Drought–dVerse Meeting the Bar

“Living (now) is like walking through a great weeping. It is like an ongoing funeral, a huge shedding of the life of the world…When the heart knows sorrow and never weeps, the sorrow gets locked like a storm inside the heart. When the sorrow can’t pour out, it turns…to stone.”
Michael Meade

Photo: sfgate.com These hills are usually brilliant green this time of the year.

Photo: sfgate.com
These hills are usually brilliant green this time of the year.


Last night Earth and I sat down beneath a moonless sky. The stars danced to music we could not hear. She sighed and I waited, listened for her to speak, but she held silence cradled to her heart.

“Do you know,Gaia,” I began, hoping to draw her out, hoping to touch the pain palpable on her dry, cracked body. “Do you know,” I said again, “the Mayan word for tumor means solid stone?”

She sighed again.

“Last week,” I continued, “I drove through one of your valleys. On either side of me brown, barren hills marked my passage. ‘I thirst,’ I heard them whisper. They brought to mind parched lips of the dying waiting for a kiss of water, fearing a lick of flame. Back then I gave comfort. I gave water. I gave hope. Today I have nothing to offer.”

I felt a tremor, heard another sigh. I waited for a tear, but there was none.

We sat together in deepest silence yet a while longer. In the distance I heard the howl of a coyote, the call of crickets. Together Earth and  I sat in quiet thought, waiting, hoping.

At last Earth turned and faced me. “When you, my children weep,” she said, “I will join them.”

While parts of the world are experiencing significant storms, in the West we are faced with a serious drought. I am near the San Andreas fault at right now and we experience a good number of temblors, most of them we don’t even feel. Just moments ago, as I wrote this, as if to respond, we felt a small earthquake that rattled the windows and shutters…Earth shuddered perhaps!

Written for and linked to Sam’s prompt over at dVerse Meeting the Bar where he challenges us to write Narrative Poetry. Drop by and check it out. The doors open at 3:00 PM EST.


35 thoughts on “Drought–dVerse Meeting the Bar

  1. Beautifully wrought, with more than just the poetic quality of the word flow anchoring the piece. I love the reference to ancient language that become symbolic of the drought as a creeping, cancerous horror. But most of all, the personifications of the earth and the forces of nature are amazingly effective.


  2. Our how I felt the earth’s pain with your words. She’s a giving sort, but her resources are not unlimited, even if we delude ourselves into think that they are. She needs time to heal, just like every living creature she supports.

    Beautifully articulated, Victoria.

    Sorry I can’t catch up on all of your posts–I’m just trying to make an effort to let you know I’m still alive, kicking, and thinking of you!


  3. Abhra Pal says:

    Such a soulful conversation Victoria – loved it. Took your words deep inside.


  4. Such a gorgeous write, Victoria. I don’t think a single day passes that I don’t think upon the disasters (manmade or otherwise) against the earth. Thank you for sharing this. ~peace, Jason


  5. ManicDdaily says:

    A little scary–Very scary–agh.


  6. Hi Victoria..it’s been a while..busy writing everywhere..i guess..and good to come back here…

    Ya knowNOW..i truly think that humans can affecteffect their reality beyond their physical presence.. with their emotions..

    And a cold dry human being..would certainly not likely bring tears form the sky i think..

    It reminds me of that Emerald forest movie..the impassioned primitives…bringing rains from the sky..to defeat ..the dams..and prisons..of the way of cold dark ..civilization..of the way it can bring…

    Yes..the frozen..heart..is the worst of all refrigerated..organs..i think..i know..

    And yes now..
    i FE
    Nice to read your words a again..and have a most wonderful..
    feeling day…:)


  7. Drought is the perfect reminder there is a kind of love, called conscience, which should not be ignored. And that reminder I think is very timely in the times of ours, where everyone wants to be sharp (read: interesting).

    In Norway we barely had snow, this winter. There has been two serious fires, taking a hundred houses or so. But there are no wake-up calls.


  8. Rallentanda says:

    We are in drought as well. Global warming and the destruction of the ozone layer can be attributed to man’s indifference to the environment…at our own peril.


  9. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Beautifully written … and sad.


  10. Lydia says:

    This is so meaningful to me, Victoria, as I have been more and more depressed by this drought, the severe warnings and reports and photos. I mourn for Earth and so loved your expression of quiet conversation with Gaia. We have had rain here the past day, not much, but I imagine Earth sighing in gratitude and, like us, hoping for more and a return to what we have known as the blessed normal.


  11. We are experiencing a prolonged dry spell and extreme heat (over 40C) for days on end. there have been some big fires, so the dread of the lick of flame certainly resonates with me! No tremors here, though. Stay safe.


