Tag Archives: Nature

My Wilderness

21 Jun

we say wilderness like it’s a dirty word

as if purity is something to fear

untouched by society and progress

wild, yes, but necessary

complicated, yes, but simple

a dangerous beauty to embrace

and yet we are terrified by:

cold, heat, hunger, weakness, work

the very things that make us

fantastically alive

yet we want it easy

even when it’s poison

we don’t want to admit

our comfort is killing us

but it’s so convenient

we say, eyes glazed over

unsure of where anything originated

even ourselves

I’ll tell you:

we came out of a garden

ripe like a vegetable

covered in earth

and every emotion

ready for sustenance

drinking, eating, toiling, laughing

mourning our losses

getting up with the sun

to start all over again

but for many of us

this is only stories

images, visions, words

a longing and a loathing

fantasies of self-reliance

returning to our roots

only to find they’ve been pulled out

a herb garden on a windowsill

surrounded by plastic and steel

miles from where we came from

unsure of what it means to live anywhere

we say wilderness like it’s a pretty word

hip and nostalgic

forgetting animal instinct

the harsh reality of nature

the bloody struggle of survival

but leave me here awhile

and I’ll stay alive

by grace and my own hands

I’ll make something grow

a wild flower

inside my own wilderness


What We’re In The Middle Of

5 Mar

sometimes we miss things the most

when we’re right in the middle of them

we could be swimming in the most beautiful waters

and we can’t see the size of the ocean

only that we’re paddling for dear life

it’s no secret why we’re sinking

we want so desperately to enjoy the moment

we forget to breathe

we feel like we’re not really living

unless there’s a record of it

broadcasted for other humans

to enter into

because our experiences mean nothing

if they’re not shared

even as we drown

in a tsunami of opinion

pulling down what we love with us

let us be wrong

let us be ridiculed

let us be hated

but please, don’t let us be alone

an endless black sea all around

with the universe coming out our fingertips

the blinding light reflects on water

back into our tired eyes

let us float on our backs

until the edge of the world

let our arms and legs give way

but please, don’t let us forget to live


However Small the Source

20 Dec


however small the source

of the sound of running water

it is enormous in my soul

I can’t tell you how

the scent of damp leaves

make tears leak

only that

I need to be in nature

like breathing

and You

this is where I most clearly see

Your name written

etched in the bark of ancient trunks

woven within green vines

growth all around

life pushing its way outward

upward towards

grey clouds that emphasize

the light to come

where birds tell a story

about amazing grace

and life growing inside

a small seed becoming

a greatness within me

and I know

however small the patch of dirt

however insignificant the blades of grass

there I spot bits of peace

and find echoes of goodness

Writing Is Excavation of the Soul



This Morning’s Analysis

7 May


I came to the conclusion

while walking today

that the amount of effortlessly formed words

is directly linked

to the amount of time

spent under tall trees

allowing their safe branches to shelter me


I discovered

the desire to create

is fueled by the smells of green and growth

and staying indoors

is synonymous with

staying in my head

all locked up with man-made objects

nothing to provoke wonder


not like wandering


moving one foot in front of the other

down the block

or across the world


maybe it’s nature

returning to my roots

a scared child who found

freedom in the woods


maybe it’s the unfamiliar

fighting its way into the mundane

parts of my day


and maybe

it’s the need to be part of something more

than my tiny life

my several decades

my decisions and doubts

my dreams and desires


my panic that rises lately when I think

of all of this being over so fast


it’s why we conceive children

and build towers

why we write books we hope will last

It’s why we watch sunrises over mountains

and start causes to rescue the world

it’s why we live in communities

and go to football games and concerts

it’s why we get lost in throngs of people

and sit solitary facing crashing waves

it’s why we fall in love


we have to know

this reality isn’t just



we have to know

what the trees know


we are part of an expansive, connected, beautiful universe

no life is separate


and so I suppose

my final


conclusion is this:

