A Hymn for Life by Ben Bushill

The forests are burning and the ice cracks and breaks.
Whales choke on plastic plankton,
birds lose their certainty in strange skies.
Brother turns on brother as religion forgets the love affair it was born to be,
our children are free falling down a digital rabbit hole
garish and bright with glitter and false dreams.
The great machine we built to serve us is out of control and we feed it with our life blood
throwing in one species after another to satisfy a bottomless hunger
born of fear and a whirlwind of greed
whipped up to hide the gnawing doubt within that something is wrong
and that the darkness is something we must run from
rather than a place of rest and silence.
Hope is an empty currency in these times of heartbreak,
a crutch for the wilfully blind.
And yet.
And yet.
There is this great power.
We carry starlight within us
seed of the one tree
that light within from which worlds are born and birthing,
this heart like a great plain of gold,
our lives the grass that dances
in the eternal wind.
There is more here than we can imagine
in this multi-dimensional fractal playground of gods,
our magic runs deep and fast as rivers
and calls the rains to meet the burning leaves
invites the waters to dance silver and pure once again.
There is no answer
for each of us is the answer and our remembrance is the unfolding of a perfect garden.
I want no false hope
but something dances just beyond our knowing,
another land where a different dream
fills our precious minds,
where life serves life
and death is a blessing,
the final blooming
of a faithful fruit tree
nourishing the earth and birthing countless seeds.
Living within our self-made cultural shackles
and tiny dreams of happiness
we are birds on the ground or fish out of water,
clumsy and strange we strut and wobble and thrash
knowing that something is wrong wrong wrong
whilst flight or the freedom of the ocean
dance just beyond the edge of knowing.
We are so close that in the quiet moments we can hear it
and in the stillness we feel it.
The ones we were born to be and become
The walkers in peace and dignity
The lovers of kindness and delight
the ones who know how to draw the colour
of a dandelion’s golden heart
around us like a blanket to warm when the night is cold.
The ones who know the stories and songs of the trees
and the runes of the wind carved on the silver lake,
a species that listens before it speaks
and loves before it wants.
So close.
It may be too late to crack the shell
to leave the darkness and remember the sunlight,
the chrysalis may never open to share its unnameable colours with the universe.
The fire may consume us
but all things must face their annihilation
and a dying star does not whine for a few extra millennia of light.
There is dignity still
There is true nobility
Peace like a fox walking beneath the endless, frozen night sky
gentleness of a new baked human asleep on a tired father’s heart
egoless power of the bears
wrapped in the forests green moss blanket.
Never surrender to violence
or lash out in blind anger
seeking someone to blame for the pain
that burns like a rainforest pyre.
Love is yours and you are loves
As together we walk this road paved with the broken miracles
of an earth ignored.
We walk towards death and awakening
we walk towards the fire.
Turn your face to the heat
now is not the time
to be dragged backwards
cursing and whining and blaming,
rather rest in grace, in the green cathedral of trees,
in the secrets of the deep ocean,
in the vast fields of light that dance around us,
behind our eyes
beyond our dreams of ourselves.
Walk with eyes bright with pain
with a chest open
made tender by truth.
Walk well for wheresoever we travel now
into the open sky of our birth-right
or the ignoble ending of blind and clutching fools
wheresoever we travel now,
we must walk in love,
carrying the light of breath
and the diamond of presence.
If we are to die, let us die well
and in our noble dying it may just come to pass
that the old legends awaken
to roll away the great stone from our tomb
opening a path into the garden of light
into the green forest glade
that is painted on our bones
and written in the secret stories of our human hearts.

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