The Ground and the Sky by Mike Jewett

The Ground and the Sky

The Ground looked up at the black Sky every night and it was happy. Crickets chirped, birds nested with their hatchlings, and the stars hummed their soft lullabies.

Days passed by and The Ground kept its eyes closed tightly while they did, for the sun was blinding and the rain fell into its eyes, and on dry, grey, windy days debris was kicked up into them. It smiled and waited for the moon for it was all that The Ground knew.

One autumn night, just as the sun said goodbye, The Sky got quiet, silent as space. The crickets stopped chirrupping and the birds stopped singing and there were no more lullabies. The Ground had been ignoring The Sky for a few days, forgetting how much it meant, how important The Sky was to it.

The Sky was upset at being ignored and turned black, a complete lack of light. The sun tried shining through only to get sent away. Thunder roared above but there was no lightning to be seen. The plants in The Ground grew hungry as the nights passed, for they couldn’t be called days. They all spoke to The Ground.

“We are very hungry, Ground. The sun can’t find her way through so we’re starting to starve. Please talk to The Sky again.”

The Ground didn’t reply.

At this, The Sky became angry. The Ground saw fierce reds swirling in rouge, crimson, pink, and all shades of red mixing in with shadows. The black blended into fiery reds and rain beat down upon The Ground. The plants were happy to be able to quench their thirst but they still needed the sun.

The Sky finally spoke.

“Ground! I have been your friend forever, giving you light and water and flickering stars and I have asked nothing in return. Instead, you pretend I’m not here. You think you can forget about me, but if you do all of the plants will die of hunger and thirst and all of you will turn to dust to mix in the oceans. You will be gone, but I will still be here.”

The Ground heaved and shook, opening its eyes again, now filled with tears.

“I’m sorry, Sky; so, so sorry. I have forgotten what it means to be part of a whole. I thought I could just go on without anybody else. I am sorry. Let us all continue on as one.”

The Sky, for the first time in months, turned the loveliest blue. All creatures came to see the brilliant and dazzling sight. The sun’s rays poured down, making everything warm and golden. The plants were full of life again, and the moon and stars prepared a display for that night the likes of which have never been seen before or since.

To this day, the Sky and the Ground speak to each other. Most people can’t hear it, but look around and you can see their magic at work all over the world.

 

Mike Jewett is the editor and publisher of Boston Poetry Magazine. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Pankhearst, Coup d’Etat, Orion Magazine, and The Bitchin’ Kitsch. His first anthology, recipes for hemlock, is now available.He roosts with his punk rock wife and punk rock son.

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