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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

Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson
heart like a crazy bird
For Martin Prechtel
They can’t stripmine my heart
can’t snare the wild
heart that sings sings like a crazy
bird in this dark they’ve lit with fake
light cold light searchbeams on razor wire
monster of lies who taught me
money would bring me joy
hobbled me so I had to dig
with hands bloody and raw
find the heart that still sings
they’ve tried to teach me their ways
of one-up and one-over
but this bird only longs for its own kind
and ghost souls on
sagging couches hours of
flatscreen selling them a soul-suck every minute
they can’t hear the song past the blare of selling
and I want to shout wake up
it’s all lies we’ve been fed
and even the richest of you is going to die
for god’s sake let the bird fly
while there’s still time.
Feed it its rightful food.
We starve. Our culture is dead.
But life is buried deep
deep inside.
Cait Johnson has authored six works of spiritual non-fiction, and writes poetry grounded in the sacredness in the everyday. She is faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program and an emeritus fellow of the Black Earth Institute. She is a freelance writing mentor, book doctor, and developmental editor, and has a practice as an intuitive counselor in the Hudson Valley, where she also writes, directs, and performs in shamanic theatre pieces. See her website at


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