J.H. DickinsonPoetry, Essays and Art By J.H. Dickinson from All-Creatures.org


For this world I burn

For this world
I have waited in the
breathy moment.
Chest heaving in hope of change.

But the latest news reveals
an Australian smoke,
filling sorrowful lungs.
A historical notch,
marker, benchmark
of ignorance and human history.

And of hopeful words,
they choke in an
ash-filled mouth.

I am burnt, burned, fizzling in mind.

I wait and wait, patient as the grave,
for transformation,
for the world to shake us off.
Dispel the human
like a dog emerging
from a river, triumphant,
scattering water with pleasure.

Am I anti-human?
The disdainer of all things
intellectually excused as reason.
To damage, to maim and kill.
Destroy the environment.
To commodify the animal body,
create Josef Mengele-like atrocities on
sensitive skin, eyes, mirrored sentience.

To destroy ourselves
through earthly diaspora,
as wanderers, wander
and the refugee, barefoot child,
crumpled old man,
the impoverished,
grow in numbers.

While animals move
into cities to scavenge
as the green
encroached by us.
We shrug.

Hoof, paw, claw, talon,
flipper, fin, funky trainer,
baby booty, wedding shoe.
All tread, swarm, slither,
creep, swim, fly, stomp.
Here and only here.

I burn and yearn for truth.
In answer to why the world is
as the world is.

But still, in the hesitant moment
I do not extinguish the fire,
the rippling anger, but also see
a spotlight.
A potential of light in the darkness.
Of kindness in a burning brush.
Of gathered protagonists who battle.

Leonard Cohen sang out:
‘There is a crack, a crack, in everything…’
And as I see the broken human,
the broken self,
the foundations of institutional
thought tremble,
crack and crumble,
‘That’s how the light gets in.’

For this world, I will burn with light.
Not fire.
With the smallest hope
of change, still yet to come,
for all species,
for all ecologies,
I burn bright.
We burn.

Go on to: For you, animal
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