Caring for and Healing the Earth


by April A. Severin

As much a part of
Be Afraid
Earth Partners
Serenity surrounds me

As much a part of
Previously published in Tower

Earth is Mother
She teaches
I am as much a part of
her land as buffalo
as much a part of
her water as frog
as much a part of
her sky as eagle
I am my Mother’s child

Be Afraid

They deflower their Mother
erase their relations
die thumbing their nose
at us Earthkeepers

Earth Partners

Strong as standing stones
We revere the sacred Earth
Loving and giving as raven

April explains the symbology of the raven in this poem by quoting from Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small (by Ted Andrews): "In the Pacific Northwest, raven brought forth life and order. Raven stole the sunlight from one who would keep the world in darkness. Nothing could exist without raven."


Lurking behind closed doors
Littering streets and ravines
Flooding my mind
Threatening to drown me
When is Garbage Day?


Haiku is a Japanese poetry form. Strictly speaking, traditional haiku are composed of three lines each with a specific number of syllables, and are untitled as they are to speak for themselves. They include a seasonal reference and observe a moment of meaning. Less traditional haiku deviate from the strict rules, but still observe the essence of the form. Here are some nature-oriented haiku by April.

as I walk
admiring trees
a chainsaw buzzes
bird reaches treetop
under clear sky
a new beginning
sitting on a stump
I listen to the frogs sing
they're not giving up
Serenity surrounds me
Serenity surrounds me
in the whirr of dragonfly wings
the call of the loon
the lull of flowing water
the hush of the wind
the strength of rock
the courage of trees

While I wait for 7:09 a.m.
radio weather-and-traffic time
the salmon's sad course
changes mine

Along a stretch of Red Hill Creek
lined with concrete
I spot a large salmon
swimming upstream,
cry my way to the convenience store
to read the newspaper story.

Aware of my watch ticking
I return to cheer the salmon on
as he manages to move forward
in water so shallow
his soul is scraped.

When he becomes stranded
I walk over to him
cry, "Would you let me help you?"
hug him
carry this creature
without struggle
from the concrete
to the creek upstream
place him in the waiting water
rock him gently

He swims away strong
time again for tears,
3:09 p.m. my watch dies
to give a salmon more time.


All poems are Copyright © April A. Severin
More of Aprilís poems can be found on the Anura website

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