to be happy

to be at peace

to live creatively

I must

get out of my house

get out of my head

and live



The Madness Of Celebrating Death

21 Nov

I walk, as I do, before the sun goes to bed

it happens early these days

despite it being hot enough to sweat

I sit on a hill facing some trees

I pick up a leaf dead and nearly colorless

and crinkle it in my fingers

I laugh for no reason

other than life being funny

then it comes as a rush

torrents of joy through my body

and I see above myself

a bird watching this being

alone on a hill shaking with giggles

I wonder if maybe I am

a child

ripe with newness

or a mad old woman who has seen

too much of the world

or maybe I am both

laughing and crunching leaves

enjoying the sound it makes

crazy and free and whole

feeling too young or too old

for my twenty-six-year-old skin

never getting “used to” being me

in all the coming and going

all the madness and beauty

and I stop laughing for a moment

and stare at the trees

so long they seem to shift

what’s left of their colors melding

their branches beckoning me

to join their yearly party of temporary death

and I concur with myself I must be crazy

and laugh a little more for effect

then I pause to catch up with

the narration in my head

and I realize

I am seeing again

and like the ruined leaf

dying a bit

so I may live a little more bravely

next spring

Where Glory Comes From

7 Oct

deep in the forest where eyes don’t see
moss grows out of logs
life out of death

entire civilizations of insects
go about their day
leaves live full lives
floating downward
onto glass lakes

and I’ll never stop trying
to give them voices,

the white foam of water
singing recklessly

an ancient song of
where glory comes from
and I’ll never stop attempting
to sing it back
in full translation

so we all can hear
and know how birds stay at peace
what flowers are trying to say
and where the turtles sleep in the sun



words and images copyright 2011 Brooke Gale Luby

The Tree Of Life

1 Aug



I saw The Tree of Life twice, and it really affected me. I’ve been wanting to write about it, but it’s been a little intimidating. I really am not sure to begin. I am not a film critic at all, so I am not going to critique it or tell you anything about the actors or elusive director, or even what the cinematography was like, I am simply going to share how it made me feel, ’cause that’s what I do best. 😉

Trying to write about The Tree of Life is like trying to sum up the enigma of life itself: joy and suffering, birth and death, creation and destruction.

If you are expecting a linear story that gives easy answers, you will be annoyed and angry. Watching The Tree of Life felt more like pausing in front of a waterfall or wandering in an art museum than being entertained in a movie theater. That being said, if you don’t really get what I am saying right now, don’t bother watching it. But if this resonates with you, read on and go see the movie when you are done. (I am not trying to be pretentious, I just recognize people relate to different types of art, and if you are more literal in you thinking you will most likely hate this movie.)

It’s better watched  as a poem than a novel. A glimpse of human existence through a single life beginning in happiness and pure joy, losing innocence and trying to get back to that place of grace.

I’ve never been more caught up in a film, like I completely forgot who I was and was literally seeing the world through new eyes.
It opens with this profound line, contrasting the two ways to move through the world, and continues to display these clashes personified through a father and mother.


The nuns taught us there were two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.

The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.

It is a prayer, literally and figuratively, ascending beyond the character’s recited prayers of “God bless this day ” to whispered honest questions everyone feels but many are afraid to ask:

Where were You? You let a boy die. You let anything happen.
Why should I be good When You aren’t?

Are You watching me? I want to know what You are. I want to see what You see.

The images feel abstract at times, the first time I watched it I was trying to figure them out too much, using my head instead of my heart, and I got frustrated towards the middle. The second time watching it I simply chose to be in the story, and I got the feeling like all the images were placed precisely to invoke deep longings, nostalgia, and emotional response.

The imagery and meaningful lines that were spoken found their way into my soul, and I know it will continue to speak to me for years to come.










Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.

Both a War Ballad and Lullaby

28 May

Drops of water jump from heaven
singing as they hit every object below
They each play their own tune
melding into a odd orchestra
bringing sky and earth together
connecting atmosphere with underground
and I, stuck watching,waiting
in this in between place
and hear the lyrics, clearly:

this is a place of darkness, light
love and fear
where all comes together
and falls apart
a place of mystery and common knowledge
frailty and resilience
a place to see with your tired mind
jaded and broken and bored
or  like a child
with wonder, majesty, beauty,
infinite potential
how you see it is up to you…

It muddles as puddles form
I am struck to the core
by this ancient song
written at the same time
rain was thought up
both a war ballad and lullaby
I know it
I feel it
I cannot escape it
It seems now
my skin is leaking
I am bleeding these words
I look up at a troubled sky,
colorless, ready to break
tense from all histories events
pouring out
pounding dust into life
things will grow in time
it can’t be helped
and I know in the green emerging
somehow without asking for it
my ears have been privy to something
rarely heard
yet always playing on repeat
the soundtrack of the
the universe

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