The earth is soft, dark and damp
ants clim over my mountainous fingers
I feel a bite – I’m trespassing.
I brush the soil, gently first,
but I can’t resist the urge.
My fist intrudes the cradle of life –
cold, kissed by the morning dew,
dirt hides behind my fingernails.
I dig deeper but the earth is fighting back
my fingers sting and burn and
I can’t stand the pain anymore.
My hand is red and black, the hand
that disturbs the earth.
Earth is fighting back.
I was very torn whether or not to include a comment on this poem or not. Especially because instead of talking about the environmental crisis we are in and which I’ve tried to express in my poem – I actually wanted to mention fingers as tools for communication. I did a writing course few year back and there was a girl (whose name I don’t remember and it is driving me absolutely crazy) who was and I guess still is a puppeteer. She also was and I hope still is an amazingly talented poet. I loved her poems. I will never forget a line she wrote ‘my hand is a naked puppet’ and it was the first thing that popped in my head when I read the assignment for today. I’m sure you know someone who ‘talks with their hands’, use them to emphasise emotion and when you are in different country and don’t speak the language – how many times have you used the pointing technique? Fingers have their own voice – whether it is the official sign language or one that we use without even realising.