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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The New Swarm of Us

By: Carol Flake Chapman

Like cicadas that lie underground for years

Worming their way through the motions

As though the air above is a distant dream

We have been living as though buried deep

Beneath the weight of everyday needs

Slumbering our way through our lives

Until something stirs some signal

To dig our way out into the light

We look around and see others breaking

Through the same hard crust that has kept us

Lost in the dark illusion that we’re alone

But drawn together in despair and hope

We are learning new ways of being

In a world that is crumbling around us


A long-time journalist, Carol Flake Chapman returned to poetry, her first love, after the sudden death of her husband shattered her life. Poetry, she found, was the language she needed for heallng, not only for herself, but for the ruptured connection between humans and the natural world.

"When I learned that cicadas would be emerging in 2020 in great swarms after living underground for 17 years, I began to think about how so many of us have been going through the motions in our lives without awareness of the bigger picture outside or beyond our own lives. But I’ve seen a growing consciousness all around the world that the Earth is in trouble. At first it might seem that we are isolated in this awareness, but we are finding that there are people like us emerging everywhere, who share our concern about global warming and who share our sense of urgency in developing new ways of living on the Earth in harmony with nature and each other. It has been heartening to realize we are not alone in this desire for change."


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