Yes, mechanisms are at work,
yet life is something more:
how we have to surrender to birthing,
to tripping. At times, to thought,
to being.

Yes, survival works
because it works;
yet don’t tell me the otter plays
to distract prey. Don’t tell me
art is caused by evolution.
Don’t tell me art anything.

Yes, evolution; yes, mechanics; yes, process
of the universe expanding from one point;
yes, our return to life rushes from us like a blowtorch flame
sometimes only under the threat to ‘adapt or die,’
and the Great Turning is to choose
adapting over dying;

but this Saturday morning while
the good people of the city take their exercise along the river,
loving or hating jogging, streaming in their own way
past docked boats that float languidly
and barges with cranes
held low until the work week to come,

the maples’ scarlet is nothing but art,

and oaks don’t need to be so generous with acorns

nor the sky with blue,

and people with nowhere to go
continue to run, facing forth,
bright lights in clothing.

Karina Lutz worked as a sustainable energy advocate for three decades. She received an MSJ from Medill School of Journalism; and worked as an editor, reporter, and magazine publisher. She’s currently collaborating to launch a permaculture community, Listening Tree Cooperative.