CarrieAnn (CAT) Thunell has been published in over 75 print magazines (in 7 countries). She is editor of the print magazine Nisqually Delta Review, http://NisquallyDeltaReview.bravehost.com , and has served as a guest editor for the Santa Fe Broadsides. CAT will be judging the long poetry division of the 2007 Frontiers in Writing contest put on by the Panhandle Professional Writers. She is an ecology and peace activist, backpacker, nature photographer, artist, and poet. Her haiga (illustrated haiku) may be found in the archives of Simply Haiku, and Haigaonline.
In the beginning there was Naked Thought, the Thought that shaped itself into the Word. The Word cooled and commingled into Form, gaseous clouds condensed from Thought to Word. Spun round to form the Matter for planets, planets that Matter, born of the Thought/Word. New life forms spun from out of one planet, in joy they mated, bearing new Thought/Words. Words led to Speech, shaping men's Consciousness. Consciousness bloomed to shape a new culture. Culture bloomed to shape a new Consciousness of human pride that shared no sphere with life. All species were then endangered and doomed. No one knew how to turn this course around. Humans forgot Matter came from the Womb of Word, and Word out of the Womb of Thought. Nothing Matters when our Words Matter not. Poets are Prophets who create New Worlds. The Word has power to give back the Form that flowed from Rivers of Life in the Tao. Poets are Prophets who create fresh Words. They call forth new Consciousness giving rise to fresh Matter as Life Matters once more. The Word has power to name life, Sacred. Poets are Prophets who create New Worlds. New Worlds of vibrant creatures that flourish, they birth and manifest from healing Words. The Word calls Sacred all life on this Earth. Published in Point And Circumference, The Hexagon Forum
The Maker left the Map of Mystery for the two-leggeds who needed riddles. Their complex minds could not embrace bare truth. The four-legged people, bear and the like, moved in circles of instinct and passion. All creatures learned the dance of life to mate, find food, shelter, and their strand in the web. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more all danced together to a great web bound no hierarchies rule a song that is round. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. The Maker left jigsaw pieces within the crevices and fissures, plants and plains. Some lodged in clouds and some in deep tide pools. Some dotted ley-lines, some ringed volcanoes. No one culture of man could assemble the Master Puzzle in isolation. Mystery drove each to fashion their Gods. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more all joined in dance to Life's symphonic sound what once was found was lost and the lost found. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. Then the two-legged set themselves apart and built hierarchies with themselves above. Some cultures tried to keep the dance alive but technocrats spread like a forest fire consuming and reshaping all in greed. Each faction fought under their own banner: Their icon that they each mistook for God. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more for whom this industrial honeycomb held naught, these refugees began to roam. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. Somewhere on this Earth, lies a Great Table to which all diverse knowledge must be brought. Gathered from the North, the South, East, and West, from Above Earth where the Universe spins, from Below where Life's ancestors whisper, and from the Center: Earth, our Womb of Life; from all Sources this tapestry must come. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more recognize the center of our life, Earth. Daughter of Universe, Mother of Birth. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. There's something new that's trying to be born. There's something old that's trying to reform. The prophet's muse is making herself known. She's weaving a new web of the forlorn. This Masterwork must be collaborative: drawn from religions and instincts diverse. Two-leggeds must give heed to all the rest. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more must come together as siblings and share all ways of knowing, strip differences bare. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. Come Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Jains, come Muslims, First Peoples, and Pagans, all ancestral humans from all continents bring forth your wisdom-lore to this great quilt. Let us return the places at Table held by all creatures to close the circle. In balance we live, in strife we shall die. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more The mountains and valleys, oceans and streams, fungus and fir trees, all support Life's dreams. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. "Whatever man does to the Web, he does to himself." Thus a great chief prophesied. Now humankind must put aside its pride and serve the least of creatures on this Earth. We who would rule must bow to all creatures. In solidarity with Life's own Source. We must all heal the Sacred Living Web. The winged, the finned, six-legged and four, the eight-legged, shelled, two-legged and more, all these are needed as well as the plants, water, air, and soil, let us learn their chants. All medicine wheels must now spin as one. Published in Bellowing Ark March/April 2006
