Three visitings at the solstice

Hello you fellow revelers and listeners, risers-up, monkeywrenchers and healers. I write to you, as ever, from stolen land. Stolen land upon which an indefensible imperialist heritage is finally being called to account, stolen land upon which Black Lives Matter — but land that withal remains stolen. All this amidst the flood of light here at the solstice. To my fellow settlers: what will we do now that we finally see the living land illuminated so?

We know the answer — to release this doomed, leaden dominion — but I don’t pretend to know how. So, in the spirit of the Oblique Approach, I come to you this month bearing another interrogative poem, cryptic I’ll freely admit, but charged with wonderings only the living land can bestow; I saw each of these signs with my own eyes. I offer you Three visitings at the solstice.

A photograph of a small spiral of flattened bronze wire against a featureless gray background. The spiral comprises four loops and its surface is dull and oxidized turquoise in places.

You can read the poem that originally accompanied this letter in Rising water / Palm to stone, a pamphlet I published in winter 2021.

A photograph of another bronze spiral. The wire is round and the spiral comprises a loop and a half.

Two bronze spirals, ca 2900–1050 BCE, Crete

Yes, so. There we are. Poems are good to talk about, if you ask me. They may in one sense be a conversation with voices in the fog, but they can also start a conversation among friends. That is to say I’m always down to talk about the words I share via this newsletter, to ruffle and interrogate them, and if you are doing some writing yourself, I most definitely want to read it. On that note:

Taking the auspices

Here at the end we continue our loose, far-flung divinatory experiment, in which you readers reply to a simple question: what do you see or hear or feel around you right now? In what gestures does the living land speak? Just a few words about something pretty or puzzling will be just right. I’ll credit you by name or pseudonym (whichever you prefer).

Here are the auspices that drifted in during June:

waiting in the shallows for something to happen.
there —
a cloud passed over the sun.

— Green-fin, Well o’ the half-shorn wood

Blackbird flusters under the green shade of a full bloomed quickbeam; it hops into the invisible profusion of leaves. Green bursts from the grit. The tide beyond is pulling in, or sucking out. Trees are flowing in time with the rhythm of the wet breeze. Yellow poppy wiggles above the shark fin stone. The loch sends up imperfect triangles; ripples of slate grey shadows against the dull sky. Even the gorse on the other side of the loch is dull laden; something big flies over, I only see it in shadow.
— Winnsmith, Highlands, Scotland

these toes are juicy, sun-ripen’d.
come, friend, for a sup!

— Wriggle-Wraggles, School Lake

Do send yours along! Until next month, solidarity amidst the flooding light.