Untitled Poem

By Larry Robinson
Sent in by Robert Greenway

Here’s a poem that a former student and now colleague sent in the other day. F’or me, it reveals the way a poem — in part by its very ambiguity, in part by it’s “rhythm” — reveals nature, ecology, big mind, little mind, egoic mind, etc.

easiest-to-relate-to-the-airOnce there was a time when it was necessary
to remove ourselves from nature. Once.
To distinguish, to see within
these selves is the objective. It’s second nature

now. This chain-of-being buried
& nearly forgotten. Paved over in sediment
like walled in cities, lessons in childhood,
other experiences qualified or in need of

the missing link. “Man is held highest on Earth
& below the Angels.” The intention:
toward God. Then later, toward a controlled state –
technology. The competition is fierce

& it is not. An Angel (many?) who inhabits
the rock suggests you skip its flat surface
on the river. Interfacing the world of eyes,
you pick it up: sentient self awareness

beyond the organs of particularity. Yes, you are
the rock & each plant & animal whose dust
compresses here. A moment of your time.
It is easiest to relate to the air.

The Environment: Comment from a Reader


I think we, all of us, ought to consider a little deeper our prolific use of the term the environment. This term suggests and fosters an attitude characterized by the belief / perception that nature is simply an object that exists somewhat separately from human beings. I would like to challenge everyone to consider using or coming up with other terms, terms instead that reflect the critically integrated relationship between human and nature, terms that will bring our thinking and being in line with that which we truly are part of like our own hearts being critically dependent on our own minds. When we say the environment we say that we are not part of it and thus that we are not a part of nature. The fact is that we are nature and our survival and thrival is dependent upon an understanding of this for  existence past, present and future.

To survive and thrive we need to accept, not fear,  the reality that it is not the environment we are trying to “save” but our selves. “Save the Humans” is a hauntingly apt t-shirt slogan I once saw.

Thank you for reading. I wonder if you are aware of others who have directly addressed the the use of the term the environment and how it inherently fosters further rift between us and nature. If so, I would greatly appreciate you letting me know about it.

Thank you.

Grady Sindlinger
Vancouver, Canada