It was ruined when you left.
You had a gift
for transplanting small whispers of nature
which burst into song beneath the thumb
of your green magic.
Fuschia, wild rose and climbing ivy
the last torn back
when it threatened to
uproot the house.
Now once again it grows
climbing and covering the gable end:
can a seed, once planted
ever be destroyed?
Like seeds of the Anthropocene:
revolution upon revolution.
We’re working to uproot ourselves
when all is said and done
and I can’t help but wonder
even in the transplant of the first human idea
was nature seeding our destruction?
© 2021 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.
Written for earthweal
For this week’s challenge, Brendan asks us to:
describe the Anthropocene sublime as you find it in your locale. How is that experience similar to the Romantic moment of Wordsworth or Thoreau or Muir, and how has it changed? Can enchantment and spiritual renewal be found in the everyday, even in ruined places?
Perhaps nowhere is the battle between Man and Nature more apparent than in my father’s garden. I can’t help but think that Woman and Nature made a better pairing, at least here, when my mother used to tend it. But we’re writing of Anthropocene destruction, and of course, ‘Anthropos’ means ‘Man’ (which is supposed to encompass all of us, even the 50% who aren’t). I wonder how a ‘Gynaecene’ would look, and if it would be any different in the end?
A very good question for our time: is nature “rooting us out’ with our own seeded ideas of mastery? Much of this whole mess dates back to the transition to agricultural societies back in the Neolithic, when we privileged some seeds, called them our own. The image is a perfect one for the challenge.
Thank you Brendan.
There’s a lot to think about here, Ingrid. That first stanza creates such a lovely image and memory,
But how has humanity also destroyed Earth in its cultivation of seeds and plants?
(I almost never use the words “man” or “mankind” to mean all humans.) 😀
I prefer not to either – though we’re kind of expected to, aren’t we?
No, I don’t think so. I use humankind, humanity, people, etc.
Thought-provoking words, Ingrid. “We’re working to uproot ourselves…” indeed. 🌷
Thank you 🙏
Wow, the last verse captivated me. Beautiful poem, indeed. 👏
Thann you so much 🙏
Ingrid, I was so moved by the first stanza I could barely move beyond it. Your poem is layered with so much thought, heart, memories, and concern. Beautiful. 💓 A bit out of place in the desert, but my mom planted ivy that took over the front of my childhood home. I wrote about it over a year ago (not on blog). I am so moved by this poem. Thank you. 🙏🏼
Thank you Michele for this beautiful comment ❤️
Such a moving poem, Ingrid. The first stanza is an ache. I am struck by “Like seeds of the Anthropocene:
agricultural / industrial / technological / revolution upon revolution.” Seeds of the Anthropocene. I think, perhaps, had matriarchy prevailed rather than patriarchy, we might have lived with the earth in a more nurturing way. Not too late to try, one hopes. The woman leader of New Zealand is doing a fantastic job.
Thanks Sherry. I hope it’s not too late either!
Ooh, beautiful! I love the feeling of growth, nostalgia, and family I find within.
Thank you Jaya!
There’s beauty in letting nature have its way–but also destructiveness. We have upended the natural order of things so much and so often that Mother Nature has lost her balance too. (K)
That’s exactly right.
I do like to think about things like ivy – the way they just keep busy growing and growing, underground or above, turning up unexpectedly and pulling down fences or strangling trees. I once read a sci-fi novel set in a post-apocalyptic future. London is completely overgrown. The jungle has taken over. I like that image of nature’s power. It really appeals to me. I watch people weeding their lawns and keeping possums out of their trees and hating the mulch litter sprayed out by the blackbirds and the choughs and I want to laugh at our tininess. Our little backyard view. Look at a wave or a storm and then know how small we are. Look at a wisteria vine and know about resilience and perseverance. Look at the sky. It feels so good to think that we’re really not that important.
Thanks for sharing your interesting and thoughtful perspective!
What amazing words that built of each other asking more questions than can be answered. i love your interweaving of growth which we must aspire to! 💖💖💖Great poem Ingrid.. 💖
Thanks Cindy 💕💕💕
What a strange thought. I remember years ago wondering what it would be like when nature started fighting back. Now I’m starting to find out. I too wonder what the point of human life (I mean for the entire race) has all been about. This is an idea I’m delving into in the book I’m writing. I haven’t figured out any kind of answer yet. I guess that’s why it’s taking me so long to write.
I do look forward to reading your novel Suzanne!
I look forward to finishing it! 😁😁😁
This is just absolutely stunning!
“can a seed, once planted, ever be destroyed?” ❤
Loved the last two lines a lot❤
Thank you so much 🙏
Beautiful and thought-provoking, Ingrid. Ivy conjures up so many positive images and associations, yet it has destructive power. Ivy growing on buildings as a symbol of humankind planting the seeds of its own destruction is a very powerful metaphor. Have a restful weekend! 🙂
It’s funny where a train of thought or trail of ivy can take you…