Loving the wounded world
And the horses rush in

Mist, wild ponies, and the animate earth

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"To our indigenous ancestors, and to the many aboriginal peoples who still hold fast to their oral traditions, language is less a human possession than it is a property of the animate earth itself, an expressive, telluric power in which we, along with the coyotes and the crickets, all participate. Each creature enacts this expressive magic in its own manner, the honeybee with its waggle dance no less than a bellicose, harrumphing sea lion.

"Nor is this power restricted solely to animals. The whispered hush of the uncut grasses at dawn, the plaintive moan of trunks rubbing against one another in the deep woods, or the laughter of birch leaves as the wind gusts through their branches all bear a thicket of many-layered meanings for those who listen carefully."  - David Abram (Becoming Animal)

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Today's recommended reading comes from The Center for Humans & Nature:

"To Be Human" by David Abram, answering the question of what makes our species unique

"Recovery," a myth-infused, heart-rending tale about a rescued crow by Michael Engelhard

"The Artist Who Would Be Crow," an interview with Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

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Today's book recommendations, for those who haven't read them already: Spell of the Sensuous: Perception & Language in a More-Than-Human World and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology by David Abram. Both have been strongly influential texts for me, and I recommend them highly.

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Books by David Abram & Terry Tempest Williams

Comments

Unique

So that tree in its orchard
can squeeze an apple from it limb,
green or red or an astonishing gold.
Can you?

That hawk hovering, without use
of dials or instruction
can take off, coast, dive, land.
Can you?

That catfish, with no helmet
or breathing tube
shudders along the river bottom.
Can you?

Those moles under the ground
with no picks or steam shovel,
keep their larders stocked.
Can you?

Only humans dwell upon the unique,
Spinning stories from their brains,
Like spiders their belly strands,
Keeping us atop of the heap.


©2017 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

I love David Abram's works and this beautiful quote is just perfect for my dark autumnal morning here, where the sky is speaking a wild and soulful poem, and beneath it the sea sighs in appreciation.

Great poem, Jane. But I'm not so sure about the last verse; can we be really certain what the corvid family discusses at night in their roosts? I'm almost sure great epic poems are recited in each and every unkindness of ravens, murder of magpies,parliament of rooks, party of jays, clattering of jackdaws and chattering of choughs. And equally I could easily believe that every pandemonium of parrots have a tantalising tangle of tales to tell as they settle down for the night. And further to that I could easily accept that every pod of dolphins and all other cetaceans tell of dark and deep odysseys across the world's oceans. Why else would these creatures have such intelligence; intelligence that far exceeds the needs and demands of their individual ecological niches?

Could I?

Little girl living on a hill
No other children. But
Birds who walk in a line,
Wobbling and chuckling,
And high in the air, dark birds
Make circles. I think, can I?

Suddenly a town, two best friends,
A real Princess, the Warm Springs
Chief's daughter. She was so wise.
I wished I could visit her on the Res.
Could I ever see her again?
Can I?

Golden haired boy, when we met.
We spoke little but had some other
Way to talk. Sat under the Xmas tree
The lights, the scents, we
Both saw magic. We could.

We travelled and left behind
Mysterious birds, all who I learned
to whistle or sing. Or caw. And then
On into my own magic forest, to
Sit while the jackrabbits danced,
And Danced. I so wanted to be
One of them.
Could I?

No, there is the division, we
Sing from our hearts, and never
Know, it is all we can do.

The Dark Unruly

The dark unruly language of crows,
their stories spun out across the air,
murder mysteries, punctuated by blood.

Who knows what epics whales construct,
for the ocean keeps their secrets,
does not disclose that alphabet of foam.

Snakes startle the grass each time
they speak sinuous syllables, spitting
out venom with every word.

Oh, the multitude of tongues--tiger, pony,
mole in its larder, the effervess of genus
that converse we will never have.

©2017 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Below is an unlikely scenario, but who knows...?

Rosetta's Stone unlocked Egyptian lips,
Michael Ventris could give us all some tips.
The tongues of the wild,
Could be solved by a child,
If we miss all the pitfalls and trips.

Haha! Love it.

Jane

Terri,
This post makes me think of a delightful scene in Planet Earth II: Mountains. Hidden cameras capture several grizzly bears scratching themselves on particular trees in the Rockies. The results are hilarious. Recommended viewing if you haven't watched it yet. =)
Much love,
edie

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