priestess of base matter

this ritual propitiation
speaks to how not everything is God
or a god, but those
of His in
celestial swirled particles
breathe here

& resonate

my mother
when she found
an anthill

theoretical or found
evidence of touch

of all holy

in base matter

boiled water
in a huge pot
ending the colony
with a careful deep pour

sometimes twice

I will try instead
this gift of sugar cubes
in a trail away
from my foundation

borax circles the house already–
a scent they hate
& tansy
but perhaps a present
so sweet

will rouse those small minds
to wonder too
about our large, clumsy
singular being

& they will remember us

no match for the smallness
and collective we(s) of ants

but still family

***here’s mine, Jeremy.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse, Religion and Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to priestess of base matter

  1. unfetteredbs says:
    You going to submit?
    you should 🙂

    • but which one? I prefer this one–and thanks! Actually, this one arose organically out of a convo with Jeremy–shoot, I’m submitting.

      • Elizabeth Rose mentioned something about this a few days ago–that must be what turned my mind to thinking about ants in the first place 🙂

      • unfetteredbs says:

        ants is a hard subject and you rocked it. Masterfully woven as usual. I keep thinking of the pink panther myself and nothing is coming up but dead ant, dead ant…ha

        • thanks, Audra 🙂

          You have just planted that in my middle ear…I find the hive mind/collective consciousness of these little insects fascinating.

  2. Ants…..humanity can learn a thing or two from them! Unconventional subject, but great poem as usual, Susan!

    • We can blame Jeremy for this–his comment about providing propitiation for ants in my other poem sparked this one 🙂

      …and thank you!

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        I’m glad it did. This is very touching.

        If we can go by way of peace why wouldn’t we want to?

        • 🙂 Why not? Why limit gentleness to people or our animal companions? I loved the idea behind giving the ants something. How are they supposed to know they are not welcome anywhere–they are just being ants.

          • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

            Exactly. They are just being ants and that is what makes our world live.

  3. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    Somewhere along the way I found my inner Jain and it became virtually impossible for me to kill insects. I say virtually because I have to restrain myself if I am being bitten by mosquitos. . . but I admit, I am trying.

    David Abram, the author who speaks of “propitiating” ants also talks about shooing mosquitos by concentrating his thoughts on them to “shoo them away.” Apparently it works. (His book Becoming Animal is simply incredible. A must read.)

    A short story: Four years ago my wife and I went to Algonquin Park for her birthday (which is June 8th). That year was a very very wet spring so the mosquitos were just overwhelming. I have never been so bitten up in my life. But I will tell you that when I saw them in the millions I knew that they were one of the key links in the structure of our living Earth. I mean, you just see them in their prolific numbers and you know that all of the beauiful things in this world are sustained by some beings that aren’t so beautiful. And why not? Beauty is a matter of opinion and aesthetics. And it’s relative too.

    Now I know mosquitos are a terrible problem in tropical climates where malaria and other tropical diseases are borne by them (I would never try to overlook this). But I don’t feel that living where I do, I need make war on them. Or on any living things for that matter.

    Forgive me my little soap box speech.

    • Jeremy, as I have said before–I love it when you get up on that soapbox–we need more passion with gentleness in it (as you have), not ever less. To forgive you I would have to stop cheering 🙂

      Yes, here in North America, we can even shoo mosquitoes away and cuss (or use repellent), and of course the males are pollinators only. Sure, they are pests, but they are only doing what they are made to do. Elsewhere in the world, however–well, you know about the elsewhere and the toll the diseases they carry collect with human lives, and I cannot speak to that or address it, as I only know them here.

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        Agreed. I only know them here too.

        I have learned to speak to what I know and to learn about what I don’t by listening. It took some time to learn to do that.

        I’ll keep “preaching” as firmly but as gently as I can. I appreciate the support. 🙂

    • I just ordered “Becoming Animal” for my kindle 🙂 Looks like a great reed–right up my alley, in a manner of speaking.

  4. Deborah Avila says:

    U daintily built this poem! Ant by ant gathering upward ! Fantastic !

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    Absolutely terrific. The absolute made relative. Pretty great. Interweaving details just wonderful. k.

  6. Rhonda says:

    Understand your POV and that of Jeremy’s…however, we’ve been dealing w/mosquito born EEE for the last three years in our area and the mosquitoes are changing our little communities ability to commune in the evening hours…no fair again this year…curfews at all the parks. Sorry, but I’m still swatting. Anyway…the poem is beautiful Susan and I do agree we should think more of them as builders and communities than pests.

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