21 April 2020

Asking Directions at Crossroads

At crossroads, Alice met the Cheshire Cat
who told her one way led to the Hatter,
one to the March Hare--and her choice
didn't matter as they were both quite mad.  

Beware the talking heads at our crossroads—
The choices are not equal.  One puts health
concerns first, and another the economy,
but neither suggest roads to healthy wealth.

Or wealthy health. Hmm?

Ask earth to take a vote. Ask hovering
bodies like moon and sun and all the birds.
Without commercial words they cannot lie,
and more—without their vote—our plans won’t fly.

Healthy wealth collaborates with nature.
We can’t predetermine the big answers,
and we can’t take short cuts to save time.
Maybe short steps will do, or a long climb.

So first, how will we read the earth, how ask
the sun and moon their views?  Let’s see where birds
are healthiest, and what non-flying ones
observe.  Let's mingle.  Learn each other's words.

for earthweal's weekly challenge: THE CROSSROAD

My blog poems are rough drafts.
   Please respect my copyright.
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2020 Susan L. Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

"Her choice didnt matter as they were both quite mad." I LOVE this, and truer words were never written! I think nature is casting her vote increasingly in the direction of the balance that we need to find, pronto. But those that need to hear are not listening. I LOVE this poem!

JIm Feeney said...

A poetic plea for common sense! Well put!

grapeling said...

I wish we did ask the birds and the wind... ~

Kim M. Russell said...

I wonder what Lewis Carroll would have made of our current situation, Susan. He’d probably say the same thing, the ‘choice didn't matter as they were both quite mad’: ‘healthy wealth. Or wealthy health.’ I think Mother Earth has had a hand in this pandemic and would decline a vote. She wants us to make the right choice.

pc said...

Sue doesn't the last line 'lets mingle' negate the concern in the beginning stanzas?

Truedessa said...

Sometimes in the journey the path we take requires balance. Do we value money more than human life? I too wish to converse with the birds and the wind.

Brendan said...

Amen. The problem with binary choices (especially in a partisan world) is that you get too much of one thing. Earth is always a complicate sort of harmony (as Stevens said), a murky but healthy blend. Or perhaps the crossroad is less angular though as fateful, as when a rain forest heats toward savannah, or a coastline move in or offshore. Humans can certainly choose to love the human less, at least that part of us which excludes nature too much. By green degrees ... a healthy weal, wouldn't you say? Thoughtful response to the challenge, thanks. -- Brendan