January 2018

It had been about five years since I had been able to write anything close to sustained poetic output.  I had written sporadically but at best despaired at every word written. 


And then, unexpectedly, walking away from the high rise complex where I live, I was looking at construction sites across the street with the high cranes at work.  This poem emerged from the moment.


I walk down from the high-rises, on a path salt-stained white,

though hidden for a moment by the melt of false Spring.
Still, I know the stains are there,
waiting for the drying revelations of the sun,

to rorschach beneath our feet.

​Waiting for the next benediction of rain,

to be washed anew to an unmarked canvas.

I think about the risks of build-up.

Salt, toxic; inimical to growth.

Ancient kings defeated enemies,
sowing soil with salt, and wells,
poisoning all, no succor  found.

And yet,  even with these wasteland ghosts,

​for humans,​ salt is life.

It defangs the hazards that make us fall,

moves our bodies,

causes our hearts to beat.

Yet, the hedges are dying.


We stand on the cusp 

of planetary re-set.

And so are called, to balance

in less harmful ways.

Fiona Mackintosh (© January 29, 2018)

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