where life began – nature – Timothy Arliss O’Brien

1.
-waters-
We swam in the river eighteen times last summer, 
The waterfalls washed our exhaustion away,
And the current carried us through our griefs. 

We took the bridges over the river,
Back and forth, up and across, high skyscraper, and arms length over. 

We took buses and trains, 
bikes and automobiles,
But every time we walked across we could hear the song of the swift slipstream,
Singing to us like the aqua in our own anatomy. 

Listen, hear, and beckon,
Yourself to thank the water,
For sustaining and giving life. 
Like the trees rejoice in the wind.

2.
 -trees-
The trees dance for us in the moonlight,
But we still cut them down en mass. 

The trees forgive us,
And still grow back knowing it may happen,
Over and over again.

Deforestation is at an all time high,
But didn’t we all learn in our early education 
That the woodlands are the lungs of the planet?

I could breathe easier if you would stop chasing  me,
Flirting with me in the dark. 

Hidden among the leaves of the evergreens
Hoping they don’t clear cut our playground,
And expose us,
So they can deforest our kind too. 

3.
-forests-
I’m surrounded 
By broken people walking 
This broken earth. 

The trees have been cut down,
And I cry in my glass of fermented fruits 
from the vines 
As my friends sing with strings wrapped tight across that cut down wood. 

I want peace for our mental health, 
And untamed allegiance for the green sprouts from the soil. 

When we return to the dirt, 
do our minds and spirits heal,
Sending our demons to the sea 
to be cleansed by the salt? 

4.
-sea-
The deep blue sea 
Is deeper than your eyes. 
And I could stare into both 
For the rest of our minutes. 

Seconds pass by 
And it feels like we haven’t 
Taken a single breath. 

The plants take our hot lung air,
And ‘fix’ the carbon dioxide. 
The carbons break down sugars,
Sweet and syrupy,
To create energy. 

While we spend our momentum cutting the grass,
And getting lost in the pools 
that create our vision,

I want you to know 
I will always wash over you
day in and day out
like the tides

5.
-rivers-
A river bubbles up, up, from somewhere. 
To replenish and to quench our thirst. 
A slow river, a languid brook. 

A river flows from the mountains,
Steady, from much higher places. 

A deep river, 
A full river,
Rushing yet still as glass. 

Shimmering shining river. 
Mirror river, under sunshine. 
Warm and refreshing. 

A river flows through a desert dry. 
Intention past each bank, 
In the arid air. 
A miracle. 

Rivers rushing past our bodies,
Uncontainable, 
Yet fragile. 

Nature’s provisions: 
the rivers.



Timothy Arliss O’Brien is an interdisciplinary artist in music composition, writing, and visual arts. His goal is to connect people to accessible new music that showcases virtuosic abilities without losing touch of authentic emotions. He has premiered music with The Astoria Music Festival, Cascadia Composers, Sound of Late’s 48 hour Composition Competition and ENAensemble’s Serial Opera Project. He also wants to produce writing that connects the reader to themselves in a way that promotes wonder and self realization. He has published several novels (Dear God I’m a Faggot, They), and has written for Look Up Records (Seattle), Our Bible App, and Deep Overstock: The Bookseller’s Journal. He has also combined his passion for poetry with his love of publishing and curates the podcast The Poet Heroic. He also showcases his makeup skills as the phenomenal drag queen Tabitha Acidz. 

Check out more of his writing, and his full discography at his website: http://www.timothyarlissobrien.com  

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