“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 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.
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.
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
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.