Song For the Elements

I sing of water
Dripping in every pore
Sloshing through every vein
Pooling in each organ.
I drink deeply of the cool draught;
The tap carries Bull Run into my soul.
Rain peers out of my eyes,
And mist infuses every exhalation.
I carry the ocean in every cell.
Not an ocean, mind you.
The ocean.
The one that birthed all life,
The mother of all of us.
Every sip we take is us returning to Mama for a visit.


I sing of earth
The rock that builds my bones
And teeth like storm-smoothed agate.
I have arches in my feet
And gullies at the corners of my eyes,
Through which flash floods rip at a moment’s notice.
I am mountains and hills in all the good places
And valleys so serene you’d swear it was paradise.
I have moss-soft flesh, and steel covered in velvet.
Long ago I was lava.
Tomorrow I’ll be dirt.
And in a week I’ll dive beneath the nearest plate
To build myself once again.


I sing of air
Nature’s own balloon
Filling in the spaces between things,
Because no one is truly empty.
I am the breath that cries
And laughs
And whispers fear in the night.
I am bubbles in the stomach
And molecules surfing the blood.
I convey memory and thought
Like ravens’ wings from synapse to synapse.
There is the low rolling tide of the lungs,
The approaching roar, the alveoli stand wide to receive
A flood of Os, satisfaction gained–
Death is averted once more.


I sing of fire
Fever’d skin and boiling blood
And the ache for a lover’s touch.
“Feed me”, I say,
And the furnace opens up for business.
No mere chemical reaction, this.
Only the most hellish and needful thing
That we scare each other with on Sunday morning–
And warm each other by of a Saturday night.
Every cell in my body is a flickering flame
A candle formed of fruits and meats and good fresh veggies.
The bread burns as brightly as the tallow.
Someday every one will wind down and become cinders,
But for now I burn brightly,
Fearful symmetry and all.


Happy Earth Day, all. I hope you enjoyed the verse above. I also invite you to read and, if you agree with it, sign A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment. I was one of several people who worked on this statement over the past several months, getting it ready for today’s official unveiling.

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