“Mother Earth’s Breath” poem by Bea Garth plus her painting: “The Turtle’s Complaint To Gaia”

“The Turtle’s Complaint To Gaia” mixed media on canvas, by Bea Garth, copyright 2015, 2020

“Mother Earth’s Breath”

by Bea Garth, copyright 2020

For a moment the Earth
takes an unexpected breath
as her humans, that most troublesome of progeny,
squirrel in their rectangular hovels
while porpoises and swans begin to play in sunlit canals
and geese roam the streets of Venice.

In the forests, bears play with their cubs
among yellow blossoms and bright green grasses
in meadows usually populated by cars
with humans poking their heads out, ogling,
then trample over  new growth, throw trash,
make fires, blare raucous music.
Here now are only the sounds of rustling blue jays,
chipmunks chattering, bees and flies buzzing,
sparrows chirping, mocking birds, robins, cicadas singing,
the sudden thump and snarl of a mountain lion upon its prey
while deer roam down Main Street in the town nearby,
nibbling on roses and other ornamental bushes.

Even the whale begin to rule the seas again,
for this time out of time
no longer needing to escape nets
or having their senses scrambled by sonar
as ships navigate the oceans’ expanse.
It will take a while, however, for their bellies to fill,
the whales too long on an unnatural diet, the plankton and krill reduced
as the oceans continue to acidify, plastic all too often a deadly morsel.

Mother Earth weaves her repairs such as she can, clears the skies,
while punishing those humans, having sent them inside to their rooms.
But will it be long enough for them to get it, she wonders,
or must she be even more severe, next time?

Categories: art by Bea Garth, poem by Bea Garth, poem Mother Earth, poem Mother's Day, poem pandemic

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. “while deer roam down Main Street in the town nearby,
    nibbling on roses and other ornamental bushes.” Bea, such delightful imagery, a hopeful narrative…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear! Yes I believe this is a wake up call which overall is positive, as long as enough of us listen soon enough. The Earth may be upset with us, but she does not hate us. She is our Mother after all…


  2. Beautiful painting; brings to mind Snyder’s “Turtle Island”… and the poetry of the earth breathing without the exclusive and seemingly continuous huffing and puffing of the human species gives a sketch of what we have wrought, and how the return to balance looks…. i hope it was enough to “send us to our rooms” to make us see and feel the errors of our ways, but……. so many humans seem stuck in adolescence…. i sure appreciate the female perspective; precise, incisive, yet understanding in a way that the male has shown unable to embrace on a scale that would turn the ship around….
    we need more Jane Goodall’s!….
    and thank you for YOUR wisdom and creative inertia!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Roger! Yes that painting “The Turtle’s Complaint To Gaia” took me into another dimension. It shows how collage can help extend the boundaries of the imagination sometimes. I had a dream of the World Turtle, so you got the gist. Nice to have it compared to Snyder’s poem. It has a partial Native American feel, which I think I got honestly since I grew up with parents who worked as archaeologists in the Pacific Northwest along the Columbia River when I was an infant/toddler/three year old. Combined with the Merman and Mermaid trying to console the Turtle as she/he complains of all her dark difficulties to Gaia. I just wrote the poem, actually in part inspired by that poem of yours that Linna sent me in honor of Mother’s Day… These are difficult amazing days as the Spring soon inevitably leads us into Summer and then Fall with our reality in constant flux. The old Chinese proverb applies, we live in Interesting Times. Is it really a curse? Despite its increasing tragedies, I am hoping the Pandemic helps lead us into remaking our world, which is in dire need of being remade in order to save it. But no one ever said such an endeavor would be simple.


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