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“What? I Am!” by Wakil David Matthews


This is a new poem that came to me in part during a silent meditation retreat (the sweet nature-connected part) and filled itself out when I ended the retreat and opened my devices again for the first time in a week to see that the world had flipped over again—this time with the murder of George Floyd.


I am

I am singing a robin song.

A nuthatch song

A raven song

I am singing the dirge

Of the dying bees wasting in chemical soup

Of the suffering salmon dying in churning blades

Of the mourning Orca mother holding her dead baby.

I am reaching my roots deep into the Earth.

Intertwining

Connecting

Feeling

Hearing

The critters

the mycelium

the dirt

I am pulling the sap up through my bark.

I am reaching toward the golden sun.

I am feeling the pain

Of forests raging in black fire

Of the decimated rotting stumps remembering the rain forest

Of hemlocks and pine and elm consumed by disease

I am reflecting green light in a million different hues.

From Leaf

from Moss

From fern

From needle

From salal

I am swallowing poisonous pesticides

I am soil depleted and dead from mono-culture greed.

I am feeling the breeze on my bare skin.

I'm feeling the cold in my toes.

I am feeling the fear

the clenching of my bowels

the closing of my throat

the stiffening lungs and spiking fever

I am the young black boy looking into the death eye

Of the white policeman's revolver

I am the white policeman trembling inside

With a fear he cannot name.

We can't breathe

but still we breathe.

I am singing a creek song.

I am singing a breeze song.

I am emerging from the sweat lodge

Remembering indigenous ancestors

Mourning for all that has been destroyed.

I am singing a song of protest

Of outrage

Of disgust

Of sorrow

Of hope

Of change.

I am the breeze.

I am the song.

I am afraid

I am delight.

I am despair.

I am hopeful.

I am heartbroken.

I am heart.

Only heart.

I am.

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