The Ocean Breathes

Serenity resides beside the seashore
beneath the salty breath of the ocean
the rhythmic humming of the heavy tide
reminds me to breathe deeply

The liquid lungs of this sacred planet
the dark, watery womb of all life
releasing oxygen into the atmosphere
while it sways against the weight of the moon

The crashing exhale of massive waves
chases away all fears of letting go
hypnotized by the back and forth
of forces far greater than I

The awe-inspiring grandeur
of the undulating sea
brings a deep sense of peace
I've been holding my breath
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Manifest

Early morning cracks us open
a plump, orange yolk perched upon
the rolling expanse of open acres
the symphony of dawn begins 
beneath a veil of cool, dissipating mist

The earth awakens and unfurls in an instant
with interwoven, simultaneous, upbeat bustling
as hundreds of intricate beings of all sizes emerge
to dutifully begin their humble daily tasks
unwittingly weaving the world together for one another

The swollen present swallows us completely
enveloped in the electric energy currents of pulsating life
rushing through creek beds and rustling vibrant leaves
a soothing, faithful hum that echoes inside and out
intoxicated by the sweet nectar of undulating harmony

Each moment overflowing with the simple joy of right now
lapping up the soft waters of where we belong
indistinguishable elements of the intricate, lush landscape
synchronizing ourselves to the cadence of all creation
every instant ripe with it's own inherent meaning 

Shit Town

Heaps of firewood and artful hedge mazes
sharp accents and aging illiterate eyes
bars and churches are the only buildings
breaking up vast expanses of breathtaking nature
nothing to interfere with the majesty of the deep night sky

A common thread of rolling country
and the dozens of roaming dogs
that were discarded back to the open land
by careless hands, whipped clean, and well satisfied
with their clever plan for casting off of other beings

A city nestles behind the hillside a few hours away
and it's inhabitants keep the questions coming,
"Haven't you ever thought of moving?"
with an earnestness that is surprising
as much as it is saddening

Who would ever think of abandoning Eden?
this heaven hidden among the worst kinds of humans
harbors worlds of it's own within the intricate moss lattice
knit across acres of expanding woodlands
behind rustling leaves and a chorus of melded chirrups

The knowledge that so many lives haven't had
the privilege to know the earth so intimately
stings my heart in a way I can't put into words
even more animals kept in cages away from
the sweet medicine of sun and soil

My answer is no, I will never leave this place
even while I watch filthy industry moving in
my very essence is intertwined with these forests
I will fall with the trees and be burned up
like mere raw material with their lumber if I must

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-eight years spent
in the same place
that felt like a prison
when I was sixteen

It once seemed like failure
not escaping to surroundings
exciting and unfamiliar
somewhere far away

But now I see it as a blessing
to grow where you are planted
to traverse the same worn paths
through friendly trees in summer

To sit upon the same faithful earth
that holds mementos of my childhood
and watch the slow changes in myself
reflected back by the whispering hillsides

Sharing secrets with the soiled river
that has always known me more deeply
than anyone could through words alone
as it runs alongside my inner life

The quiet protection of the thick woods
softly urging me onward in time
tiny hands searching for fish hook treasures
among steep, rocky shores just outside of town

The awesome unfurling
of a life and a land intertwined
the profoundly soothing resonance
of a home that's greater than home

West Virginia

There is no heaven I'd rather have
than the deep forests of West Virginia
Mother Nature manifested in
lush, rustling hillsides filled with life

My own soul disguised in blushing red and gold
and the dark, faithful hues of evergreens
a swelling awe that overwhelms the senses
and speaks to the divine seed inside us all

Burning billion year old lights engulf the sky every night
humbled and held in the vastness of this existence
how could I ever leave this perfect, peaceful pocket?
what more could I ask for than this majesty?

