Category Archives: Uncategorized

Listening to the Land

Sheri Barker has a fascinating post up at the Wild Hunt about being in relationship with the land. She’s discussing a practice that’s becoming more and more popular: replacing a lawn with a garden of native plants. This is good on several levels. Replacing a lawn can immediately cut way down on the use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Planting natives provides food and habitat for lots of wildlife — from insects, to birds, to reptiles, to small mammals. Planting natives can also help to create “corridors” for wildlife — a safe way to move from, say, the adjoining creek to the next-door field. And, finally, although a garden, even of native plants, does require some work, it doesn’t require mowing and blowing.

Sheri concludes:

“Later in the day, when the sun was nearly set, I returned to the garden for a second attempt at marking the paths and laying out the plants. This time, the land spirits provided input as I was working. And this time, by the time I sat down to rest and observe, I could feel that everything was done right. The land was humming a tune that vibrated through my entire being, and the land spirits were happy. As for me, I experienced an immense rush of gratitude for being included in this process, and I am excited to see this garden bloom and thrive.

Several people have asked me if I do this work because I love gardening. And I do. I love it. I love the intimacy of the relationship with the earth and all the creatures that often go unobserved or unwanted. More than that, I feel called to work to heal this one-third-of-an-acre piece of land. She has been talking to me about that since the first day I set foot on her body, and I cannot and will not ignore what she asks for.

Do Pagans and Witches have more of a responsibility than anyone else to try to heal the damage humans have done to the earth and the environment? Honestly, my answers to that question are so emotionally charged that they are not reliable or measurable in any legitimate way.

But ask me if our spiritual relationships and connections with the earth, wildlife, and spirits we live with provide us with more of an opportunity to listen, acknowledge, and take healing action, and my answer is unequivocally yes. Doing so is both an honor and a gift, and what a difference it would make if every one of us did one small thing.”

How do you listen to and work with your land? Are you the Witch of your place?

PS: Sheri, watch out for that obedient plant! It wasn’t named for its ability to stay in one place! It is, however, very easy to pull when it gets out of hand and the bees do seem to love it.

Photo of obedient plant by the blogger; if you copy, please link back.

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Chas Clifton is talking time slips and fairy portals. I’ve never experienced the kind of time slip he describes, but I’ve definitely wandered into the land of Fairy a few times (and luckily managed to wander my way out). It’s disconcerting, but not really frightening. Have you ever been? What happened?


Picture found here.

Words for Wednesday

A Wing and a Prayer


We thought the birds were singing louder. We were almost certain they

were. We spoke of this, when we spoke, if we spoke, on our zoom screens

or in the backyard with our podfolk. Dang, you hear those birds? Don’t

they sound loud? We shouted to the neighbor, and from behind her mask

she agreed. The birds are louder this spring. This summer. I’ve never

heard such loud birds. Listen to ’em sing. But the birds aren’t singing

louder. In fact, the opposite. Ornithologists have recorded lowered

decibel levels of bird song. In the absence of noise pollution—our planes

overhead, our cars rushing past with their motors and horns, our bars

leaking music onto the street corners—the birds don’t need to shout.

So why are we hearing birdsong now, when it is quieter? Because we

need it more. Poetry in the pandemic: birdsong that was there all along.


Picture found here.

Monday at the Movies

This was better and more compelling than I’d expected.

Buy the Book; Win the Game

Now Banned in Florida — Words for Wednesday

Words for Wednesday

Tree Cemetery



Plant a tree in place of a grave

Plant a patch of trees in place of a cemetery

Put a flowerbed around each tree

Lay the ashes of the deceased to rest by the stump

Buried or scattered among the flowers

Surrounded by mourning friends and family

Hands clasped in remembrance, contemplation, and farewell

Remembrance need not be the time

Relegated to the Tomb-sweeping Festival

Come together and water the tree

Press close to it, caress it, hug it

Perhaps you’ll hear

The deceased still at your side, earnestly and sincerely exhort you

Don’t forget to enjoy the good scenery

When the wind rustles leaves and branches

A flock of birds hopping and singing in the treetop

As if offering greetings

Sunlight, stars and moon provide company

The trees are in touch with each other

As if the memories of the deceased

Linked with each other underground

New and tender shoots sprout contentedly

Each affirming the fruit of cultivation

Souls moored at the foot of each tree

Resting peacefully, continue to grow

Regardless of how far they go

They’ll return by the original road

To the cherished memories of friends and family



Photo by the blogger; if you copy, please link back.

Monday at the Movies

A little slow, but interesting, nonetheless.

Words for Wednesday

Black Earth



Too black, too much indulged, living in clover,

all little withers, all air, all charity,

all crumbling, all massing in a choir—

damp clods of soil, my land and liberty…

With early plowing it is black to blueness,

and unarmed labor here is glorified—

a thousand hills plowed open wide to say it—

circumference is not all circumscribed.

And yet the earth is blunder and obtuseness—

no swaying it, even on bended knee:

its rotting flute gives sharpness to the hearing,

its morning clarinet harrows the ear.

How sweet the fat earth’s pressure on the plow,

how the spring turns the steppe to its advantage…

my greetings then, black earth: be strong, look out—

black eloquence of wordlessness in labor.

Picture by the blogger; if you copy, please link back.

Monday at the Movies

I’m adding this to my list.