the wild ones

Gray Wolf Portrait

gray wolf

where do we belong, the wild ones

entrusted to God?

the wild ones, who do not know


because God does not build fences

the ones who read light, dark

movement, sound, temperature

and scent

to find our way

through the forest,

where do we belong

when the forest is gone?

homefree in London

homefree in London

the wild ones who are out of our skin

with the torment of waste and rape, ravaged

by crying babies and screaming mothers beaten

bombed and abandoned

where do we sleep but in the alley?

where do we eat but from the waste?

we, vultures in the wake, whom God has chosen

to digest the decay, where do we belong

when everything but us is clean

on the surface?

where do we belong, the wild ones

who live honestly without question

and who but God feeds us by hand?


~megan hollingsworth
*a note on God: for me, God is equivalent of love ~ the energy that flows through all beings



because wolves won’t wait


March 30, 2014

I tend to pay attention to things that inspire tears as did news of Idaho’s recently passed bill that sets aside $400,000 in state funds to kill roughly 500 wolves. Once again my grand agenda is crushed by the urgency to protect other predators. April at Extinction Witness goes to wolf. 

Aside from the occasional lone wolf, wolves are extremely family oriented. In April, I will be thinking of and writing about this call to family and what it means to belong in community. I encourage you to do the same.

The attention to wolf is timely for me personally because I return to Montana next month to be with Elias, the four-year-old who calls me mama. Having sublet the home I was renting in Livingston, I return to him and no home. I am about as established in Montana as wolf is now that the hunt is on.

This question of where the wild belong is most intimate for me. There is such natural freedom and uncertainty in the wild.

The wild is as kind and comfortable
as the instinct and trust one keeps.

Wild is the real world we participate in.
The potential of a society to persist can be measured by the degree of wildness it encourages.

As patient as Earth can be, wolves won’t wait for us to go wild. Those who feel them will have to protect them if they are to survive.

Financial contributions to Extinction Witness are always appreciated as are forwards and shares of these letters. I would like to reach as many people as possible with this love. You can access all Extinction Witness letters here.

There is still and always time to offer something for bees at Wail Dance blog or on the Extinction Witness Facebook page.

Much love, many thanks and blessings,


it’s all love


The greatest failing is disrespect for the unknown and unknowable.

The greatest hurdle is fear.

All suffering stems from the mind outthinking the heart. Fear is the domain of the mind. Love is the domain of the heart. The mind is born of the heart and can forget itself. Thus, fear is love forgetting itself.

Peace of mind is a priceless thing. All that is priceless is unattainable.

May you realize peace of mind.


Megan Hollingsworth




prone with sequoia

i am the ember

fueled by a moment, falling

to commitment when at last

the fortress burned to ash and love

appeared as it was all along

it’s real is a death in the pyre

on the bed of coals i laid

prone flesh distilled to pure light

that moment of proof returns

every time i lose faith




bee flower seed and soil

From lion in February, Extinction Witness moves to bee in March.

When I think of bee, I think of flower. When I think of flower, I think of seed. When I think of seed, I think of the darkness in which seed opens.

“Our planet, my beloved is in crisis; this, of course, we all know.  We, many of us, think that her crisis is caused by men, or White people, or capitalism, or industrialism, or loss of spiritual vision, or social turmoil, or war, or psychic disease. For the most part, we do not recognize that the reason for her state is that she is entering upon a great initiation—she is becoming someone else. Our planet, my darling, is gone coyote, heyoka, and it is our great honor to attend her passage rites. She is giving birth to her new consciousness of herself and her relationship to other vast intelligences, other holy beings in her universe. Her travail is not easy, and it occasions her intensity, her conflict, her turmoil—the turmoil, conflict, and intensity that human and other creaturely life mirror. And as she moves, growing and learning ever closer to the sacred moment of her realization, her turmoil, intensity, agony, and conflict increase.”
~ Paula Gunn Allen in The Woman I love is a Planet; The Planet I love is a Tree, 1993, p.36

I first read these words from Paula Gunn Allen in 2006 and found them refreshing. Now, I know them to be true now.

Earth is in the transition stage of birth and we, all of us, are in transition with her. The agony we feel through this process is bearable, as in a holy pain, so long as we feel it all while maintaining a focus on the dream of beauty she is to become. read more…

Part of our work as midwives – attendants of Earth’s passage – is to be with those who are passed and on the verge of passing in celebration and gratitude for their being. Earth grieves her losses through us and she must grieve her losses to complete herself.

When we avert our gaze from suffering and resist change in our own lives, the process of her birth grows more painful and her recovery grows longer and ever more uncertain.

When we attend Earth’s passage, letting pain guide us to action, her process becomes like water, filling and soothing raw open places.

Earth grieves willingly. She is the master of unconditional love – enlightened attachment.

she will bury them is produced with Earth’s unconditional love in mind. ‘She’ in the poem is Earth. We are human beings who gather. Each of us, ideally, extending two hands of Earth’s one – unity consciousness – arising. The poem closes with an honest question, a question asked by someone uncertain of who she is becoming.

With attention to the plight of bees, she will bury them counts the cost in one spraying of neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides, that killed about 50,000 bees in Oregon last summer. The film honors the dance of bee and flower, as well as the people who gathered in Wilsonville, Oregon for memorial.

Please share the film through all your channels and see for ways to help protect the livelihood of bee.

All my gratitude to Catherine Campion for voicing the poem and Maureen Momo Freehill for sharing footage of her cherry blossom butoh danceone of Momo’s 2009 series of bee dances.

