Oh Moth – poem by mare

In the winter of 94-95, I lived at a very remote, off-the grid center for agroforestry in Belize. I was there to slow down, to stop being a workaholic, and try to figure out the rest of my life. (I also signed up to help with fundraising for the center, but that never panned out.) Just months before, I had quit a job running an international environmental network out of Ann Arbor, MI. And I was extremely confused and wounded and Belize called to me. So I went. I lived for most of three months there with others in a large thatched roof, open air lodge with no glass windows, screens or walls, practically, and bunkbeds on the 2nd floor. Once the day was over, candles or flashlights were how one read at night. And to not use up my batteries in the flashlight, candles were the best option. This being the tropics, all sorts of fantastic night flying insects flitted around and occasionally a moth came too close to the flame. Hence this poem… from 1995.



Oh Moth


Oh moth – you have waxed your wings

one last time in the candle I lit for


But now I read

your pain



Is this the cost

of my savoring a few more pages of tale

and you

no more flit

you sacrifice wing and flight

and life


What other deaths,

what other loss

to create that candle, that wick,

the flame

is this nothing

must there always be this cost and I



Would it be better

for the costs of light to be

unknown distant

irradiated fish miles from

my lamp

poisoned mountains of coal tailings

so far that no one

watches seedlings struggle

and fail to take root

people and plants

fingerlings fried before ever being lifted

from a stream bed


massive river obstructions –


salmon crying in


as they try to leap,

to taste their home,

and spend a final spawn

in peace


should we not call it

the grid of unconscious,

a constricting net of electrical lines,

choking the biodiverse

to homogenize

the land


will we wake to life of living

web of connections and tugs at my heart

strings in this moment of you, oh moth, your death

in my light


I choose to close

my book for the toll



Jan, 1995 (rev 11/09)


mare cromwell


About Mare Cromwell

Referred to as “The Voice of Earth Mother” by a gifted Shoshone elder, Mare Cromwell is a multi-award-winning author, Medicine woman/Lightworker and healer. She has also been told by another gifted elder that her work with Earth Mother is in the prophecies. Her books include: "The Great Mother Bible"; "Messages from Mother.... Earth Mother"; and "If I gave you God’s phone number.... Searching for Spirituality in America". She has studied with Native American teachers for twenty-one years and sat on the World Council for Wisdom Gatherings for three years. Mare leads workshops on our Sacred Planet-Earth Mother, Womb Wisdom and Sacred Silliness and more. She is the visionary and producer of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington DC. Mare loves to be involved in Ceremony. She is also a former worm herder. She calls Western Maryland home. www.marecromwell.com
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