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  • Writer's picturePenny Harter


This morning I'm sharing a January poem from my collection The Resonance Around Us (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2013.) I wrote it at VCCA during my January 2011 residency there, inspired by the landscape at that wonderful place! (I can't believe that's eleven years ago already!)

Mid-January Dream of the World Without Us

On the greening grass, two scarlet leaves, fused by a smudge of leaf-mold at center, glisten with a trace of last night’s rain.

In the cerulean sky, more clear than we remember, the sun bathes the Earth—announcing nearby star, provider of all life.

We were negligent—foolish not to contemplate the heavens more often, or cherish fallen leaves in the ready chalice of our palms.

Now a skein of blackbirds wheels and wheels far above the naked trees—a single bird-mind flinging it against the plum horizon.

And water cycles through the clouds and seas, feeding forest life and fallow fields, carving canyons in ancestral hills.

These have all endured, though we are done— these, and whatever else survived our blind meddling in their communal lives; survived

our hubris in believing we alone were destined to inherit the Earth and the fullness thereof— we who now have lost the primordial garden.

© 2013 Penny Harter. From *The Resonance Around Us* (Mountains & Rivers Press)

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