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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 4: I am (not) nature

Michael Seraphinoff

Michael Seraphinoff
This Song
in honor of the People’s Climate March
and World Peace Day, September 19, 2014
This song begs to be sung
in the stainless steel towers of white collar crime.
Begs to be sung in the dim, grey halls
of the penitentiary, the reformatory, the county jail.
Begs to be sung amidst the bitter, grinding machines
of modern industry.
Begs to be sung wherever a confined child
looks out on spring through lifeless window glass.
This song is never heard by men
in automobiles or airplanes,
or in the concrete bunkers where the missiles wait.
This song is never heard by souls
drowning in numbing pools of alcohol.
Is never heard over the mesmerizing voices
on plastic boxes
of dancing electric imagery.
You can’t buy this song,
no matter how many toasters you sell.
No matter how many dollars you multiply on Wall Street.
No matter how many dirty, dull and dreary hours
you endure each week for pay.
This song is not for sale.
This song is the sound
of the springtime chorus in every pond in creation.
This song is the wind
playing in lofty branches and dry grasses.
The sound of rain and the roar of mighty rivers.
The early morning music
of a million birds as each one
greets the approaching dawn.
Even death is only a temporary halt
or hesitation in this song.
Even the megadeath designs of certain men
of technical prowess,
who no longer care to listen to this song.
Lost in their frightened child’s dream
of limitless power.
Not even they can annihilate the source
of this song.
Like the phoenix of old,
the dazzling fiery golden bird of this song,
rising out of the ashes of senseless death and destruction,
will fill the air with a music to mock death,
again, and for each time
life is tested by the darkness.
Michael Seraphinoff spent nearly a lifetime cultivating a life worth the living. Although he has degrees in anthropology, B.A., linguistics M.A., and literature Ph. D., he has never chosen to work at an institution that would require him to move from their simple cabin home in a remote tract of forest at the end of a half mile foot trail on Whidbey Island in Washington state. He has worked part time as a humanities professor at the local Skagit Valley Community College, and in more recent years as a long distance educator for the International Baccalaureate Organization, using his portable laptop computer. If this life isn’t for everyone, it has allowed him ample time to commune with nature and to pursue both academic and more literary pursuits in a pleasant solitude. He is author or translator of several books. See for more information about those works.


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