Vox Populi

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Kathleen O’Toole: Mindful

The moment, fleeting as a nuthatch

that alighted on the flowerbox at breakfast,

the lichen-green hummingbird grazing

the impatiens at noon.  I toss them

blueberry pits, bread crumbs.  This


moment, before a car bomb is planted

beside a schoolyard in Basra, 

a swarm of locusts about to alight

on precious maize in Niger.  Nuthatch

and nutcracker engineer whole piñón


forests, one seed cache at a time. 

The hummingbird’s tongue is longer 

than its head and beak, longer

than it needs to extract the dusky

pollen at the petunia’s throat.


Samsara’s in every in-breath, each 

shutter click of attention: first warning

signs of famine, children lining up 

for the soldiers’ candy, wolf lichen 

in a gash on the ponderosa’s downed limb.

Copyright 2019 Kathleen O’Toole. From This Far by Kathleen O’Toole, published by Paraclete.

Red-breasted nuthatch at a feeder

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2019 by in Environmentalism, Poetry, War and Peace and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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