“Earth day April 22nd, now a 50th anniversary, how does one Shelter-at-Home & celebrate 2020 Earth Day’s official theme, Climate Action?
What is Greta going to do?
What would Allen do were he still here among us?
I remember Allen once asked,
“What Would You Do If You Lost It?”
& shortly thereafter his answer:
“Better Prepare for Death”
Welcome to this Spring of the Plague Years
We live below the House on the Hill. It’s occupant-in-chief boasts,
“I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present.”
Our present includes the inconvenience of a silent virus, replicating exponentially across the planet.
What does Climate Action have to do with it?
How do you stop plutonium trains from running on time?
How do you stop a burning house from vaporizing into ash?
I believe there is a correspondence between science & Nature, biology & Art
I add big business, the military, international government & mystical experience to boots on the ground.
Allen taught me so…
How will this spring clog empty streets w/ sign-carrying humans?
What would Allen say to Peter about Himalayan peaks now visible above burning ghats... their holy Ganges ever shrouded & bruised following 30 years of smog?
“..where rivers & ants gather garbage man left behind in the/Valley of Mexico – /Iron’ll rust under living tree roots & soak back under-/ground/ to feed the sensitive tendrils of Ego covering mountains of/granite green mossed unconsciousness./ Heaven & ocean mirror their azure, horizon lost in yel-/lowed spectrum mist -” …. “red riverbeds snake thru paradises without electricity / – Huichol or Tarahumara solitude hectored irregular,/ antipathy to rocky plateaux,/ hollows for lone Indian humility, hand-ploughed moun-/tainside patches -/ naked white cloud-fronds floating silent over silent green earth crags.”
(“Past Silver Durango Over Mexic Sierra Wrinkles” – from The Fall of America)
During the fall of 1977, I was consumed by the buzz of organizing a protest event against Plymouth, Massachusetts’ nuclear power plant & along with Boston’s Jack Powers had secured a commitment from a few Boston poets including John Wieners as well as the Jamaican roots reggae band, Toots & the Maytals I’d written to Allen an invitation to join our event & w/ youthful confused intent included a bundle of poems for the dear bearded teacher to critique
Allen’s answer came via a postcard, one of many he sent during those early years of Naropa’s School of Disembodied Poetics. It was life-learning instruction via bruised ego + direct transmission:
“…I”m overworked & broke & up to my neck in paper. I have no heart for it…I don’t give a shit about I Ching. Stop the Nuke’s OK – “Greasy Hands” is just more loudmouthing aggression – I’m tired of the hatreds, they break my leg over & over – too much self-righteousness – Where’s the non-obsessive Joy?”
Through Allen I learned humility & a will to acknowledge “the real teachers”
“What they undertook to do/They brought to pass/All things hang like a drop of dew/Upon a blade of grass.”
( “Gratitude to the Unknown Instructor” – W.B.Yeats – included in Allen Verbatim, Lectures on Poetry, Politics, Consciousness (1975) – edited by Gordon Ball )
Earth Day 2020… Climate Action(s)
“The message is: Widen the area of consciousness”
(Allen Ginsberg – epitaph to Kaddish and Other Poems).”
Eero Ruuttila, April 21, 2020, Morrill, Maine