I would say my religion is nature-based. Nature – by this I mean the physical world, from the subatomic to the cosmic. When some people talk about nature-based religion they mean things humans didn’t make. So forests are ‘nature’ and cities are not. But when I say my religion is nature-based, I mean that it is based in the physical world.
So where do things like ‘gods’ and ‘supernatural beings’ come in. You can’t have a religion without those things! (Well, actually, you can.) I would describe myself as a polytheist / pantheist / panentheist / animist / monist. And I’m also an atheist and believe the gods are only metaphors constructed by humans.
Yes, they are alive and can have those colors,
But I, in my soul, am alive too.
I feel I must sing and dance, to tell
Of this in a way, that knowing you may be drawn to me.
And I sing amid despair and isolation
Of the chance to know you, to sing of me
Which are you. You see,
You hold me up to the light in a way
I should never have expected, or suspected, perhaps
Because you always tell me I am you,
And right. The great spruces loom.
I am yours to die with, to desire.
I cannot ever think of me, I desire you
For a room in which the chairs ever
Have their backs turned to the light
Inflicted on the stone and paths, the real trees
That seem to shine at me through a lattice toward you.
If the wild light of this January day is true
I pledge me to be truthful unto you
Whom I cannot ever stop remembering.
Remembering to forgive. Remember to pass beyond you into the day
On the wings of the secret you will never know.
Taking me from myself, in the path
Which the pastel girth of the day has assigned to me.
I prefer “you” in the plural, I want “you”
You must come to me, all golden and pale
Like the dew and the air.
And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.
I love the trees here. They’re so friendly. I’ve been in forests up north where the trees are foreboding. Watching wearily like wolves. Reminding you that you are an intruder in this place. A noisy nuisance at best.
But here, in the city, the trees are friendly. I think it’s because we have domesticated them. Wild trees don’t grow here. So we grow them from seeds, plant them by hand, support them with steaks to protect them from the prairie wind. We water them, band them, spray them, prune them. They are dependent on us. They greet us with lolling leaves and happily wag their branches as we pass.
And we are happy to have them, too. We say we need them for shade, for windbreak, to beautify the urban landscape. But really, I think we need them for company. They make us feel less lonely. They are an oasis, protecting us from the vast emptiness that surrounds us.
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
You say it’s going to be an early spring?
I know it’s your job, you’re just doing your thing,
But it’s not right being outside today,
It’s far too cold, I have to say.
There’s no way spring’s coming early this year,
You’re just going to have wait, I fear.
I know it’s hard admitting you’re wrong
But your previous predictions haven’t been too strong.
I’m staying inside below the snow
Wake me up in another six weeks or so.