A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop with my poet friend, Pádraig O Tuama. He taught the practice of writing ‘collects’ – a kind of prayer. I have just been reading ‘Flight Ways, Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction’ by Thom van Dooren. The grief of it is with me still. It will not go away. Three prayers are below.
who whispered all that is into being
arrest our project of extinction
because extinguished now
is the breath of your creatures.
Breathe love into us again
for this world we’ve almost lost
which you first made
with love’s exhalation.
whose body is the world
undo the violence
that dismembers all creation.
Bind the wounds of places we’ve unmade,
gouged earth, razed forests, toxic waste.
Cry in us songs of resistance
whose tears weep clean the sea.
Whose twitters, calls and whoops
have made all places holy–
give us ears to hear diminished presence
courage to reclaim holy places of habitat
to call ‘Enough!’
emboldened by that swooping Holy Dove.