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What horrors will our off-spring see

in the miasma of futurity?

Their prospects go from bad to worse

as degradation runs its course.

When hope looks like self deception

and positives like mad delusion,

how to stem the lemming crush,

resist the tides of mass confusion?

What chances do our children have

to right the wrongs of history,

to find an unobstructed path

from the charnel house of destiny?

What wonders of the great wide world

will be denied our progeny,

the English Elm, the western Pine,

the elephant, the honey bee?

What poisoned remnants will remain,

what maladjusted misery?

What might they blame for what they see,

where lies responsibility?

We’re un-accepting of the truth

of how it starts with you and me.

How else might we stagger on

in the stench of such perversity?

We’re satisfied with leaders who

confess they don’t know what to do,

that wouldn’t dock our bank accounts

of un-acceptable amounts.

And thus tomorrows loom ahead

with promise overwhelmed by dread;

with life and beauty sacrificed,

our children’s futures overpriced.

 

Poem by Michael G. Hawkes

English elm

honey bee

Elephant-and-calf

western pine

Blazey_1

At the edge of night, a giant clap of thunder tore through the silence, its deep reverberating rumble like a dark omen. The rain came down heavy and dense, battling and winning against the howling wind. It encased the house in watery bars, and she curled up in bed, small and helpless in the face of this sudden onslaught. In the relentless darkness she sensed a presence, shadowy silhouettes slowly taking familiar shape, long unseen. She held her breath as they circled around, her heart enormous and heavy, beating painfully against the ribcage. A stifling curtain descended upon her, large heaving bodies close by, sucking the air from the room, from hope, that disappeared in inconsolable defeat. She lay without moving, as they growled and snorted, nuzzling her in their morbid, insistent affection. There was no point in struggling. There was no point at all, as dark thoughts picked up their danse macabre, churning and churning, boring deeper all the time, down to the very pit of her being. She lay like this for an eternity, she may as well have been dead. Dawn rose slowly somewhere outside the window, somewhere beyond the insistent sorrow that now held her captive, its embrace like a tender vise…

982203648_1386197689

 

 

I saw god dancing among the leaves

one afternoon

led by two squirrels prancing in unison

like loyal pages to an autumnal Pan.

He twirled and swirled and the leaves fell like rain

softly

one by one

gently

not to disturb the dancing god.

There were tears in my eyes and a smile on my lips

as I watched him dance among the trees

in the golden clearing

by the old convent.

The trees stood guard

they circled the space like sentries

around a lit stage

on which he danced for me.

My steps were uneven

but I kept pace with the dancing god

behind the hedge.

Finally he rose among the trunks

the leaves stopped for a gasp

as he kept spinning higher and higher

and a delicate laughter came down to the ground

and I came to the end of the sidewalk.

©aother

Wait!

Don’t go.

I am still here.

I want to say something.

Hear me.

Stop.

For a moment.

Listen.

To me.

I am.

I am you.

I am not you.

But we could be one.

Or one of many.

Stop.

Listen to me.

I speak your language.

I am you.

Stop.

©aother

Art: Wait for Me

By Benjamin Chee Chee

Benjamin Chee Chee, artist, of Ojibwa descent, born Kenneth Thomas Benjamin at Temagami, Ontario 26 March 1944; died at Ottawa 14 March 1977.

How can one be angry at a cloud for forming the wrong shape? The same goes for a human, shaping different kind of matter to create; and sometimes it comes out like Leonardo, and sometimes not…

This is as close to perfection as one can get:

Grand Lake, Ontario, fall 2006

Painting by Anne Ashton

/www.anneashton.com/motel america

All the omens were good.

The moon was rising slowly, robed in golden sheen. The birds were loud. The cat was happy. My dreams had stairs going up.

Yet I felt dreadful.

Fearful.

Apprehensive.

So I took to bed. That was the only solution, for how was I to fight something that was not coming?

.

©aother

Art by Julie Oakes

…I flew through treetops last night. The night before, I soared high above an ice-covered river, vast like the ocean, with enormous chunks of ice jostling for position as they moved lazily with the current.

I flew above treetops last night. I saw a tiny bird’s nest and almost tore a delicate spider web high up in the branches. It was magical…

Toile-d’araignée

Photo by Daniel Heïkalo

.

… not yet… soon. Forming behind evening clouds, gently, persistently, inevitably… It is coming, it is here, but not altogether, envisioned and felt but not yet present in its fullness and oblivion, its mindless pull and blinding reflection… I fear, and long for it… as I watch it appear.

It will be here tomorrow.

©aother

 

…the world wrapped in a gray cloud, bursting with light like a lost god seeking shelter in the dark, groping blindly with a lightening rod…angry, throwing sound bolts into the frenzied air… air and water, water and air, one and not one, an undulating watery net torn by wet buildings… wave after wave, a pattern of sensations… the earth melting, flowing… and then suddenly, light, calm light, wide and soft, soothing the now-tired god, gently pushing his anger beyond sound… he retreats mumbling, wrath turned to forgiveness.

©aother

Art: Far Shore

By Daniel Barkley

When I came down to the kitchen that morning, the door to the garden was closed and blocked by a chair. Thinking Mum was tidying up and had shifted it there, I made myself a cup of tea and started reading the day’s paper.

The chair remained propped against the garden door, and I finally asked Mum if I should place it back by the kitchen table.

It was then she told me about the rat.

We had seen it before. It was I, in fact, who had spotted the small creature a few days ago.

“Look Mum, a mouse!” (sic)

“Oh, no!” The reaction was one of horror.

“It’s a rat.”

And so it was, but I still found it hard to look at the creature with anything other than endearment. Mind you, from behind the glass.

There it was, scampering just beneath the window, lifting one of its hind paws painfully, as if someone had just stepped on its toe.

“We’ve got to get rid of it,” was the unanimous decision of everyone else.

I felt rotten. I had ratted on a rat. And now it was to be done away with.

“Let’s hope the cats get it,” they said.

I hoped they wouldn’t.

And, it seemed, Mr B. and Sybil had not done their job, for there it was now, right outside the kitchen door, dangerously close to the cats’ trap door, only its tail visible from our vantage point behind the glass pane.

The rat was not moving. Neither did we, as the morning wore on, sipping our tea and watching vegetable peels pile up in the sink. We dared not step outside to toss them on the compost, as long as the rat’s tail remained within view.

Sybil was the first to be ushered out to deal with the rat. She would have nothing to do with the motionless rodent, and promptly returned to her patch of sunlight in the corridor.

“Where’s Mr B.?” Mum asked. It was the indignant tomcat’s turn to be carried outside unceremoniously to dispose of the intruder. After a sniff, the undisputed ‘master of the house’ took off in another direction.

“Oh, my,” said Mum. I kept quiet.

“Perhaps it’s ill,” I ventured finally.

That would explain why the cats wouldn’t touch it.

“Maybe it’s dead.”

It was time for the dog’s walk. We left by the front entrance, the kitchen chair still against the back door.

I tried not to look at the prostrate critter as we crossed the lawn, heading for the fields behind the house, with Tills bounding ahead in anticipation. I picked flints and striped rocks, kicking spiky chestnut casings that looked like tiny hedgehogs rolled into a ball.

Back home, the rat waited for us, lying motionless on the wooden step outside the kitchen door.

“I’m getting the shovel,” Mum ventured as we approached the house.

Gingerly lifting the rat, she tossed it into the garden.

“Maybe the fox will eat it.”

Oh, it was dead of course. A bite on its neck testified to a job well done on the part of one of the cats. No wonder Mr B. looked offended.

©aother 2012