A head turns. Shameless. Proud.
The gaze holds mine. Yes holds it.
Wildcat is staring me out.
Claiming this place.
A black ridge of fur runs the length of his spine,
It's a dark trail over a sierra.
Wildcat, you are back.
Lounging on the rocks of your own terms,
Begging to no one.
Earth and grit
Belonging here and knowing it.
Skin and bones forged from these mountains,
Mottled buff coat born of mottled buff slopes
No rental contracts for you.
No seeking permission
To live in your own home.
You see me,
And stalk to the centre,
Shoulders two raised sails floating on a sea of fur.
Coursing through my land,
Ringed tail flicking
Left and right
A pendulum ticking in the sunlight
Requisitioning this place,
Your self belief shakes the very earth.
Ripples along the pelt of the slope
Shimmies through the air,
And into the creek,
Everything knows you are here.
Rooted to the spot
I watch you
I’m the tenant,
Not the landlady.
As we will all be reminded,
Though not through a screen,
Or because the government says so,
Or the BBC.
It won’t be the numbers that inform us.
They are the agents of the destroyers now.
The experts all sold
To Big Industry.
We will be reminded when the planet speaks,
When she lifts her haunches,
Stares into our eyes,
Because to say this is just temperatures rising,
Is to understand nothing about Gaia at all.
To say this is all about carbon dioxide
Is to reduce our earthen wonderland to a chemistry set.
This is not about something,
It’s about everything;
Forests and seas, earthworms and wildcats.
It’s about hearts beating and lungs breathing.
And many things we don’t understand.
Haystacks of hubris line the human world,
Good luck finding a needle of humility.
Green washers and fake do-gooders,
Always primed to profit on the back of any crisis.
Solutions manufactured in far off places
By the small hands of children.
Where no one sees,
And no one looks.
One day we will understand
This is not about solving problems,
The solutions are the problem.
This is about love and beauty and life herself.
Things that can never be solved.
This is about nature and her fundamental difference from the machine.
Which is dead. And dying.
Heartless. And unbreathing.
It's about light filling hearts
And earth filling minds
Until the human is a garden once more.
Swaggering over the grass,
You head towards the creek.
One last glare back,
At me. The squatter.
Your black ringed tail is the last thing I see,
A fur snake twisting,
Into the undergrowth.
To requisition this place.
With what is truly me.
See more from Michael Gabler here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Michael_G%C3%A4bler
The word Rune is derived from the root - run or runa meaning whisper or secret. In linguistic terms, runes are the symbolic letters of ancient Germanic alphabets, or even short Norse poems. Runes can be stones inscribed with magical symbols or 'spells too. Welcome to my runes. Are they symbols? Are they poems? Or are they spells? I'll leave it up to you.
Atulya K Bingham is an author, natural builder and lone off-gridder now lost in the hills of northern Spain.
"I consider myself a person who is connected to nature, somebody who respects the earth; this book has me walking through the world with all my senses opened." Emma Blas, editor Her Heart Poetry