rites. She is giving birth to her new consciousness of herself and her relationship to the other vast intelligences, other holy beings in her universe. Her travail is not easy, and it occasions her intensity, her conflict, her turmoil-the turmoil, conflict, and intensity that human and other creaturely life mirror. And as she moves, growing and learning ever closer to the sacred moment of her realization, her turmoil, intensity, agony, and conflict increase.

At a time such as this, what indeed can we do? We can sing Heya- hey in honoring all that has come to pass, all that is passing. Sing, honoring, Heya-hey to all the beings gathering on all the planes to witness this great event. From every quadrant of the universe they are coming. They are standing gathered around, waiting for the emergence, the piercing moment when she is counted among those who are counted among the wise. We can sing Heya-hey to the familiar and the estranged, to the recognized and the disowned, to each shrub and tree, to each flower and vine, to each pebble and stone, to each mountain and hill. We can sing Heya-hey honoring the stars and the clouds, the winds and the rains, the seasons and the temperature. We can think with our hearts, as the old ones do, and put our brains and muscles in the service of the heart, our Mother and Grandmother Earth, who is coming into being in another way. We can sing Heya-hey, honoring.

What can we do, rejoicing and honoring, to show our respect? We can heal. We can cherish our bodies and honor them, sing Heya-hey to our flesh. We can cherish our being-our petulances and rages, our anguishes and griefs, our disabilities and strengths, our desires and passions, our pleasures and delights. We can, willingly and recognizing the fullness of her abundance, which includes scarcity and muchness, enter inside ourselves to seek and find her, who is our own dear body, our own dear flesh. For the body is not the dwelling place of
the spirit-it is the spirit. It is not a tomb, it is life itself. And even as it withers and dies, it is born; even as it is renewed and reborn, it dies.'
The above image, of many swirling and vibrating colors with different energies, including two focal points of red and many downward-moving energy spirals, was drawn by me in a workshop my wife Diana Signe Kline gave at our gathering.  It feels to me like a a good fit with the poem and with Paula Gunn Allen's theme of listening to our hearts and bodies in all their disturbances which are more than our own individually, and acting from that space.