– William Blake, from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1793.
“How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?”
We have forgotten we are part of nature
an integral part
we think that we can bend the very seasons to our will
we think that this is Art.
We think that we can drain the carbon sinks
sprinkle fairy dust into the clouds
magic the air clean:
we have an overinflated idea of our own importance.
Now, witness our impotence:
we are unable to control the pandemic
we are unable to put out the forest fires
we are unable to stop the seas from rising.
We’ve made our bed, and now we have to lie in it.
How will you lie in yours?
Will you feather it with further greed?
How does your garden grow, in love, or has it gone to seed?
We are powerless over people, places and things.
We think we are all-powerful, but this is an illusion
the only way to make a difference is to look within
perhaps that light could start a revolution
of the spirit. It’s a far-out hope, but
it’s more realistic than throwing money at the problem
money doesn’t talk, it swears
and I swear it will drown us.
How do we enter that immense world of delight?
Tune down those senses five
there is an inner sense we have learned to
ignore almost completely.
It’s no excuse for complacency.
But I can’t bring about peace on earth
if I don’t have peace in me.
I park, pause, take heed –
the only way forward that I can see.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for Earthweal
If this feels a bit airy-fairy, forgive me. Perhaps it’s more of a thought-dump than a poem. For this week’s challenge, Brendan has asked us to consider some pretty tough questions:
What is the turning point that gets us out of this labyrinth of fated humanity? Who or what must we embrace? How do we find our way into the Totality? What are our responsibilities as the only critter in that mix with the power to shape according to our will? How to merge with the squiggly collective when we can’t come close to herding the collective will of Humanity?
I’m not sure any one of us has the answer to all of this, but I do know we become detached from our humanity at our peril. This is surely the reason for the downgrading and underfunding of Humanities subjects in modern, neoliberally-funded educational establishments…