Minnesota Poetry: Louis Alemayehu’s “The Holy Land is All the Earth”

Louis Alemayehu is a poet, musician and a community elder. He is a founding member of the musical group Ancestor Energy, and recently began working with Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota. He also informally counsels youth of all backgrounds, including Latino, Hmong, Native, African American and Euro-American heritage.

In light of the ongoing news of the BP oil spill, it seemed fitting to share Alemayehy’s poem “The Holy Land is All the Earth:”

The Holy Land is All the Earth

Some times I hardly know what to say

In this High Tech Dark Age:

“…and one day a Sun will rise with healing in its wings.”

And loving dew will sparkle on our bare flesh,

Innocent, naked…

Do you know the way from here to there dear friend?

Through the storm?

Are the rocks still screaming ?

When I am silent, really quiet

I hear voices:

The Holy Land is all the Earth

And all the Earth is holy.

The Earth is our only physical home… Creation,

Yes, all the Earth is holy:

The water – holy,

The air – holy,

The creatures that crawl and the creatures that swim – holy,

The 2-legged and the winged – holy,

Let us touch with kind hands

Blessing all that lives,

All that laments.

Rise! Be robust and brave in the face of dawn.

YOU are the face of Dawn,

Face it!

Integrity of Water, Light and Love can sustain us now.

THIS is the Fire Next Time

NOW, at last real power!

And the new world begins on this breath.


Now is the time, now is the time

Embracing in the silence of our after-weeping,

Resting on the breast

Of Our Mother’s Sacred Heart

Beating, beating, beating…

“The Holy Land is All the Earth” Louis Alemayehu, written in 2007. Reprinted here by permission of the author.

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