Friday, April 17, 2020

Marilyn Singer - Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters
We were talking disasters
          scaring ourselves
                     with what on earth would scare us
Volcanoes venting red-hot rivers
                              spumes of ash
          like barbecues gone crazy
Earthquakes that crack the world
          like a walnut
Sandstorms that suffocate
Tidal waves that drown
          Hurricanes, tornadoes
             avalanches, floods
And blizzards
          simple blizzards—
that frightened me the most
          trapping me right there in my house
                     with nothing to eat
          but my shoes
We were talking disasters
          feeling the earth go wobbly
                 leaving ourselves
                     with no place to hide
Until right outside my window
          a robin chirruped loudly
                     in the hickory tree
like nothing on earth mattered
          but its song
And suddenly the room righted itself
                         the floor held steady
and we knew that we were safe
          for at least another day

©Marilyn Singer. All rights reserved. 

One of the great things about a poem is that it can feel timely or appropriate or resonant at all sorts of different moments. The above poem is actually from the book Footprints on the Roof: Poems about the Earth which came out in 2002 but it feels spot on to the moment to me. While Footprints is sadly out of print,  you can find all sorts of other Marilyn Singer goodies out there including her recent Follow the Recipe: Poems about Imagination, Celebration, and Cake and Wild in the StreetsAnd I predict you'll be glad you did. 


Molly Hogan said...

That Marilyn Singer poem feels amazingly timely. Time and again these days, I find that I'm comforted by how the birds and animals continue their routines undaunted by the steady thread of our continuous concerns and contentious news clips and sound bites. Thanks for sharing this poem today.

laurasalas said...

I love this. Love, love, love this. I haven't made it by to comment much, but I have really enjoyed finding your NPM poems in my inbox each morning. Thanks, Greg and Marilyn!

Leigh Anne Eck said...

As Molly said, this poem is timely. Finding things in nature reassures us that we will get through this. Thank you for sharing this one.

Linda B said...

It is a poem to hold onto, tightly. For many of us sharing, I feel that we know that nature's gifts will help us through this challenging days, but I do wonder how many don't know that, don't go outside or even pay attention out the window? I hope that somehow they will! Thanks for this wonderful poem!

Mary Lee said...

I love that you are doing this again this year! How have I missed all the other days?!?

Joanne R. Fritz said...

How beautiful! And a gentle reminder that the world will go on. I take a walk every day during this pandemic and I've really enjoyed not only the birds singing but all the flowers and blossoming trees.

Kay said...

This poem does speak to today in so many ways. Thanks for sharing it.

April Halprin Wayland said...

What a salving balm. Namaste, Greg & Marilyn 💕