Human biology doesn’t account for this need, Nadine Ellsworth-Moran

Diane Corson, Handmade Book with Copper and Leaves (opened)


Human biology doesn’t account for this need


to lay dormant, find space
to shield and shed, resist
the coldseep in the blood.

So we borrow old earthen burrows,
wedge ourselves tight into crevices,
follow the scent of damp stone

to hidden caves left undisturbed
for our dimmed seasons called
Woundlick and Tendsoul—

this holy hibernaculum
filled with feathers and leaves,
with pain, repent, and yearning deep
enough to sink beneath, soft enough
to cradle the pieces, quiet enough to still

the noise pounding
to get in.  Here beneath
branches and humus—
safekept, I come to curl

around tattered thoughts trembling
through fibula and femur,
pressing on my sternum
threatening to keep me awake,

feel the earthskin warm
and welcome against my own,
humming its strata song
to a weary creature.  Here

I will reclaim my place, as
in the beginning…    Here, I will
remember my name.

Nadine Ellsworth-Moran


Review by Nancy Sobanik

In this poem the retreat to a hidden place where stillness dwells is presented as a necessity for healing. In a reverse of personification, humans instinctually revert back to their animal origins to “borrow old earthen burrows”…filled with feathers and leaves”.

Words are created- “Woundlick and Tendsoul”- which bring a compelling sense of spirituality in the description of the wounded’s “dimmed seasons”. This beautiful poem left me with a sigh of recognition that hidden places can be found to restore us to find ourselves and “Here, I will remember my name”.


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

Again, poetic intuition seems to foretell moods and anticipate times and future realities.

What was of us? When have we become beings of the hidden? When did we get off our pedestals and dumb and frightened escape from pulpits flooded in camera lights? When have we, displaced and nameless creatures, shed our skins and begun to lead a life of wriggling nudity? What’s left of the mausoleums, of the architectures and vestiges? What shame made us fall into the dark? Of what guilt have we stained ourselves? Whose court sentenced us to this? What of our past empires built on logic?

All we know are the cramps of the curled/fetal position from which we dare not move, the tattered thoughts; our habitat is the forest floor which muffles the noise, inhibits pain, disintegrates, rots and recreates the vital lymph; all we aspire to is to feel the fresh and moist soil that covers our naked pink flesh sore of worms.

And yet, it has happened; we have found ourselves forced to reset biology and prerogatives, to strip ourselves of all that is superfluous, to de-grow and embrace a minimalistic life. The mother of all nosedives rapidly approaches, the wind has dropped, we feel our certainties waver: the time to crawl back under our rock is near. It’s not all bad news: from there, and only from there, a second beginning will be possible, and with it, a second chance to reclaim and remember our potential.

All you have to do is follow the worms. Roger Waters

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