Truth is in

wrens and robins skirmishing about the house
and honeysuckle in December flower,
sunlight reaching warm fingers across the frost,
tree roots digging deep,
stream-babble.

Listen to the tread of your feet,
stop in the silence,
watch what falls, what rises.

This world washed clean of fear of what is not,
is the world that lives, says the earthworm.

Let the dead hang on their trees,
hide in their seabound caves, tossing fire and plague
or magic words to hold back floods.
Look deep and high,
bird-see,
hare-listen,
sniff the air.

Believe in fingers delved into loose earth
that find the only truths.
Worms are the beginning and the end;
forever bites the tail of never.

Know this,
accept, and live
in bright bird-sweep.

For the earthweal challenge. I didn’t invite anyone in particular, but an earthworm invited itself, and the Oracle whispered without being invoked.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Truth is in”

  1. ‘Let the dead hang on their trees,
    hide in their seabound caves, tossing fire and plague
    or magic words to hold back floods.’
    I can’t help but feel you are referring to us foolish humans…

  2. It is only fitting for an earthworm to invite itself to an earthweal challenge, Jane! He has the right idea too, about a ‘world washed clean of fear of what is not’. I love the riot of birds and December honeysuckle in the opening lines, the wonderful sound of ‘stream-babble’, and that hopeful final line of ‘bright bird-sweep’.

    1. Thanks Kim. At the risk of offending some sensitive souls, I admit to relegating all religious superstition from whatever epoque to the dump bin of psychotwaddle. I believe in earthworms though.

  3. I remember as a child digging up worms just to watch them dig back in. There’s a lesson there, and not only about letting your children get their hands dirty. (K)

    1. My memories are a bit more macabre, watching my dad digging and how the worms were cut clean in two. They didn’t seem to mind, but then kids are tough when it comes to the suffering of others.

      1. I treat the ones around here very well. Lots of scraps for compost, no chemicals or poisons, it’s lowland so stays pretty wet, and I save them from the driveway in heavy rains.

  4. I love your poetry so much! I especially love “bird-see, hare listen, sniff the air” and “live in bright bird-sweep.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s