by Kim Goldberg
This piece was originally published in Cascadia Spoke, a community publication dedicated to raising awareness of the Cascadia movement and bioregionalism.
We tied our hearts to a chain-link fence while the lungs of the planet were ripped from the breast and dropped onto trucks, boxcars freighters from far away We shed our old skin and stood naked on the road, holding each other’s hand our fragile skeletons as gate ¡No pasarán! If an owl’s home falls in the forest with no journalists around does it make a sound or a coffin? We went to a mansion to bestow a citizen’s arrest but were given a jail cell instead We hung from the canopy, swaying in the seam that binds heaven to earth, sacred to mundane until the helicopter came and commandos plucked us from the leaves We could not breathe We took the punishment of fists and slurs and came back deeper We laced ourselves to chainsaws and let fire hold our pain We lay across a fresh-cut stump wider than we are tall, sap still seeking its absent corpus We took our folding wheelchair to the war zone to metaphorically make our stand We used our golden years to pass like water through the phalanx of thin blue lines By day, we sang on the ragged edge of our future, by night we listened to the forest keen for the disappeared And our hearts fluttered and spun on the chain-link fence like little brown bats echo-locating in blackness but hung fast
Kim Goldberg is a poet and author living in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Each stanza describes something the Fairy Creek forest defenders did or experienced in 2020-2021, as reported by news media.