  12. Getting me in touch with mother earth through your words, who is indeed suffering badly right now across this globe. I hope that you don’t experience any major quakes. Let Gaia bring the silence to you.


  13. kelvin s.m. says:

    What we are experiencing from nature is only part of what we let nature experience from us. At times, we think nature is harsh but little we know we are harsher to her and getting harsher today. A saddening condition we face, I’m afraid.


  14. kaykuala says:

    Earth can be very unpredictable and frightful. One yearns for what others abhor, the irony of it all! Wonderful take Victoria!



  15. MarinaSofia says:

    I was just thinking that the other day, when I heard about more flooding in the UK and snow in the US, but here we are praying for snow (the livelihood of so many in this area depends on it). Poignant dialogue with Earth – I love the calm, collected way in which you sat down together to have a conversation.


  16. hypercryptical says:

    Oh for that weeping and the rewards it would bring…
    Anna :o]


  17. kkkkaty1 says:

    This conversation is wonderful…the fact that it was a moonless night is a haunting and cold reference to the the unknown fate we and Earth face…in all her glory and in all our prayers and acts to save her, there are no guarantees and we cry for ourselves and her….so helpless is she..


  18. Susan says:

    How wonderful, the silence, the images, the possibility of such a conversation! Thank you, Victoria.


  19. billgncs says:

    dry suffering – a season in a complex dance – let us hope for relief soon


  20. scillagrace says:

    This is a healing moment of presence…would that more of us slowed down enough to listen to Gaia. Thinking of you and my mom and sibs in the Bay Area. Mom wrote that they got a whole 10 minutes of rain yesterday.


  21. Steph says:

    I know of what you speak… I live in Sonoma County and the hills are brown.. great ending.. oh that the weeping would cleanse..


  22. How poignant and apt. I love your use of personification throughout the piece and how you and yours are wrapped in it. Wonderfully written, Victoria!


  23. dkirkstokes says:

    I’m suddenly thirsty…


  24. hanna says:

    This moved me deeply. The earth we thought to be so robust, now creaks and hurts all over.
    Your presentation is exquisite and deserves many a re-read.


  25. Wonderful dialogue.. so fitting for a prose.. and so important if we consider the cause of the draught… Last night it rained here in San Francisco… unexpected when it really shouldn’t be


  26. anniejanae says:

    I agree this is very touching, it can be very good to get stuff out – therapuetic even. I get alot out of the writing tips here too, it makes me think a little more carefully somehow about what it is I try to convey, which is more of an awareness of the world at large maybe, with much needed hope definitely, even if I’ve not applied it all in the poetry department as anticipated. I so enjoy all the great writings you share, along with some others that fortunately I’m now making the rounds to catch up with. Without a doubt, we’re have no threat of drought here courtesy of recent rain storms abundāre. Have a great weekend(“-“)


  27. Feast or famine, drought or flood – there seems to be no happy medium.


  28. grapeling says:

    I remember the drought of 77 when we were rationed to 50 gallons a day per person – my mom called them “Navy showers”, where you rinse, turn off, soap, rinse again quick.

    The personification is well conceived and executed, Victoria. We weep without tears ~


  29. brian miller says:

    what a powerful close on this…when my children weep i will weep with them…..drought it so hard as well…..without water there is no life…..our storm coming next week looks like a monster….


  30. Gabriella says:

    I enjoyed to be privy to this conversation, Victoria, the silence and the words. Hope you soon get the rain you need!


  31. ARose says:

    Wow I love this Victoria…its deep & yet subtle, a great strength, just like the
    earth. ~Rhonda


  32. claudia says:

    “When you, my children weep,” she said, “I will join them.”…wow…gave me shivers – what a cool convo with the earth… and she has a lot to say if we took the time to listen…


  33. Bodhirose says:

    Very touching, Victoria…you portray a very intimate relationship with our Mother Earth. I do believe the earth senses and reacts to all around her but I tend to see these earth changes as normal. Since early days of Earth it has gone from boiling over with lava to ice ages…species coming and going. It seems to be a natural evolution but I also can see how human beings could be accelerating it too.


  34. It is we that must weep for our source, earth mother, matriarch abuse; the global warming, the general environmental apathy, the ignorance that surrounds us; a fine prose poem, very spiritual, like a native American tale told around a campfire.


  35. Mary says:

    I do think that Earth MUST weep about the drought in your part of the country. Being as parched as Earth is cannot feel good. I hope that Earth does not shudder too badly & also that the amount of rain/snow will begin to be distributed a bit more equitably soon.


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