Weep for the legless peddler on the curb
or for youth on the drip of a phone,
For the woman through a slit
or her angry aged child,
For stray dogs hungering on the edges of broken playgrounds.
Weep for poppies and presidents and policy
or the face behind the bitter mask of desertion,
For the chasm between home and the airport
or the rifles borne like handbags,
Or the bodies twisting like airborne foliage.
Weep for the murdered guardians of light
or the golden millions melting across the border,
For fibers of trust spat out on strategies
or the dust settled on reports,
Or the satisfaction of a vacuum-packed manual.
Weep, weep, weep
a flood on the plain of parched hope.
On the desertion of the people of Afghanistan in August 2021.
How shall we live?
The pandemic has been both beast and blessing. There is barely one of us who doesn't have a family member, friend, or acquaintance who is no longer with us because of it. Perhaps as a result and not in spite of this - beast and blessing are not separate - it demands that we value life, all life, more, This has been a time of worry, but it has also been a time to get lost in what fascinates us so that we can see the connections; to overcome hesitations about spending time rather than saying "later."
In this sense, the island garden series I have created on Instagram is an ode to the pandemic. In the prose poems that accompany the images, there is fear and ease, the unknown and knowing, doubt and faith, fragmentation and wholeness, mortality and eternity. Imagination births a deep sense of connection to each complex being which, in turn, invigorates our imagination, until we recognize that this process is our very source and begs the question of what this means for how we live. The collection consists of fifty-five images and stories, gathered daily through two months of this summer on a small Swedish island where a garden once grew out of little more than rock and sand.