(Poem) The Neighbours Send a Message by Harriet Ellenberger

 The Neighbours Send a Message

Moose, deer, lynx, coyote, bear,
skunk, porcupine, snowshoe hare,
hawk owl, ant, crow, honey bee,
all who live in the woods
behind the house I live in,
now formally address the human race:

We, aforementioned children of earth,
together with all our relations,
and by the power of spirit that moves in all things,
do hereby protest vehemently
the destruction of our homes.

We have kept watch in silence
while you made war on each other,
but our time for surveillance
and fleeing is finished.

We will not watch
without intervening
while you mindlessly kill our mother.

– Harriet Ann Ellenberger

Many thanks to Monica J. Casper (co-editor of Trivia: Voices of Feminism www.triviavoices.com) for encouraging me to turn a flippant e-mail remark into a finished piece.

A note on the hawk owl, for those who live outside her territory: The hawk owl is a northern owl who hunts silently by day. If you’re a field mouse in the wrong place at the wrong time, her shadow will be the last thing you see. If, however, you’re too big to be on her luncheon menu, you are free to calmly admire her fluffy-feathered beauty, her grace in the air, and the stealth and precision of her strikes.

A note on “the power of spirit that moves in all things”:  Watching animals, birds, insects, reptiles, and being influenced by them, has given me the idea that they feel “the power of spirit that moves in all things,” that they’re plugged into cosmic mind. I think humans used to be plugged into cosmic mind too, but that the social systems which developed with patriarchal religions broke the connection. Since then, we’ve been rushing around out-of-sync with everyone else on the planet, and, as a consequence, increasingly unhappy and destructive. I especially love the many images of Goddess-with-her-sacred-animals because these images help me feel again what the other beings on earth feel; they help me reconnect to universal intelligence.