Sentient Figure

Wood Sculpture, Standing figure, 10th century.


Ironwood man      boogie man

    standing hands behind your ears   mouth gaping

       Listen Man!

              Hear the ants

              you know them intimately Tribal enemies skinning heads on the
other coast

Knower Listener

         To what do you listen

      What do you hear?

           How are we destroying ourselves    tell me this

         The world’s forests recede into a baldness

              Waves recede with great momentum

There is no way into the other world but by listening    watching

              nothing to do but    BREATHE

Breathe    listen to the forest leaves rustling

Breathe    listen to the iron lungs of the world    wooden lungs of the forests

              red muscular lungs of roots

         beating hearts of skittish cats

              loyal hearts of buffalos wading

         the whoosh of unrelenting waves

Families have gone    evacuated

         Fierce winds blow    howling man

              Quiet Man!

A great man-eating wave has come!