• Jørn Earl Otte

"From the Mountain" -- April 10, #NationalPoetryMonth

From the Mountain


inside of me

is of a different kind of hunger.

Blood purged, pulled, carved from my veins

my innocent stomach lining, intestines,

ancient heart muscles, they pillaged

without remorse or forethought of destruction.

My thunderous lips muted by the machines

raping my cavities, burning me alive.

Crimson fox, ballet deer, wrestling black bears, simple rabbits,

used to run around my oaken fur, maple skin, evergreen hair,

playing as my children across my wrinkles,

unknowing that beneath their savory footsteps

their future death was being harvested.

Kindred women, children, men who walked over me

for a thousand years, should they arise from ashes, would weep,

they would not believe

the lack of surgical precision in depriving my lungs

their lungs, our lymphatic system, our circulatory

life force, our brain.

I cooked, simmered, cajoled, loved my bituminous insides into being,

and now that I have been gutted, these others say they have reclaimed me.

Meanwhile, my sisters are violated externally.

I watch

lobotomy after lobotomy


for the self-same reason that my soul was extracted.

I don't blame the men. They are as innocent of victims as I am.

Greed is to blame. You can never fill the stomach of evil.

Meanwhile the fox is weary, thin from an empty hunting field.

Meanwhile the deer do not dance.

Meanwhile the kindred are long ago lost to dust.

Meanwhile the rivers beneath me cry for a new baptism.

Meanwhile my sisters and I sit and wonder

if this new life

is worth living at all.

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