Ruin

                              What new element before us unborn in Nature? Is there
                              a new thing under the sun?
                              —Allen Ginsberg, Plutonian Ode

Hand-ax found in a site
Preserved seeds fruits bark leaves
over half-million years
Acheulean hand-axes
crafted oval bifaced chipped    
300,000 years ago
Trail of tools from Africa
Carnivore explorers
making first tools for slaughter
First tools for slaughter

Nature encouraged longings
attaining power
Want of metal tools will
keep the clearing slow
deliberate

Old knowledge buried
(name and thing)
suggests possible universe
In particular
paradise
Flutters back and forth
Olive leaf in the breeze

*    *    *

Four miles into eight mile loop, trail in Chaco Canyon
Out of water, poured most over head in plus ninety
degree heat
In desert to see ruins

Thousand years ago square carved stones carried miles to this
spot, ponderosa trunks for ceiling rafter forty or fifty
miles to this spot

A square stone corner stands, crumbled walls and
one corner so deliberate to stand
here so sharp by the trail on grass bluff in view
of two hundred foot mesas in northwest New Mexico July ’97

*    *    *

eco-dharma
ECO-
from oikos: house/household
dwelling firmly set
DHARMA
what is now [Sanscrit, See dher- in appendix]

What does it mean to be spiritual in the face of environmental apocalypse?
Do you form a spiritual connection to the earth?

What to hold dear?
What is now firmly set?

DHARNA
a fast conducted
at the door of an offender, especially a debtor
in India as a means of obtaining compliance
with a demand for justice, such as payment
of a debt [See dher-]

*    *    *

to ease the pain of
to recreate imagination of
All our language
taxed by war

CRISIS
turning point/decisive
change toward improvement or deterioration
from krinein to separate [See krei-]

CRITIC
judgement of merit, fault, value, truth
Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos from krinein to
separate/judge [See krei-]

KREI-
important derivatives: riddle, garble, crime, criminal, discriminate,
certain, discern, excrement, secret, crisis, critic, hypocrisy

          Trees distill water slowly
Process reduced to steady and beneficial motion
Condensed vapors leak on soil
Weather a slow gentle rhythm

Clearing Greek peninsula for timber
for ships for trading
Greece fell into bankruptcy extending hopes
reputation, scrambling over (implied) surface of earth
sliding into the Mediterranean
leaf mould dries up, topsoil
blows away, slips to sea
Raw material of earth
What can grow without trees in soil without life?
What thirst quenched by dust?

          water flow
          energy flow
          cash flow

Silt to low point
Trees long cleared
on that thin limestone

Though the next generation of inhabitants enjoy long freedom from civil strife
on that thin limestone
trading oil and wine—the two low
dense plants adept

          Olive from Asia
          the haft of Pisander’s axe
          the Cyclops’ club, the marriage bed of Oddessyus
          all olive
                              from Athena
                    a gift to her favorite city
                    Who’s eyes are those grey eyes
                    Athena?

*    *    *

Magnifying glass
binocs
a camera
preserve point of view, stand up and look
Hold hands
over eyes to shield the sun

What to do with hands?
once support on ground, arms once legs now
reaching extended, giving, taking
Hands once support on ground
able to hold and carry
What to let go, drop
never let go?

*    *    *

CREATION
3a The world and all things in it
4 Theology, act of god by which
the world was brought into existence
5 Original product of human ambition and artistic imagination

Published by pedalpoet

Poet, writer, and songwriter living in Seattle, WA

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