New Writing


Juliana Spahr


We arrived and everything was interconnected:
as twining green maile shrub,
as huehue haole.
Our response was to uproot and to bunker.

We arrived and the rain soaked us regularly
as it soaked others and fed rivulets and streams.
It was gentle and warm
but still we built and we bunkered.

This growing and this flowing into all around us confused us.
We didn't know the right and the wrong.
We couldn’t tell where we began and where we ended with the land and with the others,
where we loved and where we didn’t and where we weren’t even though we longed.

And because we could not figure it out bunkering was a way for us to claim what wasn’t really ours, what

could never really be ours and it gave us a power we otherwise would not have had and we
believed that this made the place ours.

But because we were bunkered, the place was never ours, could never really be ours, because we were

bunkered from what mattered, growing and flowing into, and because we could not begin to
understand that this place was not ours until we grew and flowed into something other than what
we were we continued to make things worse for this place of growing and flowing into even while
some of us came to love it and let it grow in our own hearts, flow in our own blood.




Juliana Spahr will read at SPT with Alfred Arteaga on November 9, 2001.
This poem originally appeared in Tinfish magazine.