Winding roads I know so well
echo with all the heartbreak I've hurled
into the mountains to be absorbed
and transformed into new song

The very best parts of me are interwoven
into the dark earth and dirty rivers
profound connection can be felt
in every glance outside my window

Home has never been a house with four walls
it is here among the dense, ancient trees
that tower all around me and offer shelter
from the harsh realities of human life

I am so grateful that I am able
to intimately know this earth of mine
and recognize its soft, subtle sighs
as I allow her wind and water to carve into me

Take Your Medicine

Silence is the medicine
so desperately needed
in a deafening world of noise
the earth is always waiting
with gentle tea leave tonics
to soothe an aching heart
rough, strong branches
to support your tired limbs
soft, sweet smelling grasses
to cradle a head made heavy
with over stimulation
invite in the fearful feeling
that rises suddenly inside
at the thought of slowing down
prove to yourself
that the world keeps spinning
when you completely stop
rest is the only remedy
that can refill an empty cup
taking a break seems impossible
when you need it most of all
this is your permission slip
to settle into stillness
and reconnect with
the almighty ebb and flow
of ever-present earth energy
pulsating beneath your feet
you deserve to take deep breaths
and sprinkle your days with
compassionate commas
and plump, perfect pauses

The Rain Reminds Me

Waking to the sound of rain
a song of rest outside my window
sanctuary of subdued sunshine
a signal to soften and slow down

Dewey refuge from frantic movement
rejuvenation released from the sky
deflating this bloated baggage of worry
replaced with soothing streams of surrender

Tender tones of grey and blue
wrapping me in sacred stillness
permission to let go and listen
the soft drumbeat of water on leaves

Muffled birdsongs through the mist
relentless ethereal cadence of crickets
full bodied accompaniment to life's chorus
syncopated splashes contributed by clouds

Damp doves drying in tree branches
the whole world holding it's breath
absorbing this gift of liquid life relinquished
awe-inspiring cycle of earth's abundance

Savoring the simple gifts of nature
the last few decades of clean water
overcome with sheer gratitude for
deep exhales punctuated by raindrops

You’re With Me On My Own

Living lattice of spongey spiderwebs
stitches supporting the dark, damp earth
connecting networks transmitting information
between the trees' deeply buried toes

breathing in pulsating energy particles
that permeate the thick air above
quivering conviction of nature intertwined
magical mirror image, veins beneath pale skin

Sacred assurance that all is not lost
the same sun still rises in the east each morning
you reside in the red light beneath my eyelids
retinas stained with sweet remembrance

Everything fades except for this feeling
bitter things only taste better as I age
including this patient pain, the prize I protect
hopeless happiness harbored in secret

Silly dreams pluck breath from lonely lungs
pathetic mantra of "maybe one day"
vindicated by comparison to other
laughably unlikely anecdotes

The small, sharp pleasure of
planning this impossible future
fills my cracked cup enough
to keep going

Besides, we're still connected by
that complicated underground lace
linked inextricably through shared sunlight
eternally sown together with this earth
Mycelium Dreaming – Autumn Skye

Childhood

Thank you for a childhood
free from seductive screens
for long summer days
lying on the floor without AC

Thank you for the silence
of a world before wires
that let my mind buzz with
unhindered creativity

Thank you for the boredom
of being bottled up in my room
finding forms within the waves
of rough paint on my ceiling

Thank you for the woods
for butterflies and salamanders
and all the small creatures
I had space to be acquainted with

Thank you for blanket forts
crisp fall evenings buried under leaves
snow days with red cheeks from sled riding
hot chocolate and dehydrated marshmallows

Thank you for a childhood
full of flower fields and fresh air
the secret memory of that inner stillness
where I can return whenever I need it

Patriot

Despite it all
I still love this country
not the people or the
putrid institutions or the
racist men who impose them

I love the land that spreads
beneath my feet from
sea to shining sea
the majesty of the earth
and all her creatures

I'm proud of our prairies
not the president
I praise the coastlines
not the constitution
written for rich white men

The expansive flowing fields
the splendor of the snow capped mountains
the acres of old growth forests
the vast diversity of lifeforms
that flourish here under blue skies

I won't stand to salute a flag
or die for a monstrous lie
but I kneel in awe before the earth
and count the blessings bestowed
upon me by her beauty