I wrote this poem a long time ago and didn't like it at first, but this morning I'm liking on it. I wrote it in response to a man I overheard talking about how he hated living in WV. Love it or leave it, buddy, and blessings either way. I don't really hope he is eaten by a black bear...maybe.
He says that mountains don't talk,
But he just doesn't listen.
The wind gossips behind his back,
making the creek giggle.
The wind tries to be sneaky,
but the chimes report his every move.
Leaves drift around like teenagers gathering
to share their secrets and then just as quickly scurrying away
not to be seen talking together about who's crunching who.
The crows watch it all
and CAW! CAW! CAW!
And there's no telling what the fairies are up to.
He says mountains are obstacles,
things to be moved.
I look at the same gentle hills,
And I see the Great Mother.
Her bosom and arms cradling the valley,
Her swollen womb
nurturing seeds of every kind.
And I know that she will produce spring.
And when spring arrives,
if you dance barefoot outside,
you will feel her pulse.
(He only sees dead things everywhere,
And dreads the god-awful mountain winter).
He looks up and sees the trees
as a circle of barbed wire,
I agree that they are barbed wire,
put in place by the gods to keep
less hardy, less determined people
out of this sacred place.
(And I ponder how he got to our hills in the first place and why.)
He pities us poor, uncultured hillbillies.
I pity him because he is blind to our culture,
And, therefore, will never have a chance of
fitting in or being accepted.
I get my morning hug from the mountains
by sitting outside in the sun,
draped in a quilt sewn by my West Virginian granny,
and eating toast topped with homemade blackberry jelly.
I hear the chatter of the wind, the creek, the chimes, the birds, the leaves.
I feel the pulse of the earth beneath my bare feet.
And I secretly hope that he is eaten by a black bear.