The rise, the crest, the roll and the crumble of ocean waves make the wise heart humble. How I long to put on a stout back pack filled with all that I need in life. I'd like to learn the use of every plant, leave civilization behind. I'd follow the setting sun to the sea and build a home of tarp and rope. Each dawn I'd move on till the setting sun bid me set up my tarp again. The rise, the crest, the roll and the crumble of ocean waves make the wise heart humble. I'd warm my old bones with small driftwood fires that I'd put out with my warm pee. I'd migrate in a herd of one plus one just my mate, our two packs, and me. Over time our scent would become saline and the wildlife would lose their fear. The seaweed would braid into our long hair wild and strong at the breasts of Earth. The rise, the crest, the roll and the crumble of ocean waves make the wise heart humble. The sharp fresh air would cycle through our lungs oxygenating every cell. We'd drink sweet water from new rain filled streams and grow strong at the breasts of Earth. The body is given to heal itself when immersed in the Life of Earth. We must interbe with Earth, Sky and Sea to grow strong at the breasts of Earth. The rise, the crest, the roll and the crumble of ocean waves make the wise heart humble. Published in Bellowing Ark, Nov/Dec 2006
As I scramble down the cliff, my huge pack shifts awkwardly and lunges to the Earth. It's caught up in gravitational pull. I shift my hips to balance my great load, arresting my tumbling descent through scree. I grab at sturdy roots and slide to sand. Thick fog rests on the shore, a gauze cocoon. At the horizon line it thins to mist and rises like dough wrapping round my view. The silhouettes of fir trees pierce the clouds from high bluffs just below an eagle's cry. Like shadow dancers wielding veils: sea stacks with tide-scooped holes emerge and fade from view. The shoreline is licked back as waves encroach, propelled by high winds and incoming tide. Each wave marches in a successive roar as slate gray rising crests collapse in foam. These tissue paper skies begin to glow as diffuse sunlight tries to burn a hole. Light tap dances on waves of churning tide. I throw off my pack and release my feet from boots to burrow in the sea-cooled sand. I sink-walk in watery sand that pulls and clings like phantom toddlers at my calves. One thin line separates slate sky from sea, uncompromising as a stubborn mouth. I wait for the sunset, which comes and goes, an indescript tormenting dimmer switch. The fog blots out sea stacks and tree-lined bluffs until my internal compass dissolves. The west must be the sea-roared side, the cliffs behind me must then lie off to the east. Above my head I watch clouds split like eggs to reveal the river of stars that spills across the cosmos where I catch a glimpse into the past and churning remnants of supernovas that expand, then contract. With feet rooted in Earth, I watch these stars that I might sense how eons past this world came spinning into being and this beach of fog is wads of star-stuffing that cooled. This spread of sand I lie on is composed of minerals born within meteors. I sense the spin of Earth's rotation as a moon-dog wraps around the moon to suck and a deer licks salt moisture off my thighs. Published in Bellowing Ark, July/Aug 2006
I search for bliss- an oasis amidst the chaos and cacophony within a civilization's relentless noise. I dream of an oasis of silence. a sanctuary from synthetic dreams piped in from the mass media air waves. The scent of pine trees on the wind calls me. The owl reminds me I am a species endangered by this industrial life. The wolf-howl in my soul struggles to drown out the pain of disheartened, drugged rock-stars whose lamentations taint my thoughts on love. adulterating my own perspective, replacing love with fast-food lust and lice. Original thought is eclipsed by lies designed in corporate board rooms who profit from splicing my soul in plate tectonics the better to service assembly lines. Yet in the midst of the media maze, although I wander in a shopping daze, encrypted DNA remembers life. Evolution links memory within to an ancient purpose to rise above the chaos that threatens extinction now. The cry of the eagle calls as the tide of my soul rises and falls and my veins respond