July 19, 2013 By Rob Ganson
It is not in the night sky to judge them, to strike
at them with lightning or whirlwinds, not in the
arms of their mother to clench a fist or bite,
not in the night to stop the blight of progress
or educate the fools who probe at our mother’s
flanks for gold, but up to singers with old spirits.
Loons call from the Bad River’s womb, crooning
ancient melodies in four directions, in circles
that overlap with wolf, coyote, man, and drum.
I sing the vast green hills, the sum of that circle,
sing the waters of Tyler’s fork, where children
and elders splash beneath the summer sun,
sing the song of water, leaping from iron cliffs,
whispering through the forest, lifting trees to
form cathedrals and eagle nurseries, rice.
I sing the singers, singers of a bygone age
when commerce had not infected men, not
made them burn the earth with greed and rage.
I sing the men who follow them, feral in the arms
of the Penokees, wild in the civilization of the
other, brothers of those who fight for rivers, farms.
I sing the voices that raise the alarm, the warnings
that rapists come in steel horses to blow up the
world, sending surly demons to face us with hate.
I sing to pray that singers stand strong for water,
that long after we are gone, the eagle spy’s cool
clear water, circling between the earth and the sky.
[Rob Ganson describes himself as “a poet from the land, the people, the beat of a drum circle.” He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Float Like a Butterfly, Sing Like a Tree, Follow the Clear River Down, and A Storm of Horses.]