Saturday, June 26, 2010

Humpback Etheree

In the summer months I have the opportunity to explore my dream realms much more fully than during the school year when I'm out of bed by 5:15 to face the day. My most vivid dreams occur between 4 and 7 AM.

Dreams inform me about what's going on "behind the scenes" in my mind. Contemplating my dreams is worthwhile work for me to do.

The natural world speaks up to me in dream realms. The spirits of the natural world really are trying to wake us up to show us the damage we human beings are doing to all of the life with which we share this precious planet. I hope we wake up soon, and realize that the "economy" is not the most important thing to save on our planet. Life is.

What the trees, the plants, the birds, the fish, turtles, whales, bugs, and fungi have to say is very important for us to hear. I'm trying to listen.

Turning off media helps.

Here's an Etheree:

thoughts, scenes, tales, plays,
from dream realms show up
under the moon, surfacing
like a pod of humpback whales
singing ancient survival songs
just beyond the reach of our wisdom
Whales sound. We wake, and turn on TV news.

Consisting of ten lines, the Etheree poem starts with a one syllable line, then adds one syllable per line, until the last line of ten syllables for an overall syllable count of 55. In other words the syllabic structure is as follows: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. It’s an uncomplicated, unpretentious form of poetry that has the quality of slowly opening, like a flower.


steven said...

dan i remember the first time i heard whale song. it was listening to a judy collins song entitled "farewell to tarwathie". after i heard that i read all that i could find on the sounds they make and of course it's absolutely incredible. this world will survive. it's survived far far worse. what it does is change. adapt. adjust cycles. patterns are altered. the world itself is not a static system in fact no part of it is static. it's sad that some parts of this world that we value are changed or made extinct and especially sad that that is a choice humans make. it places us in a position that many of us are uncomfortable with. but this world will survive. sweet day brother. steven

Bonnie said...

All too true. We have become addicted to hearing about and reading about ... rather than simply being with ...

We seem to be addicted to consuming (be it news, goods, information, stimulants) and have forgotten how to stop and respect and appreciate.

Thank you for this beautifully written reminder Dan.

Stream Source said...

...the earth will make it, for sure. But the human species' fate is yet to be determined. I really don't feel so hopeless as that remark suggests. It is a reality check, though. We assume we are inextinguishable.... not the case.

I stay on top of what's happening in the news only long enough to mourn the loss, send love and compassion and then climb in my heart and mind to create a vision that is bigger than what's gone wrong and one that will heal it. Lately, this task has been a challenge.

Lovely words, as always, Dan.

Barbra Stephens said...

I have a dream journal for this reason. Although I know it's important to know what's going on in the world, it's difficult not to be concerned or disturbed.
Elevating our own mind to stay incouraged is more important than ever.
Writing, reading and being around positive like minded people helps.
That is a beautiful poem. I am going to try the Etheree poem, as well.

Dan Gurney said...


The world will survive, well, for a time. Even this world (as we know it) will perish in due time if we believe what astrophysicists say about the sun expanding into a red giant.

Human beings will go the way that 99.999% of all species have gone, extinct. We'll be among the few who pretty much did ourselves in, though.

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, you're welcome. The music on the deck is quite beautiful.

Dan Gurney said...

Stream Source, you said it well. It's quite a challenge! Some days I'm more able to stay optimistic (or distracted) than others.

Dan Gurney said...

Barbra, that's great. I look forward to reading your Etheree. And I agree with everything you said.

Jim714 said...

Dan, I enjoyed reading this Etheree. I think the Etheree might be a good form for expressing dream realm wisdom; the way it sort of emerges from its single opening syllable seems to me to resemble the way dreams emerge from our deep mind.

Barbara, nice to see the Etheree spreading. I found it a congenial form.

Jim Wilson

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Jim, thanks for the comment. I like Etherees so much I wrote an Etheree about Etherees!

Delwyn said...

Hi dan

I do like your etherees - the name sounds like a musical fa lal la...

and they flower like you a little song...

I think I will put myself to the challenge on my long haul back to Noosa on Tues...10 hours is a good block of time to create don't you think...

Happy days

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Delwyn—

That's wonderful! I love writing Etherees and I'm happy to hear when other people try them out.

Have a good trip back home. I got your real mail from Mail Away and will respond in kind when I have a chance.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is incredibly beautiful, poignant and profoundly wise. I wish millions could read these words.