I woke up with this poem floating in my mind:
By Jacob Nibengenesabe translated by Howard Norman (complete poem here)
There was a storm once
& that’s when
I wished myself into a turtle.
But I meant on land!
the one that carries a hard tent
on his back.
I didn’t want to be floating!
I wanted to pull everything inside
Here comes the waves
& I’m getting sick in the insides.
I wanted to be the turtle
eating buds & flowers & berries.
I’ve got to wish things exactly!
That’s the way it is
from now on.
Several nights ago I was noticing that I didn’t have any bird feathers for my new moon altar. And I thought, “I should get some bird feathers.” Yesterday, my sweet carnivorous black cat, Panther, brought a blue bird and left it on the carpet. It’s outside now, but he still hasn’t eaten it. This poem came to mind, “but I meant on land.” I meant that I wanted bird feathers that were dropped by a bird gently and willingly and I wanted them to be clean and tidy and available. I did not mean that I wanted to take the bird’s life for its feathers. I tried to tell Panther that we don’t do this, “we don’t take food that we aren’t going to use.” But he wouldn’t listen. He sees me throw things away that I’m not going to eat daily: plastic bags, the big twist-ties that come on vegetables. I hear him asking, “how is this different? It was fun. You do things for fun.” “I’ve got to wish things exactly! That’s the way it is/ from now on.”