Not In Our Hands


A poem by Prartho—from Alaska as Nartana awaits passage.

Bear and Raven - illustration by Prartho
illustration by Prartho

It’s not in our hands—the woods
grow dense with underbrush and spruce,
and filaments of lightning sizzle down
to set whole worlds aflame.

The valley fills with smoke, thick
as white mustard; the mountain
steps back to veil her face.

It’s not up to us who draws near,
or when—caribou, moose,
horseshoe rabbit, bear.
But the one we need comes
in its own time—Raven
woke me every dawn in Juneau,
and after you and I had said our last
goodbye, Eagle drew close as
a breath, then up and away.

From the boat—a bear foraged along the edge,
and from the train home, a sad-eyed moose—
its antlers drizzled with grass and mud.

All these have prepared me
for the winds that come to tear me open,
so you can sail through me—clear through
—to the other shore.


Prartho is a poet, artist and designer. She is Marin County’s fourth Poet Laureate (California) –

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