the earth is a living thing

Some days I need poetry just as much as I need the garden. I’ve read a little of Lucille Clifton but in a new book I recently ordered – “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry,” edited by Camille Dungy, a whole new world of words has opened.

The following poem is in this book and can also be found here.

the earth is a living thing

is a black shambling bear

ruffling its wild back and tossing

mountains into the sea

is a black hawk circling

the burying ground circling the bones

picked clean and discarded

is a fish black blind in the belly of water

is a diamond blind in the black belly of coal

is a black and living thing

is a favorite child

of the universe

feel her rolling her hand

in its kinky hair

feel her brushing it clean

Lucille Clifton (1936 – 2010)