The Lamb Whimpers

Lion and lamb play, wrestle like siblings
until one of them is wounded,
removed from play, the lamb whimpers,
lion wins with a roar and a savage gust
as flakes tumble from the sky where
yesterday’s warm and misty rain fell
upon my daughter dexterous in her
climb like the arboreal creatures we all used to be,
as other caregivers watch nervously.
The buds swelling at the fingertips of the skeleton tree
waiting, preparing, for the warmth of summer
to convert my daughter’s carbon dioxide to oxygen
so she can breathe freely among cement,
brick, limestone, and glass, but…
today the lion roars fierce and the wind cuts
turning fingers painful and red.

This winter is different, they say, colder for longer
but still the same: spring will follow winter
the tilt of the axis, gravity enforcing our orbit ensures it,
or have the descendants of ancient hominids gone so far
nothing will be the same for us who came of age
with belief in our superiority to nature,
while this new generation experiences an alternative normal,
where the lamb concedes perpetual defeat, without a whimper?

snow in spring

Toxic Lover

Stunted trees in planters desperately flower in late October,
I want to reach out touch the tree, the bark, the life,
connect to something natural, but the tree needs
to be healed, it can not heal me.
Manhattan, it’s buildings, solid, unyielding, overwhelming,
unnatural, hard, and angular close in on me with the force of
a stifling lover who demands I conform to unconformity,
awakening a claustrophobia I never knew I had,
the sky too far away, smelly, dirty, generic descriptors, but
I’ve been here so long, across the bridge in comparative
spaciousness where trees abound along the sidewalks
roots pushing slate skyward, attempting escape, still imprisoned.

Once I commuted daily, enjoyed the steadfast energy of a new love
the excitement, the classes, rehearsals, the ambition of youth,
at home in the maze of the subways and secure
when I emerged I would know where I was.
Now it’s changed, unfamiliar, everything except the sidewalk and the slime
on the corner oozing from where a garbage can sits,
lost among the shiny, new, expensive, superficial,
first world consumption of things, unnecessary, but desired,
can buy new shoes clothes bags books cards ink chocolate,
pharmacies on every other corner, banks and ATMs on the others,
stuff everywhere, objects to covet and acquire
while the natural world melts and burns removed
so far from this city that in truth is unreal.

My aged lover has no depth, fragile built upon dreams,
fulfilled, squandered, crumbled, extinguished, modified,
let the natural world come, flood the city, the subways,
wash away the selfish acquisition of millions of murderers,
all who are killing our earth, our mother, our Gaia.
Union square with trees and open air, its farmer’s market
an illusion of nature, filled with the souls
of starving murderers, buying locally, eating naturally
while crushed in crowds of self righteous, like-minded
individuals unaware that here, there is no vibration of earth,
here they can not be in tune with the natural,
here they can not be.
They can only visit an ATM, consume, and destroy
while cradled by the philandering embraces of my toxic lover.