A Wise Woman Writes a Survival Manual

 Morgue File
by Ken Brasier

I do what I can,

whip white horses into froth
to line a horizon

pull at bone layers
to make spit out of fire

fill you with anguish at death
and laughter at night

push out babies when the dying is done
and the living need to go on.

I dance under the moon
make sigils from wind

and push my words to edges
without falling off.

No treaty enforcement exists in the wild grasses
to bring you with me.

You will do what you can. 

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2020

Posted for Poets and StoryTellers United and Earthweal


  1. Audrey, you had me at the title. This is wonderful! It speaks to me right now, when First Nations and allies are rising across Canada and shutting everything down in protest at Wet'suwet'en people being arrested on their own land by the RCMP, as they try to defend their land from a pipeline being rammed through it. So I love "No treaty enforcement exists in the wild grasses." This is wonderful. I would love to hear more of your thoughts about this poem and what inspired it. Might you consider linking it at Earthweal????

    1. Thank you Sherry! The political side of my poetry is growing now I feel. My outrage had me paralyzed for a long time I think--it still does sometimes. We face something similar as Trump is opening up national parkland for drilling and mining. I have seen that you have been posting at Earthweal--and am happy to post this there--I will have to find a link--

    2. go to earthweal.com, kiddo.........I was paralyzed for a while, too, as it was all so awful. But as things accelerate, and especially now people are rising up, I am gaining new energy, and even some hope. It feels better to be doing something than not. Smiles.

  2. An unforgettable poem, Audrey!💝 There is so much a woman gives back and endures isn't it?

  3. A great title and a stunning poem, Audrey! I especially love the lines:
    ‘whip white horses into froth
    to line a horizon’
    ‘…push my words to edges
    without falling off.’

  4. This wise woman can do much, doing what she can! And every act counts ... And we are invited to do what we can, too. So great to see you at earthweal, Audrey.

  5. If we all do what we can together, we can make things better. We do what we can, because giving up on the beauty of this world is not an option.

  6. Great survival manual! And striking poem. Thank you.

  7. Loved this and very wise words indeed. Tweeted.

  8. Strong. I was especially struck by 'whip white horses into froth
    to line a horizon' and saw the speaker as a cloud maker

  9. A timeless poem which is quite timely right now. Beautiful, sad, and maddening work here, my friend.

  10. We are in a sad position. Unfortunately half the world is brainwashed into the ever growing crowd of get it while it's there for me, let those coming next figure what to do. Our "leaders have decided to abandon half our wet lands to the savage oil and resource hunters. The Everglades National Park in Florida is 1.5 million acres, taking that might save a lot of the smaller ones.
    Who decides, not us people for sure.

  11. A perfect title and poem...I think all of us are a bit mad these days, but we get through one day at a time...pushing our words to the edges without falling off...love that line.

  12. Fierce strong and wonderful Audrey - we must all do what we can.
    Anna :o]


Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments and thoughts--thank you for stopping by! I don't always reply here, but always try to reciprocate--so hang in there, I will be over to your blog in a jiffy!

Popular Posts