Tag Archives: Nature

Beautiful, Yet Dangerous

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“…and the flowers she planted, narcissus and hoa mai which cracked open each spring – the sky, she brought it low, until the air was hot and wet and broke into a rain…” – Cathy Linh Che, “My Mother Upon Hearing News of Her Mother’s Death” from Split, Alice James Books, 2014.

Don’t go there,
Where the hoa mai blaze like a fever
Near the riverbanks where her collection of sun-bleached bones glisten in the rain.
It’s beautiful, but dangerous
Where the narcissus bloom
Amidst rusted tin cans in overgrown cul-de-sacs.
She brings the sky low,
Makes it heavy and hot like breath,
Speaks to me ancient languages of pollen and nectar
Using cyclamen lips and a tongue like a tuber cracked open in spring.
Her belly rolls like distant thunder during her sudden summer sizzles
It’s beautiful, but dangerous there
Where the trout lilies riot in silence,
Near the creekbeds where her hair weaves into bulrushes,
Amidst blown tires scattered down endless highways.
And the flowers she planted…
And the flowers she planted…

Hoa-mai-roi

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This work, “Beautiful Yet Dangerous” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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On a Christmas Day Without Snow

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On a Christmas day without snow,
the white, generously- bellied moon shone in an India-ink sky,
pouring incandescent light through your truck’s windows,
dancing off your mirrors until your chocolate eyes held diamonds.
The seat captured the cold night air and pressed through your clothes,
drying the sweat that glided down the winding roads of your body.
Your hands, still covered in the sweet resin of trees,
left the wheel only to turn up the volume on the radio
as you hummed along to the corn-kissed whine of Southern pedal steel.
The road stretched wide and endless before you,
and in that moment of possibility,
you thought of me.

full moon
Image taken from Pinterest 

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This work, “On a Christmas Day Without Snow” by Beth Murch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

I Talk To Plants

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Sometimes, I talk to plants.

Rough hands and sharp tongues
Cannot shear through leaves and stems
And so I know that my secrets are safe
With dandelions and plantain
People cast confidences on the wind like corn silk
And like to rip trust out at the roots

I understand the magick of herbs
Petals make potions
Resins make remedies
I can speak the languages of honey, vinegar, oil, and hot water
Passionflower smiles at my heart’s release
Chamomile dries my tears
Calendula caresses me like a kindly mother

People are so much harder to comprehend
Their words clang in my ears like lids on boiling pots
And their prickles hurt me far more than nettles
I wish I could trust humans like I trust fungus

I like that lavender always kisses me back
And ginger gingerly warms my hands on cold winter days
Careful not to break my skin
Or my heart

Sometimes, I talk to plants.

I like that they listen
I like that they talk back to me

Someday, the plants will hold me like I hold them now
And we will belong to each other

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This work, “I Talk To Plants” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Step Aside, Rumi

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My face is wind burned.
My throat is scratchy from cold air and winter germs.
My eyes are bloodshot.
My muscles are screaming from a wind chill of -31.

I’m no longer sure if I am writing poetry,
Or simply delivering an inventory of my symptoms.
Frigid (literally and figuratively)? Check.
Raw (literally and figuratively)? Check.
Laying awake in the middle of the night smelling the giant shit the cat just took in the freshly cleaned litter box three rooms away? Check.
Desperately relying upon streaming syndicated television programs on my laptop to comfort me through my middle age? Check.

Someday, I will be dead.
My shawls will be hanging in a thrift shop,
My books will be dumped into a garbage bin,
And all that will remain of me will be my Social Insurance Number…
…and this poem, of course.
Behold, the magnificence!

Step aside, Rumi.

Cold Turkey

Look! It’s me! Well, it’s me if I were a royalty-free cartoon turkey who was smoking during a snowstorm in the mountains.

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This work, “Step Aside, Rumi” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

NaPoWriMo Day 21

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21/30 Prompt: Write a Letter as an Insect

Dearest Human,

Can anyone love you as truly as I?
I am not seduced by your external features.
I do not seek cling to the shafts of your hair.
I do not sup upon the oils your pores secrete.
I do not long to suck your blood or fill your lungs with mucus.
I want only to adore you from the inside out,
To have a special place deep within the core of your body.
I am your most faithful friend.
After all,
Who else worships the parts of you that you pretend don’t even exist
Because they are “dirty”, “impolite”, and “smelly”?

