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What do you need to hold?


In this convergence of light

and autumn breath,

you reach for reds and golds,

grasp them with your fingers,

wanting, asking, deciding

how they can serve you.

You place them in your basket,

crush them down to fit more —

do they crumble as you press,

do they release their veins

and their integrity?


There is a squirrel skimming,

There is a leaf ant carrying, and

you, too, are stepping

(please, you need to watch).


Won't you drop what you've gathered and breathe?

Won't you take Earth in your hands and love her?

"Gathering" first published in Branches

Notes: This poem came from my growing concern regarding our decreasing sense of connection to the earth. As we focus on accumulating more and more — money, power, things — our lives are becoming insular and (we believe) separate from our own environment. I am certainly as guilty as anyone else, and I'm trying to regain my own sense of connectedness.

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