Survival Skills for the Anthropocene |
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Survival Skills for the Anthropocene

Listen. Even now, as ice cracks,
a chickadee sings its spring song.

Speak only true names. Redwing blackbird.
Orb-weaver eggs. Dragon cladonia.

When you want to clarify what you meant
to say, say thank you.

Squelch your feet in mud. Let its scent of shale
overtake you, as wind

skims a mottled sycamore sprawled
on Lake Wingra’s thawing shore.

Inside, wordless, wash the dishes
Feed the hungry, not the ghosts.


Lailah Dainin Shima is an aspiring death doula, a Zen buddhist priest and mother who writes and walks among the lakes of Madison. Her poetry has appeared in CALYX, Terrain, and Gwarlingo, and in The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy. She is in the MFA program in poetry at Pacific University.

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Phone: 608.733.6633


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