Meditations on the Elements

Domestic Fires

sheets laundered, blankets aired

cotton setting makes a hot iron

and these old linens whisper

stories of grandmother, mother and me

Norsk hardanger on creamy homespun

blue and green cross-stitch on white

the stamp-printed hankies I bargained for in India

when ironing old linens

faces of women look out from the rising steam

laundry is an elemental action

reviving earth’s bounty with water and fire

cleansing the plant kin that wrap us

within our earth-harvested walls

all strung with ‘fire in waiting’

a spring in every bathroom

furnace fire stoked to hold winter out

while spark-fired fans call in air

remake the earthen bed

shake and smoothly fold

a pine green army blanket

used by Dad in his twenties

thick wool — my night blanket,

forest wrap, invisibility cloak

here is joy and philosophy

in the domestic

presence and flow in the domestic

sending gratitude to all beings

guiding steam and an admiring hand over warm textures

relishing dance and duty as one

Sacrificed for Fire

with green world guiding I follow fire

study what’s sacrificed

as fuel to its need

witness its death and rebirth

in threads drawn from a wall socket

turbines of wind and water

forced through portals

mines and siphons sunk in the Earth

life force pressed into service on every side

we are become our fears

hungry exploiters

sad insatiable ones

too, we are plants, potted and vulnerable

trying to thrive under grow-light alone

conditioned to separation and pain

parched yet restless

yearning and clamoring for free Earth

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