There is an Otherworld
at the edge of our perception
more real than our store-bought reality
It shines through us, always
we shield our eyes because we cannot face its light,
There is an Otherworld
between nature and super-nature
curtain pulled back on the bleeding heart of earth
ashes to ashes
crust into mantle crust
residents of the Royal Gardens Subdivision
came face to face with it in 1983
watching helpless as lava devoured their homes
gone: not instantaneously but with a
marching, thunderous certainty
they tried to divert the lava flow away:
the vanity of human wishes!
There is an Otherworld
not virtual reality
of Dreamweavers, but
actuality profound, misunderstood
Is it the future?
No, it is our now:
‘Fools: you live your lives surrounded by beauty
so wrapped up in your fools’ economy
you fail to see,
seek only destroy.’
© 2022 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.
Written for earthweal
This week, Brendan has given us an extension of last week’s challenge, and asked us how we are to face a future of climate chaos, using the metaphor of ‘The Swan’ from Mary Oliver’s poem:
What else are we going to do with that swan when she reaches the shore? How else are we to sing?
I took inspiration from these lines of Oliver’s poem:
Said Mrs. Blake of the poet:
I miss my husband’s company–
he is so often
Of course! the path to heaven
doesn’t lie down in flat miles.
It’s in the imagination
with which you perceive
and the gestures
with which you honor it.’
I think Blake spent a lot of time in the Otherworld which I’ve attempted to describe above. I also wanted to examine the Otherworld as a place of boundaries and transition (between past and future, life and death) wondering what it might be able to teach us about how to face our current situation. I think the answer lies in acceptance, and the courage to change the things we can.
We all have our Otherworld, though we’re not always aware of it. I love the fluidity of your description. 👍
Thank you Hobbo 🙏
Great response Ingrid – the virtual Otherworld is a poor blood relation to the ancient Otherworld, if any — surreality is not the same as deeper reality and indeed may eviscerate wholly our natural relation. Volcanic eruption and flow comes unbidden (though one must acknowledge the risk, building subdivisions on the belly of the dragon), and when wild nature comes, human concepts fail. I’m afraid digital civilization is as problematic as fossil-fuel dependence, maybe even worse – certainly as difficult to get free of. One has to imagine deeply, wide and far, and find the possibility in those places where the veil is thin. (Like parks, where kids run and roar without devices.)
Thoughtfully & beautifully done!
Beautiful imagery and a profound message!
Thank you Virginia! 😊
Oh marvelous! There’s an Otherworld in me too, it keeps crying for attention 🥲😀 What an intelligent line of thoughts, charming Ingrid. I love your ideas right from the middle of my soul. 🌺🤗🌺
Thank you kindly Lamittan!
Most welcome, Ingrid.
So much to think about here, Ingrid!
Yes, more questions than answers!
What fools these mortals be–more true now than ever. (K)
Impressive poem/impressive post, friend.
Thank you so much Rae 😊
I wonder if the Otherworld will survive the destruction of the world we live in?
I don’t think even our destructive powers are up to destroying that!
I hope you’re right!
This is so powerfully, thoughtfully composed and delivered! Indeed Fools is the right way to address those of us who don’t see. I love how you spoke clearly of the Otherworld, we tend to live in denial of its Light.
I am glad you understood the message: there is so much light and wonder all around us, yet we walk with our eyes closed.
A profound poem, Ingrid. You’ve done great justice to shining a light on the importance of taking care of our only home.
Thank you kindly, Jeff!
Thanks Ingrid. Thought provoking as always.
Thank you Lindi!
Is this the allure of Yellowstone National Park? Its geysers and mud pots are a glimpse into that otherworld of a super-volcano that threatens to destroy a vast area of the United States. Bison and elk graze here, grizzly bears and wolves are impressive predators, and there are beautiful waterfalls. Millions visit the park every year.
Life on earth is tenuous. There are threats from space such as meteors and an aging sun. Pandemics may also be beyond our control. Humans, though, are responsible for the ongoing, mindless destruction of the environment.
Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Ingrid. “I think the answer lies in acceptance and the courage to change the things we can.” sums up the challenges we face.
I have never been to Yellowstone, but I would love to see it! I was lucky enough to fly over Kilauea in Hawaii once 😊
very true. that is how we have chosen to live, very short sighted. you’re hitting the nail on the head with this poem, very well done.
Thank you Phillip!
I love this Otherworld at the edge of our perception. Love the dreamweavers, our best hope in troubled times………I cant even tell you how much I love this poem!!!!!!
Thank you so much Sherry!!!
this Other World lives in me too Ingrid and you shared it beautifully. I love how you weaved this together so perfectly! 💖
Yes, nature is shouting loud and clear to us all now. The warning signs are happening in wild storms and disruptions every day. The otherworld is with us too.
And yet we still find it so easy to ignore!
We have just had the most intense thunder storm I’ve ever seen. It felt like Armageddon!
Frightening, aren’t they?
Incredible. I saw on the tv news it rained so hard at another location in the Stste that the someone’s living room roof collapsed!
Do take care of yourself!
It’s interesting to consider the flow of lava as a metaphor for man’s unbridled “advancement.”
I thought so! Thanks Ken.
A beautiful post thank you so much
A beautiful and thought-provoking poem, Ingrid!
Yes, yes! You reveal the power of the Otherworld–both its power and its beauty. It also flows through each of us. This is my new favorite of your poems.
Thank you so much Susan 🙏