A Prayer for My Beloved



Deepwater Spill - pic by Gerald Herbert
Deepwater Spill - pic by Gerald Herbert

You have carried us, these long millions of years,
We beasts, we leafy fronds, we crouching walkers.
The ice has come, the ice has gone again.
Your crust has softened, hardened, cooled, and warmed…

Oh! Unsurpassed in beauty are you, lover!
I seek each day to look upon your face.
Your gentle wind, your raging fire, rain’s torrents,
And underneath, your shifting, massive, plates,

All seem to me a wonder.
Each day brings some new sound unto my ears,
And night, the scents: datura, damp, and steel.
The tattoo of my own heart thrills to you,

To heaving core, the molten, moving iron.
That so often leaves one shivering, or in sweat,
Between your textured surfaces and sky.
And then sometimes I forget you…

Oil gushes from your sandy floor, betrayal.
Chemicals suffuse once fertile soil.
Holes are rent above your southern quadrant,
Mountains blasted open, or felled clear.

And too many like me, on you dependent,
Your body stretched and waiting for a touch.
But solipsistic minds forget this knowledge:
That your skin is ours,

Your oceans saline quick, flow in our blood.
Lover, forever we can say, “I’m sorry,”
But actions speak far louder than strong words,
And we, though brave and brash, are also feeble.

Lover, I fall now to my knees before you.
I will not beg forgiveness, not just yet.
My good friends shall be gathered all around me,
Holding hands, we will make better still, amends.

Together, we will clean, slow down, and listen.
Together, we will sow and reap, and kiss.
We will arc around combusting star in season.
And learn to better love you.

So I pray.

[After being unable to write about the Gulf of Mexico disaster - too many words to speak, and far too few – this poem came today, for which I am grateful. May we continue to work against the tides of greed and carelessness. The photo is from a collection on Huffington Post. The caption reads: "An AP reporter scoops up oil from the Gulf of Mexico with a bucket and displays it in his hands at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on May 10."]

11 Responses to “A Prayer for My Beloved”

  1. Hecate Demetersdatter

    Oh, Brigid. I am a lover of poetry and this is one of the best I’ve ever read. I’m going to link to it on my blog. Thank you for this gift.

  2. zm

    Thank you for these words. They match, exquisitely, the song in my heart I’ve been carrying around since a few days before Mother’s Day.

  3. TLH

    May some kind of solution for this be found, and quickly.

  4. Christine

    Thank you for this prayer – you will notice via trackbacks that I posted excerpts from it on my blog this morning, linking it back to your blog. If you would rather I didn’t, let me know and I will remove the posting.

    • Thorn

      Thank you. May we find a way beyond greed and shortsightedness…

      (as for your link, not that it matters much, – gender is slippery, and mine more than some! – but I’m a she)

  5. A Prayer For My Beloved « 350 or bust

    […] May 16, 2010 tags: BP oil slick, earth, prayer by Christine T. Thorn Coyle blogs at Thorncoyle.com on his thoughts on practice, philosophy, politics and love. He wrote this prayer for our earth in […]

  6. danielle brown

    This is a lovely prayer. Is it alright to copy it, with your copyright ID and mail it to people, or is their a way to send it from your site. A friend sent me a visualization from the Grandmother’s council for the gulf as well. If it’s a correct thing to do I’d like to send it to you.


    Danielle Brown

    • Thorn

      Thank you. Yes, you may pass things along with attribution. And feel free to give a link or something to the visualization.



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