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April 22, 2010

Song to the Mystery: A Pagan Prayer for Earth Day

I don’t know if there’s a god

Or if there’s only one,

Or if god created punishment

Or god created fun,

Or if god has a flowing beard

Or the breasts on which mankind was reared,

Or other qualities just as weird

But I know that god’s believers are greatly to be feared.

We live on a lonely Earth

In the vastness of cold, black space,

Where trillions of creatures have taken birth

We know of no other such place.

Where the inconceivable mystery

And complexity of living things,

Feel the slightest changes of season

That our annual journey brings.

And Earth sails on at a rapid pace

Yet it feels like we’re sitting still,

Sixty-Seven thousand miles per hour we race

As the sun slowly sinks o’er the hill.

The wildflower marks every minute

As it faces the sun all day,

Content to simply be in it

As Earth sails along on her way.

My ancestors followed the sun

At Tara and Bru na Boine,

And as the best astronomers have done

They knew what the sun was doing.

When to plant and when to harvest

By the waxing and waning moon,

When the world was wide with forests

Too sacred to be hewn.

And their holy days marked the solar path

The Solstice and points in between,

The fires at the Faerie Raths,

Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa, and Samhain, our Halloween.

No one knows what they were thinking

Was it science or the earliest mass,

Or something to do while drinking

Or chasing a comely lass?

If we lived in a humble cottage

At the edge of that sea swept shore,

Would knowledge return in our dotage

And our memory live once more?

But it’s gone and more’s the pity

Like the Indian in the woods,

While the White Man from Eastern cities

Wrote down the final words.

About the blood thirsty savages

Who had no regard for life,

And excused their own greed inspired ravages

As divinely ordained strife.

Has paradise gone forever

Paved over with steel and tar,

Will we live in harmony never

With the world that we have marred?

Have we truly left the garden

Exiled to speed and stress,

Might the Earth herself grant us pardon

If our grasping might grow less?

Could we witness ineffable mysteries

And like flowers gaze to the sun,

Without the misguided ministries

That rally the sword and gun?

I awoke in a tipi this morning

As the sun shone in at the door,

The meadowlark raised a cheerful note

As light crept across the floor.

Perhaps god is a giant clock

That measures the universe,

Not for or against us, not in mock

But a blessing and not curse.

Is it enough for lowly mortals

Simply to be amazed,

To gaze through the astral portals

Is it sin if no gods are praised?

And is not the greater sin

For the sake of a god above,

To kill our own human kin

All in the name of love? 

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