Edward Abbey

park ranger

desert solitary

author – avatar

of beautiful

traumatized Earth

wrote to us

with a pine needle

with tip of the tail

of a gopher snake,

“there is a kind of

poetry, even a kind

of truth

in simple facts.”


a pinyon jay

on shaded ground

a chickadee

on a swaying branch

a leaf, a bud

greens of moss

atop a stone

salmon struggling

to swim upstream

some exhausted and

dying – others already dead

lifeless bodies with jutted jaws

littering banks, awash

afloat in micro-currents

the stench of decomposing fish


a bald eagle

topping a towering tree, an

autumn leaf, curled

and brittle, suspended in midair

by a single spider-thread

twirling this way

twirling that

at every wayward puff of wind

the felt-sound of

flapping raven wings


rowdy winds

rough waters

out over the Salish Sea

a resident

orca pod patrolling

Puget Sound – the powerful

beauty of their black and

white sleek bodies

the magnitude

of Mount Rainier

crashing flush

of Snoqualmie Falls

full autumn moon

closer to my shadow

my face

than the infinite field

of clustered stars


a nectar-sucking

hummingbird, a

pollenating bumblebee

a ladybug

the liquid drum of

rain – drizzle or downpour

the curious

composure of squirrels

with small, folded hands

sensitive, flicking tails and

their sudden, scampering, agility


pleasures of solitude

pressure of sunlight, air

cupped by human palms, lines

interior of the human hand


Edward Abbey

park ranger

desert solitary

author – avatar

of beautiful

traumatized Earth

wrote to us

on a red tail hawk’s feather

on a swirl

of drought dry dust

“not a silence

as much

as a great stillness…


overwhelming peace…

a suspension of time

a constant presence.”




Natural Earth

this spinning

blue ball in space

land lapped unendingly

by encircling oceans

the Life Place

Earth – Home!



in his wonder

stopped to

write to us.

and do we feel

the pathos of his sanity;

allow his voice entrance

emotions more

than the vacuum and vacancies

in crowded, denatured heads?

Can we learn still?

Change? It is

late, if not too late.

Be truthful about commitment:

Is it too late?


How many heartbeats

how many breaths

in the mere span

of 90 seconds! **

Edward Abbey calls out

amid the ruins of civilization

against completing

planetary ruination,

“Long live



live the Earth.”

*Edward Abbey, American naturalist/environmentalist, author of the contemporary eco-classic DESERT SOLITAIRE. Quotations from Abbey are taken from this book.

**Reference is to the Doomsday Clock currently set at 90 seconds before midnight – midnight being the Armageddon of Omnicide, the Cataclysm of Oblivion.

David Sparenberg: An international essayist, eco-poet, and storyteller, David Sparenberg is author of four books: EARTH KEEPER: an Ecosophy of Poems, EARTH CRISIS HUMAN CRISIS: Urgent Essays, BEING HERE & BELONGING: Visions, Talks & Meditations, volumes 1-3 in the Grassroots Reader Series, and CONFRONTING the CRISIS: Essays & Meditations on Eco Spirituality from Moon Books.  David lives in Seattle, WA in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

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