Stop, and bend your ear low
to the ground. Now listen: the breath is labored,
almost choked in some spots. There are people
who can read these signs like ragged, torn air
leaving the lungs of a tired Mother, and they say
that we are killing Her.

We children, clamoring each for a spot
on her dirty expanse of skin,
clinging onto icy crowns, frozen ankles,
and a green waist being stripped leaf by leaf, tree by tree,
a womb scraped from the inside out with
the coarse, violent sophistication of
bulldozers and chainsaws: we are
killing her softly with a hunger of
singing stomachs turned inside out and blessed with
teeth, with blood in the verses that
barely congeal long enough into notes
before we shed more to join them. Watch carefully
the sighs, the sweating, and the tears
from the storms, the quivering surface,
the burning waters. She says
that we are killing her.

Consider carefully what is
beneath your feet. There are people
from a pyramid mountain in Columbia
who can divine the thought from beneath dirt,
who read unopened epistles written by Aluna
where our Mother’s breath escapes easily. Epistles
with instructions to build this world second by second,
molecule by molecule.
They live eighteen years in the dark,
sight blinded to sharpen ear, heart, and mind. They learn
to hear her breath, read these epistles of Aluna, and to
take care of our Mother. Twenty years ago, they tried to tell us
that we are killing her.

We are disconnected from this mindstream
that flows from her third eye, minute by minute, pulse by pulse –
and the hunger in our bellies,
reptile brains, and wallets deafens our ears
to the gentle respiration of thought
below the surface. We do not consider carefully what is
beneath our feet. We polish and sharpen knives to
hasten our plunder:
we pass with dammed-up ears between the torn, bloody walls of
an open womb to take the spoils. Do we know
that we are killing her?

Listen: the world weaves herself through thought.
She cannot think when the bulldozers roar,
the machine guns burst in staccato,
and the throats of our waters choke with oil while tracheas
burn inside out from poison and fire. That
is what the Kogi tried to tell us before: and we
still kept killing her. And did we hear them? We who
walk by sight, not by sound, leave bloody footprints behind us
that can be read like another Inquisition, another Holocaust,
another chain of boats stealing men and women
from an ebony coast. The Kogi are asking us
to look behind ourselves, see the footprints,
see the black circles hanging low and heavy under the eyes
of a Mother who can no longer think, a Mother who is
losing the thread to weave herself as we steal it from between
her spread fingers. And now, we have no excuse: we know
that we are killing her.

Written 8/8/11 and 8/9/11
© 2011 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

This poem was written for this week’s We Write Poems Prompt. Brenda Warren asked us to watch a documentary and then write a poem.

I must confess that I’ve not had time to watch a documentary this week, but an upcoming documentary, Aluna, has sparked my interest. I found out about it from a mailing list I am on. It’s a follow up to a BBCi documentary that was aired in 1990 about the Kogi, a tribe living on a mountain in Columbia, who are able to read and understand signs from the Earth. There is a thought process under all of creation which they call Aluna — and they are frightened by the signs they are seeing. In the first documentary, they spoke of climate change, new diseases, and other things which would befall the Earth if mankind did not cease its greed through mining and deforestation. They asked the original filmmaker, Alan Ereira, to return and make another film, which will be released in 2012. I wrote this poem based on what little I know, the information from the website and the trailer. My fiance and I will be keen to see this documentary, and I hope that I’ve accurately captured the growing alarm and concern over our Earth.


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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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3 Responses to Aluna

  1. Nicole, we are killing her. It is heartbreaking to watch. Love this poem.


  2. vivinfrance says:

    Apocalyptic – your poem evokes fear, regret at the powerlessness of ordinary folk to stop the juggernaut. An emotional reponse to an emotionally-charged piece of writing.

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