Poem: i look to the god of my fears, and i do not bow

i look to the god of my fears, and i
do not bow, because

that god is too small to have created
the giant yew, or the stars

or the galaxies of microbes that populate
a single stomach, the worlds within

worlds, the forest floor alive with neural
networks of plant and protozoa,

mycelium and mushroom, the earthwork
of veins shot through everything alive,

life within life, turned toward salubrious sun
or hiding in tender cave, waiting

for long night and birth and the soft caress
of an affectionate moon. that god

could not make bat or bird, dolphin and whale;
it could not build a sky that could stand

or clouds that kiss both sea and land. that god,
of fear, cannot build or save, only

lead astray

it cannot hold

the form of


much less the world; it has no place.
that god must go, without delay

and see the rivers and the lakes, the
beaver and its berm, the rocks

that sing, the silky streams, to hear
the heron scream with glee, and

feel pine needles under feet, or
mud against its knees, the lovely sting

of fruit on tongue and cheek; the ducks
that fly as one, or dust on breeze,

faded flowers filled with drunken bees;
any god i love must be a god
whose fullness
is full of these.

for fear cannot build
or reap
or sow

or truly love
it does not truly know
what love can be
it does not see the world
it does not see

the tender veins in a leaf
the gentle weave
of a spider’s nest
the dance of ants
the gift of seas
from which we rose those years ago

to rub our guts on sand and dirt, to
breathe the air that burned, and
push our legs against the pull, to stand and

look and yearn for land and home, to see
the stars and force our hearts

not to race;
fear must fade

(fear must fade)

because the sky is only larger
than the oceans
when you believe them opposed

instead of part of a whole
to which you belong

and which belongs to you.

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