I want to apologize for taking lion off the sidebar in my last letter. While it was my intention to give advance notice of Extinction Witness’ attention to bee in March, I hit fast forward by switching that invitation to bee before the end of February.

My fumble of haste near the end of February brings to bear all the times I have attempted to fast forward my life in resistance to what is or with desire for something different. I’ve missed the sweet nectar of the present on many occasions because I was either living out of the past or wanting desperately into the future.

The present is so full of information that guides us. Even and especially the darkest moments light the way. May March be patient with all its spring fervor.

I am creating time this month to sit with bee, flower, seed, and the darkness in which seed opens.

When we know soil, we know the depths of love – all that is required to nurture the seed to flower. When we know flower, we know the beauty of love – all the color that lights this world. When we know bee, we know the height of love – the ecstatic dance of sweetness that sustains lovers and mothers through the marathon of their initiation with the beloved.

I hope you will join in witness to the depths, beauty, and heights by contributing in comments below or on the Extinction Witness Facebook page.

much love, many thanks and blessings,


ps a dear friend encouraged me to create dream lists for all my dreams, so i have! please read my dream list for Extinction Witness here. please read my dream list for my poetry here. i greatly appreciate your sending some love toward their fulfillment! Thank You!

hello kiss


there is so much i want to share, with you

like the John Lennon exhibit, i went to alone

because at last i feel his lyrics

and i do go, now that i am brave enough going alone

to enjoy things we would enjoy, together

i like to think you are with me, just wandering

on the other side of the room

and we will meet for a hello kiss

soon, before the one titled ‘remember love’

remember love

two bare people, bearing flowers

in the forest clearing



love is what it takes



if only because they are beautiful


extinction witness is focusing on a particular species each month for the remaining eleven months of 2014.

we begin February with witness to Panthera leo as response to a study published January 8 in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONEwhich affirms that the West African lion is critically endangered with less than 250 mature individuals remaining.

extinction witness’ role is to provide a place for the heart and soul of the conservation movement, be it conservation with an emphasis on other species or indigenous human cultures.

we will use the extinction witness facebook page for posts and hope you will contribute visuals, stories, poems, or songs that speak from or to your heart as you consider the passing of lion.

if you are not a Facebook user, you are welcome to offer your witness in comment here at Wail Dance. i will post to Facebook for you or not based on your preference. all offerings will be archived.

following is my witness in a poem.

the decimation of lion is a complicated relationship of human poverty and greed. it’s a puzzle i cannot solve. writing keeps me from breaking.

i hope you will join me in exploring the power of creative expression for easing the ache. who knows how far that ease reaches. ?

i look forward to receiving your witness and will be posting and commenting regularly on Facebook throughout the month.

many thanks and much love,


lioness and cubs


if only because they are beautiful


i remember standing before the monitor
in the small room with windows for walls
reading a message on the black screen
with white type, somewhere between
programming language and visual copy

4000 tigers

4,000 left near the close of a century
that began with about 100,000
nothing else, no images
a black background, white symbols
i do not remember if i wept then and there
i do remember opening the door to walk
out of the glass room into the lobby
and then another door to the sidewalk
where i was struck by a bustle of students
on their way, somewhere
much like the time after
i watched Schindler’s List alone
curled up in the soft seat of the old theater
outside the world had not changed
to meet the other one, so real
as in alive and vanishing
in the classroom we would study
the unspoken world
that can be read on flyers in black and white
at the petition table
in the mall where people pass by
on their way somewhere
while the sorrow that shatters glass walls, twisting
metal frames, stops at the throat
where it is reserved for pet euthanasia
buddy passed on the steel table
while i rubbed his forehead
as i sobbed, after i’d given the veterinarian
a page with letters and numbers
in black on white, a wild story of loss
the domestic goes without knowing
until the story is seen
for days i greeted buddy as i entered
the quiet house
stopped stopping myself from calling
until i stopped calling
in the morning and the evening
what really hurts is having no one
to talk with
so the bachelor from Appalachian coal country
is befriended by feral cats who walk with him
through the woods
and with each one’s passing, he lets out a wail
like mine for the wild that grows lonely
because i do not know what it means to be hungry
among big cats
i love them if only because they are beautiful
and beauty is what i grieve with my fingers
tracing the scars on the face of a West African king
one left
of 250 and going

~ meg

what it takes


did i startle you

when i landed there

in the center of your hand


as i tilted my head for a good look

were you holding your breath

to keep still?

when you leaned in

and i flew off

into the burning forest

were you afraid that death would have me

or would it be you?

i am the one who hid in the dim light

with more than shyness to tell

and i wonder if you knew

all along

what it takes

to hold in your heart

a free bird

or if that is something we learned together





something special


if we should meet

tell me anything

except a story of true love

with you and me at the center

as you say farewell

rousing the demon inside me

who tells me i am nothing special

because i might agree with the love story and if i do

when you go, i will stay

in a dream of true love unfulfilled

a branch scraping your back as the wind whips

no, if we should meet

tell me anything but that i am something so special

as you leave

because when you go this demon will scratch at you

until it proves you wrong

i will become an obsession

a thought that we are at the center of a true love story

begging at your feet in a nightmare

and through an act much smaller than leaving

you will prove that i am nothing special to you at all

yes, tell me anything but that i am something special

as you say there is no room in your world for me

because my demon is a convinced delusion

and if i believe the story of forbidden love

she will tell me that you have taken my something special - a dream

with someone and me at the center

and i will be a twisted brittle old branch

in the snow



a case of you and the whole album Blue