Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gaia's Agony

Upon the iron ground she lies
hands grasping the earth
to hold what cannot
be held or bound.
For what is sought
cannot be found
beneath this iron land.

She lies unmoving, blind
her face upwards
searching the sky
where in her darkness
no light breaks through.

Nor where the wings of prey
cut through the air
to scream
A sacrifice
from herself to herself
sustaining her being
with her own body.

In the space between the earth, 
hard, unyielding
and the space between the sky, 
predatory, unforgiving
she must forge her shield
from the fires of her own

Upon the iron ground
beneath the iron sky.

Photo credit: Selma Sevenhuijsen


  1. This powerfully intense and haunting poem seems to describe a situation where one is caught between two daunting vistas depicted by the "iron sky" and the "iron earth." The line "she must forge her shield from the fires of her own surrender.." reveals the one open door to the potential of inner freedom, a freedom that transcends the dilemma. It may be an existential dilemma that drives to the core of one's sense of being, however surrender is the fire that melts iron and through surrender the earth may once again be earth and the sky once again be sky.


  2. I am almost mesmerized by the insights which you offer about this poem, Joseph. You are the one who is opening another door to me, which I am willing to go through, knowing that you are leading me towards something more, which my poem only hints at.

    Our earth is giving birth, the labour she is in is total, and total agony. Her daughters and sons have to start helping her. Surrender is the key which opens this door. Not surrender in a passive sense, but surrender in the sense of letting go of all those things, all those cultural patterns and entrenched beliefs which have caused the damage. We need to rediscover our own humility, rediscover in the Spirit of the Valley that just letting things be is a course of action in itself.

    Iron, by the way, is the sacred metal of shamanism: the iron of strength to achieve a necessary transformation.