Mandate | Carolyn Martin

Meditation—June Borders
©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Breaking News: God’s Rewilding Plan Leaked

According to a source high up and anonymous,
God will announce this week He’s rewilding the earth.
He confesses He should have rested on day six
while He was on a cosmic roll, and laments 
He missed the signs: bipeds, blinkered 
by supremacy, would try to tame everything.  

He admits to verte- and invertebrates
His human trial flopped. Therefore, next Sunday
pandas, peacocks, and silverbacks will play
in Times Square and caravans of antelope race
across Pennsylvania Avenue. Every boundary line,
dam, trellis, and mended wall will rumble down. 
Steel, asphalt, and concrete will be banished heretofore.
So will summerizing gardens everywhere.  

Believe what you like about our superiority,	
God made a mistake. He should have advised
Adam and Eve not to procreate and lounged them
beneath the apple tree where they’d spend
their ten-score years in blissful innocence
rather than sweat through parental anxiety.

Between you and me, I’d support a God 
as transparent as this. If His plan succeeds,
find me hanging out—waggishly naked 
and wild—on the edge of some post-paradise
with monkeys, giraffes, dolphins,
elephants, koalas, and birds of every size.
First published in Unearthed, 2019.

Nudging Jesus to Get Help

Come now! It’s obvious. You’re depressed. 
Back in the day, your guys said you wept
when disappointments overwhelmed. 
This week you’re at it again.

Believe me, I understand. Who wouldn’t cry
when polar bears are starving on ice floes 
and children line cages in border towns?
It’s hard to accept you’re not responsible. 
God knows you tried to save us from ourselves,
but humans with their flawed free wills do 
what humans do. It’s time to save yourself.

Maybe a Buddhist or Muslim therapist or,
a last resort, an atheist?
You need someone free from fossilized beliefs 
about who you are and what you tried to teach. 
Let’s Google mental health practitioners. 
The town is filled with them…But wait…  

How about I round some children up?
We have several in the neighborhood: 
Vietnamese, Ethiopian, a few mixed families. 
We’ll invite them to sit at your feet 
and you can entertain with lilies of the field,
sparrows, and mustard seeds.
Throw in a few miracles––like how 
you walked on water to calm your antsy crew 
or busted Lazarus out of his tomb.  
Play up the angle of the walking dead
and how he smelled when his clothes fell off.
Kids like that kind of gross and will take it literally.

Be sure to add how heaven is here––
although I’d chuck any kingdom metaphors.
Focus their unclouded eyes on the glory 
of a slug, a gingko tree, a flock of geese. 
Teach them how they’re connected
each to each and earth’s their fragile playing field. 

If you resurrect your innate charm,
I bet these innocents will check the validity
of your beard and heal your cracking heart.


To those of you who will not die today:
walk through your home and bless the open doors,
the table set, the breadth of sun lounging 
on the Persian rug. Catalog the small
contentments you have earned: eager words vying 
for a poem, work you’ll never have to do
again, backyard squirrels that entertain.
Praise every squill, crocus, and bleeding heart
that dares subvert winter’s calendar.
Invite young mysteries in and seat them
between answers you have no questions for
and ponderables still unclassified. 
It goes with saying: listen attentively.
Then tomorrow, if it arrives, repeat.
First published in Yellow Arrow Journal, 2020 (print).

©2023 Carolyn Martin
All rights reserved

Carolyn Martin…

…is blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon, a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red penciled “extremely maudlin,” she is amazed she has continued to write. Her poems have appeared in more than 175 journals throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.



Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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