A Theory of Air
Gaia’s magnetic field snaps back
displeased at being rubbed
the wrong way.
An aurora borealis pungent
and teeming spills over
the invisible edge.
We are all creatures of air.
Hurricane speed currents plunge
ice crystals down to earth’s surface
as electrostatic discharge
organized in previously unexplored
directions, seeding nimbus dust
with reproducing bacteria
on the troposphere mist.
Our cellular progenitors, we carry
their imprint of sky, engulf
other ephemeral bodies
in symbiont desperation, a reverse
sublimation into mutlicellularity,
Gaia intending our existence
to be a lighter resurfacing
less of the organized, arrogant
tissue we now drag through air.
Pinon pine seedlings withstood the sun thrilled
screams of Shanti and Phillip echoing off the mesa for days
yet hardly grew near the grey vibrational
onslaught of oil drilling machines.
Scrub Jays azure and child-like flourished
hiding pinon nuts for winter inside
a crystal of their own whispered song
notes easily shattered.
Honey fed and veiled beneath the sway
of a thousand pine needles kids
leapt at the garrulous birds light swept
returning the shriek of banter.
When deep extraction began, silencing trees
we kneeled in a circle empty like the wind
our children not yet human and kite waves
of jay all gone to white.
The hope of young things everywhere ruptured
suddenly in the acoustic disassembly
pulled down into the bitter noise of night.
The Acoustic Properties of Ancient People
Sandstone butte and rock
arch witness the brine
of ocean loss,
the nomadic erosion of tribes,
new stands of cottonwood
and stunted blackbrush.
In Horseshoe Canyon
insect eyes trapped
inside pictographs, wait
where sound echoes loudest
for Coyote’s message:
Watch for a run of finger
streaked blood hard
along the narrows
and helical whispers
twisted into dreamtime.
South along the Mayan trail
within the realm of Chichen Itza
a flutter of equinox shadows
dive down temple steps
quetzal and serpent converge
deeper into the gray
rattler wind a shaman
up like mating chirps.
Within this complex also lies
an echo gallery five hundred forty
feet of wall and serious games
separating two altars.
Priests growl softly at one end
like howler monkeys and jaguars,
hiss like snakes
and these perturbations
re-percuss out of thin air
in the middle of the field.
Warriors pressed hard against the cool
rock fresh with ancestral
voice hiding in the stillness
strain to hear family
and animal guides they have called
churn into persistence where
sound echoes loudest
where blood memory crosses
into the living
and cries sweetly
you will all be remembered.
The Unspeakable Sense of Connection
We are all offspring of another cell,
co-evolved to pulse
and explore how much
transformation can be sustained,
circling back to source
to contact with the origin point.
Because, something has marked us –
a dissociative tune
a wildly profligate
a pattern of sense
a stream of data.
This room holds a circle.
We are that membrane
breathing in the calculus of flight;
we are firefly light
inside this sphere,
Water Lilly at the Edge of a Dream
My heart shyness wakes slowly
the first cool morning
after a hot day.
Invited into breath
I lay still
to avoid detection.
Remnant of coiled shadow
fades into an uncertain presence,
someone I loved,
and dissipates into sunlight.
As my voice blossoms into sound
I unfold steadfast
to this moment,
unwilling to dissolve
dream into discrete particles.
Instead I ride the wave crest
of luminous haze,
forgetting that my heart had ever
taken a beat outside
this drift of synchronicity,
this inevitable world
of dilute spectral bands settling
into deeper water.
Michael Tims received his BA in English/Writing from George Mason University studying poetry with Peter Klappert, and a PhD from the University of Maryland studying the chemical ecologically of medicinal plants. He has worked in the herbal supplement industry, as a clinical herbalist and an academic researcher/teacher. He created and writes an herbal medicine blog, Bardo’s Calculus. Currently he is Academic Director for Herbal Programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health.