Sphagnum Moss’ (Oil painting on canvas by Alan Rayner, 2003) A labyrinthine network; Of Life; In a matrix of death. A close interdependence; Of One with the Other; Fills Like a Sponge; With Water; Or Blood. Cushioning; Soothing; Healing; Filtering. Raising Ground out of Water; For others to root in; Building on the Backs; Of past endeavours. Death Feeds Life; In a succession; Of amplifying Diversity. But a distanced humanity; Walled Into Itself; Feeds Death With Life.

Life becomes a dreadful fright

When nobody can be trusted

Individually or collectively

To know or do what’s right

Least of all yourself

.

Is this what’s become of us

You and me

In this age of post-modernity

As we struggle to find our way clear

From complex entanglement

In webs of deceit

Constructed to entrap

Our minds, hearts and guts

In paralysed bodies

Awaiting consumption?

.

Is there really no way to know

What does and doesn’t make sense

As we wait in suspense

For who knows what

To ingest us as prey

In order to live

On what remains of our day?

.

When all we need ask

Is to remove the mask

That prevents us from seeing

The depth in our being

That calls into question

Any suggestion

That we stand alone

As a whole or as a stone

Apart from where we belong

In this world of song

That moves us within and around

The still, empty ground

The infinite grace

The receptive space

That invites into becoming

A life that is humming

With the birds and the bees

Who place us at ease

Freed at last

From the tyranny of past

That brings us to our knees

In despair

Through the lack of self-care

That makes us neglect

And leaves our lives wrecked

Very far from erect

On shattered fragments of broken trust

Crumbling to dust

In the wake of fiction

The cause of such friction

In the struggle for life

That replaces compassion with strife

.

Alan Rayner is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist, who is pioneering the philosophy of natural inclusion