Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "A Kind of Memory in Nature"

This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"A Kind of Memory in Nature"


There are fox squirrels
in every shade from tan
to marmalade, who venture
down from the trees and out
into the grassland in search
of new trees to climb.

Gray squirrels live in forests,
but not all of them are gray.

There are black ones,
a melanistic color morph;
and white ones that may be
leucistic with dark eyes or
albinos with pink eyes.

Ground squirrels excavate
burrows in soft soil, darting
in and out as shadows
pass by overhead.

Flying squirrels float
like dandelion wishes
between the trees.

In all of them there
is a certain similarity,
a familial resemblance
within the kindred upon
the squirrel family tree.

They are bright-eyed and
often bushy-tailed, quick of
movement and mischief,
bold chatterers bearing
messages and insults.

There is a kind of memory
in nature, the essence at
the heart of each species.

In one squirrel is the history
of all squirrels that ever were,
the dream of all squirrels
that will ever be.

Red or gray, black or white,
flying or earthbound, they are
all related through the heart
of the world tree and through
the soul of Squirrelness.

To walk in the woods
is to be scolded by squirrels;

to be scolded by squirrels
is to be addressed by a kind
of memory in nature,

that your passing not go unremarked.

* * *

Notes:

"The idea is that there is a kind of memory in nature. Each kind of thing has a collective memory. So, take a squirrel living in New York now. That squirrel is being influenced by all past squirrels."
-- Rupert Sheldrake

Squirrels are small frisky mammals. There are various species, such as this list of western squirrels. White squirrels may be albinos of any species, or leucistic color morphs of gray squirrels.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, nature, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, wildlife, writing
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