Your duodenum was my birthplace,
And the warm, snug loops of your intestines
Cradled me as securely as any mother’s arms.
I grew quickly, a proud 150 micrometres,
Moulting my skin twice
To make room for the children I so longed to have.
No longer an innocent larvae,
I migrated with my companions to your ileum,
Where we engaged in Bacchanalian orgies,
Mating whilst ingesting your colonic contents.
Sadly, all my lovers died,
And I watched their lifeless husks get squeezed out of your guts
Alongside your breakfast.
Did you realize the families you were tearing apart
As you casually sat upon the toilet?
Did you know that you flushed away the bodies of our dead?
Did it matter to you that we
Who were soothed by the lullabies of your flatus,
And raised in the fragrant gardens of your gut’s bacterial fermentation,
Struggled to stay attached to your mucosa
While you tested our loyalty with peristalsis?

No matter, Dearest Human.
I forgive you,
Because it is my nature.
After all, I am going to be a mother soon.
I am now heavy with eggs – nearly 16,000 of them.
Perhaps being gravid has made me even more tender towards you.
I want to show you my little eggies,
I want you to see my sweet babies,
And so I am travelling through your colon,
Towards your rectum.
I am going as fast as I can,
Sometimes, as fast as 14 centimetres an hour,
Just so I can lay my children
In the gentle rosebud of your anus.
How delicate are those shy little wrinkles!
How moist and dark is that place that smells of your most personal secrets!
I cannot wait to wriggle my way out of your bum
And paint your perineum with a slimy trail of my tiny eggs.

Do you see how much I love you, how much I trust you?
I am sharing with you the act of creation!
Together, we will raise this new generation:
For once I birth my progeny,
I will entrust their care to you.
I know that after all my tickling,
You will scratch your crack
To collect some of my eggies under your fingernails
Just so you can share them with your friends.
You’ll make sure my legacy lives on
By spreading my larvae-to-be
On sheets, on clothes, in food, in pet fur…
This, this is the meaning of love, Human.
Together, we co-create.
Can anyone love you as truly as I?

– Enterobius Vermicularis

Pinworms_by_scythemantis
Is this your image? If so, please let me know so that I can credit you!

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This work, “Love Letter From A Pinworm” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

NaPoWriMo Day 15

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15/30 Prompt: Write About Swimming

The preacher told me that to go to Heaven,
I had to be baptized.
I had to step down into that concrete tub
Filled with tepid water
That contained all the sins of the people dunked before me.
Several times a year,
I watched them line up to descend into the baptistry,
Awkward with bathing suits silhouetted underneath their white gowns
Which would float like the bells of jellyfish
As they descended into the tank.
Blooms of The Saved
Floating
Caught between the currents of water-soluble salvation
And the polluting debris of iniquity.
I chose to stay upon dry land.

The rabbi told me that to become Jewish,
I had to immerse in the mikveh,
Which is no different from a baptismal tank,
Except that it contains water from a “living source”.
I read stories about how beautiful conversion to Judaism was,
But I was only ever made to feel worthless.
I tried so hard to wear the right thing,
To eat the right thing,
To pray the right thing,
But I was only reminded that I never measured up.
Those purifying pools reserved for those done menstruating,
Those done with being Gentile,
Were always denied to me.
I did what Lot’s wife could not,
And I turned my back.
I chose to stay upon dry land.

I told myself that I am a daughter of the earth.
My flesh was formed from the cracks in soil.
My bones emerged from damp sod.
My hair was spun from the grasses of great plains.
My soul is a cactus,
And I am able to flower and flourish with very little moisture.
There are prickles on me here and there,
But I was here before the gods of men,
And I will be here long after.
I chose to say upon dry land.

The desert told me that to be myself,
I had to revel in a monsoon –
Because even cacti need their thirst quenched.
One night, I stepped nude into Lake Huron,
With only the moon to bear witness.
I swam beneath the soft caress of the planet’s womb-water,
Feeling the sediment of eternity cloud around me
Whenever my toes touched its rocky spine.
I opened my eyes.
I opened my mouth.
I opened my legs.
I spread wide my fingers and toes.
I drank deeply of that ancient liquor,
Swallowed up fish, sand, mysterious plants, drowned garbage,
Filled my belly with the hurt, the longing, the joy, the sorrow
Of millions of years of history.
I sucked up every oil spill, every gill net, every lost sailor,
Until I could not contain any more,
And then once I saw the wrinkles on every lake bed, the secrets of every ocean floor,
I spat it all back out again.
I emerged from the water cleansed,
With my thirst satiated.
I know now, that on my own terms:
I have no need for dry land.

jellyfish_0
Image Courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/hubmedia/318410466/

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This work, “Untitled” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.