When Your Heart is a Bird

Come quickly, love, come staunch my wound with heather.
I am bleeding out my song onto curling mountain laurels.
Lift me to the bane bridge, love, carry me through roses.
I have not visited the valleys of my youth for many moons.
Kiss me, love, my soul is a meadowlark, swiftly fleeting
and I cannot stay, I could never be yours, I must fly away.

Lupine

The violet buds of contemplation
are wet with diamond sea dew drops
a Maine breeze combs curling leaves
a seagull sings out a darling shanty
and the lupine thrums along, purple
with perfection, smelling of Atlantic
flowers and cliffs as tall as towers,
from her perch, the summer queen reigns
over rocky shores and windborn wanderers
regent of beast buds, the lupine plies
in the gale, roots run wild with wolves.

Endless Ocean

The ocean is endless, I want to lick foam
off the top of waves and bury sand dunes
into saw grass to make my hair wet green
stalks, swim to outer boundaries to oyster
marvel pearls and neck with seals and fish,
to wrestle Triton and bring back fresh water
for mankind too quick to pollute the wildlands –
can’t they see the deep is our original womb?

Lessons from My Father

People often say I’m the female version of my dad – an ENFP that is gregarious, the life of the party, the best kind of friend to have, funny, a brilliant writer, and a passionate person that fights for a cause we both dearly care about: the environment.

When I was born in 1992, my father took me to our family cottages on Monhegan Island, Maine and baptized me in the Atlantic waters so that I would always return to the lobstering and artist community town for the rest of my life, where my forefathers are buried on Lighthouse Hill and I have already chosen where to put my grave.  A natural paradise, with no roads and wilderness and the highest cliffs on the East Coast of America, Monhegan is in many ways my heart.

As a child, very little, I would spend hours outside playing, making walks with my parents exacerbatingly slow as I stopped to sniff Every. Single. Flower.  I grew up running through the woods wild as the fey in the park at the end of my cul de sac, a place of magic where I collected red tailed hawk feathers, played with minnows and frogs, and basked amongst bluebells each spring.  I grew up going to national parks when my dad worked for the National Park Service and Nature Conservancy, and the first memories I have of ever wanting a career at maybe six were clear: I wanted to save the beautiful animals and plants that sang to me in the forests.  I wanted to be just like my dad, a conservationist.

All of my writing is inspired by nature – from the metaphors in my poetry to the very pagan characters I write who are gods of yore of rain, agriculture, the forest, herbs, and animals.  I prayed to stars and boulders and trees as a child, and I am an animist through and through.  Nature to me is sacred.  Holy.  Where man meets the wild, those liminal spaces, are my cathedrals.  My goal is to help create a world that can develop sustainably while preserving ecosystem services and defending rare and endangered species.

I have always wanted to serve.  To help the animals I loved from as early as I was capable of caring about something other than me.  From the age of 19 on, I have worked in the DC conservation scene from everything to bird conservation to renewable energy development.  Nonprofits are my lifeblood, a lesson instilled in me by my father, a famous conservationist and fundraiser who is famous for helping reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone and spearheading the fundraising arms of everything from American Rivers to the Nature Conservancy.

Like my dad, I am a child of the woods, of the ocean, of the Chesapeake and Maine.  I am a bleeding heart liberal tree-hugging dirt-worshipping Heathen.  Freyr is my Green Man. Loki is my lightning-struck tree.  Odin is the storm, Thor my thunder.  Skadi beautiful winter and Idunna the fruits of Virginia wineries.  In nature I see my gods, and my gods are nature.  I organize invasive species cleanups with my kindred and we are even thinking of adopting a highway.  I feel most at peace removing kudzu, barberry, or trash from the Potomac.  Doing good, true work and getting dirty with my hands is what makes me feel most whole.

At work, I use my writing and communication skills to save endangered species at my dream job, and on my off time I go hiking and camping and on 50 mile bike rides through the countryside.  Nature is my Mother, my succor and cathedral.  Nerthus, Jord, Rind – all names for my Ultimate Power.  My Divine Mother is eldritch but immediate, the power behind God and the gods, whom the immortals worship, the carved Neolithic Venus figurines, the carvings at Catal Huyuk.  I revel in the definition of pagans as rustic, nature worshippers, and I am never happier than when I am in the ocean or woods.

I studied biology and ecology out of love for nature.  I chose a career in conservation out of love for Mother Earth.  She gives and gives and gives until she breaks, and humanity must give back in return, otherwise all the water will be poisoned, the animals dead, landscapes led to industrial ruin, and we will starve.

My father taught me the most important lesson of all: that Nature is Holy.

I would have no other Mother but Her.

Pine Song

The pines are calling out to me, to me,
singing of lonely melodies, the breeze
is spritzed with wild sap and my plea
is to follow the land until I’m free.

I’m free, I’m free.

I’m wandering far,
forest take pity
on me,
me!

Dream Diary: The Wood Beyond the Worlds

I don’t remember the plot of my dreams but the woods, oh, the woods!

The forest is endless, ageless.  With babbling brooks in sloping ravines and Virginia red clay and crumbling sediment and vernal pools strewn throughout the forest.  I am hiking with my spirits, and we picnic atop a river that stretches into a waterfall.  It is winter, and maple buds are covered in frost.  We are bundled up in coats and scarves and roast marshmallows on a bonfire, the chocolate heavy on my tongue.  We have packed chili mix and it bubbles in the cooking pot.

Birds cry out and flit about the bushes, searching for winter berries and nuts in the brush.  Red and grey squirrels scurry about burying their harvest, and I nestle closer to Michael.  He shares his coat and wings with me, and we gaze into the fire.

We tell stories of the Solstice drawing close, and light peters through the trees as the sun sinks behind the mountains.  It is gray, gold, and brown, and I could never, ever be happier.

Samael sits to my left and shares a wild mushroom with me.  It tastes fresh and wonderful.

We notice the first tulip poking out, and the seasons are turning.

A hawk circles above.  Crows nest in the trees.  It is a dream of peace, of reflection, and we wander down to the water, filling our hands with the crystal clear river.  The water is cool and icy, and I drink from it.  Parts of it are frozen and I wander hesitantly out on the ice.  My friends laugh as I slip and slide.  I laugh too.

Dusk comes and we camp by the fire.

I awake as I fall asleep in dreams.