Just Because

We could only hide our leaf wings for so long.

One day a man sneered at an old woman on a bus in Ballarat,
and she said, “You’re not fooling anyone, Gaia.”

Suddenly great wings with leaves for feathers burst from his jacket,
and from the back of her heavy coat,
and from the backs of everyone on the bus, one by one.

It spread like wildfire, and mankind took to the air.
Financiers cried for a minute
and went on CNN to say that it was bad for the economy,
but then they realized that they could fly too
so they quit their whining.

The old ways crumbled and a new world was born.
Now art pours from our hair like rain
and words erupt from the mouths of poets
from groin to lips
into ears attached to serene minds,
where their splendor dances unobscured.

We discovered that beauty is just another word
for the experience of having truly seen something.
We sculpt its edges with chlorophyl wingtips,
and breathe incandescent vibrations into its essence,
and make sensory explosions in the sky
just to thrill each other.

Just because,
we pull apart the machines of war and industry
to make instruments of unprecedented music.

Just because,
we learn the languages of the whales
and we join them in nightly improvisations.

Just because,
we explore new depths of love and creation,
and discover we’d been barely tickling the surface.

Just because,
we stand wingspread on hilltops as the sun feeds us
and let the grass teach true history to our bare feet.

Just because,
the man from Ballarat has given the old woman
a strange violin that he made out of driftwood.

Just because,
the woman looks at him,
and says, “There. Now isn’t this easier?”

Caitlin Johnstone


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