Alone in the woods I felt
The bitter hostility of the sky and the trees
Nature has taught her creatures to hate
Man that fusses and fumes
Unquiet man
As the sap rises in the trees
As the sap paints the trees a violent green
So rises the wrath of Nature’s creatures
At man
So paints the face of Nature a violent green.
Nature is sick at man
Sick at his fuss and fume
Sick at his agonies
Sick at his gaudy mind
That drives his body
Ever more quickly
More and more
In the wrong direction.

“Alone in the Woods” by Stevie Smith.

With our bodies for percussion we dance around the fire,
listening to our animal instincts, the sounds we can make
with our hands, hips, feet, legs, arms, tongue, mouth, lips;
we know it is not by words, but by meaning that we communicate.

We aim to unite our restless spirits with the Earth, to assimilate,
to find ourselves in the yoke of a mountain and not to wake to stir, but to stare
and settle into a liquid force. Still we twist our waists, shaking the
fringe to separate time into the beats of wooden beads as if saying, “No, no, no.”

Low drums pound in the distance, faster and higher into rattles.
The snake bites only if you slow down, so no one falters;
we’d keep spinning if only we’d burst into feathers and never be
heard from again.

Am I to blame?
The shame and weight and rage that leave their mark
on the soles of my feet, make coal imprints as I navigate
the pot hole streets of Los Angeles, attracting the sun–––
and when the sun tips its gaze, the earth bakes and
cracks and separates, our earthquake love gripping at tears in their continents
like pieces of wrapping paper on a Christmas present, pulling from polar opposites.

Could you tell, by the stars?
Or did you feel yourself dropping to the bottom of my heart
by the change in atmosphere–––the everlasting day, slicing wind, icebergs?

When I imagined a love that could change the world,
I never thought it would come with such sacrifice and guilt.
So am I to blame,
just for thinking it?
You would never say.