Poetry as Healing Sounds for the Planet

It may look like I’m leading a prayer circle. But in fact, I was sharing some Healing Sounds Qigong with participants at the Cascadia Poetry Festival in Seattle on the weekend, as part of my presentation on eco-poetry. (Thanks to Barbara Erwine for this great photo.)

In Healing Sounds Qigong we learn that the landscape of the private body mirrors the landscape of the planetary body:

Heart = Fire
Spleen = Earth
Lungs = Metal
Kidneys = Water
Liver = Wood


So when you are standing in a grove of cedar trees, for example, you are standing in the planet’s liver.  When you are standing beside a river or ocean, you are standing in the planet’s kidney.

I have been conducting an experiment lately with my poetry. Namely, can an ancient therapeutic strategy designed to treat the human body (Healing Sounds Qigong) be adapted in some way to treat the planetary body? Can ecologically-themed poems, grouped under the five organs/elements of the human body, become the Healing Sounds for the planet?

I have no idea how this experiment will turn out or where it will lead me. But it feels like the path to be walking.

A small sampling of my poems from this project can be found in the recently released chapbook anthology of Eco-Poetry, Igniting the Green Fuse.

Kim Goldberg

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact: goldberg@ncf.ca
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