Friday, April 22, 2011

Flood of Angels

Gangotri glacier, the sacred headwaters of the Ganges, melting under the sun of things, Ganga ma, Bangladesh, India’s dry wells and farmer suicide.  Eliot wrote, we are “the hollow men/we are the stuffed men,/leaning together.”  And so we are stuffed and hollow, caught in a feedback loop, rows and rows of mental corn, noxious leaching, the weeds of fragmentation, monoculture indignation, birds visit us in our dreams.
Look, we frack our way to earthquake, shake it up, out there, on the plains, a fire pit, a mirage, a faint prayer for rain.  When we dam the rivers we blackout the notion of fish.  The mantra is money, an abstraction, a head trip without a body--I think therefore I am. To remove the top of mountains takes salesmanship, a dizzying definition of capitalism.  As I write this, Texas, our most polluted state, is on fire from one end to the other. Grasslands, forests, hillsides, and rock. I remember a good friend pointing at the night sky, speaking of the cosmos, she said, "life beyond my life." I worry about burning nests, wings on fire. And there's the question of Africanized bees. 
William Blake, in the manner of all great dystopians, wrote, “The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed by fire at the end of six thousand years, is true, as I have heard from Hell.”  Then, whispering, he said, “And they enclosed my brain into a narrow circle/And sunk my heart into the abyss, a red round globe, burning,/til all from life I was obliterated and erased.”  We stand witness, every one of us, to erasure and succession, carbon dioxide 388 parts per million, this our biosphere, our algae bloom, the worms dig in and take cover, and from a dock in space we capture images of a smoking orb, ghostlike, a lagoon of toxic cloud. On the river not far from here, herons pluck small fish from the muddy water, swallow them whole. Fish in the belly of heron, heron in the belly of sky.   

Edward Abbey summed it up neatly when he said, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."  All cancer is environmental; beauty, the migration of stones.  Abbey, like Blake before him, planted a tree, mulled over illness, the delicacy of bone. I've spent most of my adult life searching for Abbey's grave. I know where it is, I'm just not ready to go home.
(I do know how you feel and I'm sorry)

(I didn't speak up because I was afraid of sounding dumb)

("How dark/how inconsiderate")

The rivers rise, turn blue

The warming of the earth brings moisture to the sky, and flooding.
Flood of water, flood of wind, flood of disillusion and denial
Flood of flame, flood of woodcock, ideologies of might

Flood cynicism and suicide 
Flood of future plans, of nostalgia 

Flood of exiles and ennui and faith 
Flood of candles and alarms, flood of men in cars
Flood of islands, flood of infant, inlet streams
Flood of tailing ponds, flood of sky, of geese
Flood of ecstasy and insight
Flood of action and compassion
Flood of fear, flood of flowers, flood of frenzied sex
Flood of exhaustion, futility

Flood of mosquitoes, lice, ticks, leeches, rats and dust  
And there, on just this side of melancholy, in the light about the lake
A rising flood of angels, a torrent, tender wind
A flood of angels, a rolling karmic mist
A flood of stars, a passage, a flight,
Flood of transformation, a corridor

A cosmos of rapids and waves

We leap into the river and swim.

Proposed New Deep-Ecology Platform  (from Culture of Extinction)

Everything on earth is both interdependent and transient.
Each species’ self-realization requires and contributes to that of all others.
Nonhumans do not exist for humans’ sake.
Continued evolution without catastrophic setback requires the preservation of   
biodiversity, especially at the genetic and ecosystemic levels.
Other things being equal, human action is justifiable when it tends to preserve the         
integrity, stability, and complexity of the biotic community; it is wrong when it tends  
Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive and rapidly  
Significant reduction of human impact requires first doing no further harm, then    
protecting and restoring biodiversity, wildness, and evolution.
Deep ecology supporters encourage the deep questioning of human happiness, progress, and technology as commonly defined.  The necessary changes included deliberately and humanely lowering the human population, redesigning the global economy, adopting low-impact technology, and changing personal lifestyles as required for ecological sustainability.
Ecological sustainability also requires peace and justice throughout the world, and recognition that quality-of-life is about more than material standard of living.  Especially in the poorest countries, social justice and long-term ecological sustainability are equally necessary, if people’s material, self-preservation, rootedness, and spiritual-growth needs are to be met.
Those who subscribe to these points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to carry out the necessary changes.  Though the platform’s applications vary considerably, in general deep ecology supporters work for local self-sufficiency and autonomous cooperation, and against centralization of power, exploitation of the weak, and corporate-controlled economic globalization.