A poem for Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct 08, 2018

"Earth Blessing" by Jack Manno

May earth’s song reach us in our deepest and wildest places.

May it be heard as we move upon her, as we partake of her sustenance,

as we nestle in her waters and grasses

May we hear the voices of the stones, the winds and waters,

creatures and plants, above the human chatter,

softly but not silently, so we can heed them when we must.

May all those who try to conquer earth’s powers learn instead from

compost and humus and take from them humility,

knowing any force conquered is lost forever to the conqueror.

May compassion wrack the polluter’s heart,

so stunned by earth’s gifts their poisons cannot be released.

At long last, may earth’s protectors throw grand parties

where victory is declared in a mighty sigh of relief.

May this exhalation resound in ocean depths,

reverberate in humpback flesh and please all the watery souls.

May whales and wolves rejoice with weird shouts that all is well.

May we have a world’s celebration where everyone stays put,

our roots seeking amusements together deep in the earth,

our branches entwined in the winds.

May our grandchildren’s grandchildren share legends of when

we brought about the end of the time of arrogance and waste.

May they toss stones from shores, hearing our names echo in the ripples.

So May it Be.

Jack Manno is emeritus professor of environmental studies, SUNY ESF, and a member of the executive committee of Ska nonh - Great Law of Peace Center and the steering committee of Neighbors of Onondaga Nation.

Earth Blessing is available as a postcard and a poster at https://www.syracuseculturalworkers.com/products/postcard-earth-blessing.

 

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