to the salmon who strive to spawn a new dawn again and again. My soul struggles to rise to the surface for air. Synthetic, scented fans pollute public airways, clogging my native senses blind. They propel me toward anxiety. They block self-expression with depression, so the industry of psychiatry can sell me instant mood-inhibitors. Boycott the MDs, unplug the TVs, and cancel the subscriptions, and likewise the prescriptions, jettison internet, lest my encumbered soul forget that I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, begin the search for the sound of silence. Just walk away in muddy hiking boots. Shake the dust off your feet from the mass-media head-set. Be the beatitudes. Search for the trees, the symphony of wind through leaves, bird song. Where there is doubt, sow faith upon the tide of ocean waves that wash away man's cares. Lay on the beach and watch the blinking stars as Mother Nature midwife's life's return, the harmony of nature undisturbed. Published in Bellowing Ark April/May 2006
I really want to be a Buddhist but I see more in this life than suffering. Life is sacred the Buddhists would agree. They wish deep bliss for all the Earthly beings. They disapprove of abortion and war. They cherish children, many don't eat meat. But they call all in this life, Samsara- an illusion propelled by lust and greed. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. To pursue joy is to be caught and bound in unhealthy attachment, Mara's trick. Life is so filled with suffering that they wish to be liberated from rebirth. I am to be mindful of miracles such as the cherry blossom and its scent. I am to notice sunsets and rainbows and be moved to tears by all creature's plight. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Earthly life is propelled by self-interest which sets each soul at war with all that is. So in life's despite, I am to renounce every joy which makes precious our sojourn. The Tibetans cultivate a belief in ten-thousand Buddha's all hovering about the devout and prostrating form of the seeker who makes true offering. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. We train our minds to see this solid world as an illusion while at the same time we train to see color-coded Buddha's omniscient and afloat everywhere. And then there are the austere Zen Buddhists whose incomprehensible riddles test the patience and sanity of all those who seek enlightenment in pure Zazen. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. So many kinds of Buddhism abound some disengage while others are engaged. They are not so different after all from all the Christian sects that disagree. In all records and sutras save the one, Therigatha, woman is carnal, lust manifest. How weary am I to be with my sisters, scapegoat of man's desire. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Sanghamitta, daughter of Asoka planted her branch of the sacred Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura, oldest historical tree in the world. Princess, your Bhikkuni's all went to Sri Lanka undaunted by the yoke of Buddha's strict female code. The Bhikku's distain undid your order, Bhikkuni's all but died out. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Why must Womankind, sacred portal of all life, labor to give birth to ingrates who blame Her for their passions even as they grow strong on Her milk, live for Her love, dream of the Holy of Holies, Her Yoni? All the religions and all their prophets promise salvation to those who are male. Their many doctrines are tangled in knots. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Knots from Muslims who thank God they're not born women, instead of thanking the women that bore them, and those they hope will yet bear their sons. Jews point to Eve as the evil temptress. Women are her unfortunate daughters. Is there no Pure Land of women and men who work out life's meaning in peace together, a Yin and Yang of Tao? As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Tao, whose opposites weave a pattern, bring your equanimity between man and woman! Or maybe in some tantric union, the sexual cold-war will cease. Until then I shall forage my own trail in solidarity with Mother Earth. Her creatures all are my cousins, and whales sing her holy hymns in the pulsing sea. As for me, I shall sing hymns with the whales. Earth Mother, Earth Mother, teach me your song. Teach me to flow with your River Course way. I am a creature among many more. Help me to honor your bountiful circle. My sprit shall sing with the oceans and whales. Sing in a new faith based on Mother Earth. Mother who nurtures us and gives us birth. All Her Ecosystems sustain our lives. Earth Mother, first Guru, help us be wise! Teach our spirits to sing with sacred whales.. Published in Bellowing Ark Jan/Feb 06
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