Originally published at Medium.

The coronavirus is a disaster for many. As usual in this morally-backward global empire, the poorest and most vulnerable among us suffer the most. In the midst of this tragedy there are lessons worth learning. This poem from Kim Hill invites us to consider what society and our communities may learn from CoViD-19.

By Kim Hill/The Medium

When we locked ourselves in to the world we’d constructed

And trembled in panic at impending collapse

We began to wonder, if maybe, perhaps,

This latest disaster in long lines of attacks

Was not a disaster at all.

But, instead, a revelation.


Revealing the truth that the stories we tell

Of progress, business, empire and growth

Have locked us inside our own twisted dreams

And the time has come to awaken.


To the world here beneath us, within us, around us

Who is calling us all to come home.

To let go of the lies, that income and goods

Stock markets, mining, jobs, machines

All make our lives better than ever.


Release these myths. And listen.


To breath. To blood. To wind and rain.

To ancestors and those yet to be.


The massacres and death camps

Factories and clearfells

Plastics and toxics

Choking our lungs, our rivers, our blood, our skies

Are not worth saving, by hiding ourselves inside.


Millions of years of talking with trees

With birds, with clouds, with spirit beings

All lost to the past, or locked away

Replaced with shiny screens.


And now the screens say stay indoors

Far from the beautiful world

They tell us to fear the life outside

And hide in the zombie machine.


Yet even in here, at the height of our fear

Life will not be locked in

It erupts from our soul, our body, our breath

In dances and stories, in primal screams

In song and art, in beauty and pain

In love and care, and ferocious rage

To break the prison down.


To break free our minds from mechanical grind

Of existence encoded as data for sale

To smash mental cages of money and lack

That lock down our essence like jail.


Tear down the wires, the pipelines, the rails

The dams, the ships, the mines

Make sense with our senses, our knowing and feeling

Release the mental blinds.


Burn down the speeding extinction machine

That traps us all inside

While converting vast jungles to money and trash

And selling us on the great ride.


Now return to the forests, the seas, the soils

Who form our breath and bones

And nourish our bodies from the womb of the Earth

And let life carry us home.


Wild beings are speaking: come home to your kind

Yet we slay them to feed our fears

Not feeling or hearing their horror and pain

Or their wisdom of infinite years.


Listen. They are speaking. We are speaking. Hear us.


Your cities don’t serve you, with their concrete and cars

Instead they use you as a tool

They drown out your longings in waves of disease

And madness, repression and school.


If all the world’s beauty can’t be heard

In thousands of years of yearning

Then maybe it takes

The tiniest being,

a microbe, to say

Come home.

This culture is based on a false assumption that humans as superior to and separate from the natural world. This, in turn, is used to justify violence and hatred towards the natural world. Crises like these remind us that, in fact, humans are an integral part of the natural community, not separate from it.

“From birth on—and probably from conception, but I’m not sure how I’d make the case—we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes—and our bodies—to be poisoned.” (Premise 14, Endgame, Derrick Jensen)