31 Days of Kissing the Wounds :: Day 11 ~ Death Fragments

damagedshellpinepoint29may2015logo31daysWelcome to Day 11 of 31 Days of Kissing the Wounds, a month of posts about the beauty, longing, and soul inherent in our damaged selves; in the world’s brokenness; in the imperfection, incompleteness, and transience of all that we love; in our recognition of each other as the walking wounded; and in the jagged, messy, splintery, deformed, sullied, unhealed parts of me, you, the natural world, our communities, the culture. Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others. I won’t attempt to tie them together.



in mourning and carrion birds.
Look how their fleshy treasures
dissolve in the sun before their very eyes.
― from “Manifesto” by Margot Schilpp


Warning: There are photos of dead animals in this post. When I come across an animal who’s died, I often feel drawn to take a photo or two, as a way to honour the memory of that creature. These pictures are hard to look at it, I know, for many of us.


below … baby snapping turtle, squirrel, frog, mouse, downy woodpecker, puffer fish:


Back behind tomorrow, where we will end,
hundreds of pelicans are pulled from oil,
slickered with the black skin they’ve just put on.
Hosed, preened, they may even survive a time.

Years I have watched the pelicans descend
over the gulf I’ve come to call my home.
When they’re gone, can I name the light alone?


That arc they make when they dive for a fish–
how will I remember their bodies’ descent
across the air? The arc of a rainbow,
then the ascent, bill full, then the sunset.

When I imagine, I see them all black.
Then I see black glide through the black water.  ― Peter Cooley

jiskeletonisedpelican21april2012 pelicanoverjekyllcreek430pmjekyll25dec2015


Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.  ― Wendell Berry, from “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front”

Well now everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
― Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City”


“I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” ― Willa Cather, My Antonia


“There are souls, he thought, whose umbilicus has never been cut. They never got weaned from the universe. They do not understand death as an enemy; they look forward to rotting and turning into humus.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed


below … mole, bird (goldfinch?), raccoon, fisher, skate, porcupine, garter snake, :


Who needs ghosts when matter
nonchalantly haunts us?” — Don McKay, from “Tuff” (2012)

smalldeadfishbeachlaudholmfarmwells29dec2014 beautifuldeadovenbirdonshadepathwalkwaywithflowersaroundit21sept2015


“And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke (transl. Joanna Macy)

Thanks for checking in. Be sure to see what the other 31 Dayers are writing about.




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