Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

Dawn Songs: the Poetics of Migration February 13, 2023

"Dawn Songs" book cover

Check out this new book of poetic writings about migratory birds. Its proceeds all go to benefit the good work of the American Bird Conservancy’s Conservation and Justice program.

I have a couple of invited poems in here, along with many other stellar humans (not jays, as far as I know – ha ha).

Here is one of them:


Autumn Farewell Blessing for the Migratory Birds


Fall Equinox: the leaves turn gold  

And you wise birds heed the call to South.


Farewell, winged beauties.

How we will miss you! 

My heart aches upon your leaving. 


All I can offer are my blessings:


As you journey, may you find

nourishment at every stop:

plants offering rich seeds,

green beds beckoning through built deserts,

respite from predators,

lift upon thermals,

kindness from thunderclouds,

a place to rest on vast dark water.


May you travel in good company

of kindred flying above and below,

led by stars and the memory maps of ancestors.


And when the seasons have turned; when the time is right,

may you rise together,

bank your bodies on gentle winds, 

speed your way into the northerly sky, 

and hear our rejoicing when you return, 

heralding Spring.


— © Tina Asherae Fields, in Dawn Songs: A Birdwatcher’s Field Guide to the Poetics of Migration,

edited by Jamie K. Reaser and J. Drew Lanham, 2023.


Spoken word events drawn from the book will also be happening in conjunction with Earth Day and the like at various locations this Spring.

You reading this, may your own migrations also be gentle and sweet.


(NOTE: The asterisks in between lines appear to help you read it with proper flow, because I can’t seem to get WordPress to space my lines as I wish. Argh.)


Chickens: beware of string! February 4, 2023


Horrors: Somehow our chicken Samantha got her foot tangled in a string, one that possibly came from opening a bag of chicken chow. I found it tightly wound around her foot over and over, and then bound up several toes too.

Her breed, Salmon Faverolle, has numerous extra toes. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the entanglement to share; when I discovered this, I was totally focused on just getting it off of her. Here she is afterward, though, so you can see her spectacular toes!



Her foot seems fine now. But being tied up like that must have felt quite awkward and painful when walking or trying to land on a perch. I’m sure it got so tangled in part due to her trying hard to get it off before I realized her plight. It took me multiple cuts with a sharp nail scissors all over her foot to get the string off.

And now I feel so concerned upon seeing these cute capes, sweaters, or ties that people have knitted for their chickens.



Chickens peck everything apart. There’s this entanglement potential, plus if they eat yarn or string, it can kill them. Something so simple as a string! So please don’t leave knitted items on them for long without watching.

The Chicken Chick offers many other reasons for not putting sweaters on your hens for long.


  1. prevent natural regulation of body temperature (“Chickens are living, breathing furnaces wrapped in down coats” with physical attributes that allow them to endure a lot more cold than we can if they get enough to eat),
  2. trap moisture next to a chicken’s skin (encouraging lice and mites to move in),
  3. rub against newly emerging, sensitive pin feathers,
  4. interfere with chickens maintaining good hygiene through preening and dust-baths,
  5. can form a tasty hen meal carrying-case for raptors,
  6. can entangle roosters on her back while mating,
  7. general accident hazard: entanglement with branches, chicken wire, etc. in yard.

She concludes with, “The average, backyard pet chicken does not need a sweater to keep warm. Take the cute photo and then pack it away, with the Halloween costume she undoubtedly also finds irritating.” (ha ha!)


Thank you for reading my Poultry PSA, and for paying close attention so you can find unexpected hazards like random strings in your coop. May your flock thrive!




  • First photo of hens © by Tina Fields
  • Chicken neck piece image found on Pinterest, no attribution given
  • Chicken sweater pic from
  • Chicken thumbs-up emoji by Envato

A Call for Small Kindnesses July 7, 2022

As a tiny antidote to the anger and animosity that we see escalating so fast these days across the USA, lately I’ve determined to offer simple kindnesses whenever I can.

Example: slowing down to let a signaling car turn in ahead of me on the road instead of zooming up to close the gap so they can’t.

I hope you will join me in this.

Such acts are small, yes, but so is a Covid virus.


Happy SuperbOwl Sunday! February 13, 2022

Filed under: All My Relations,Humor — BrujaHa @ 10:54 am
Tags: , ,

…This IS what all the fuss is about, right? 😉



(Lovely photo of Great Horned Owl — the most superb I’ve ever seen — by the San Diego Zoo.)


Collective Arts of Joy Return July 9, 2021

Filed under: Announcements — BrujaHa @ 11:28 am
Tags: , , ,

On top of leading three (3!!) wilderness rites-of-passage trips for Naropa University this summer, I’m about to lead both song and dance for the public again this week.

It’s wild to be gathering with humans in bodies again. I feel both wildly joyous about it, and also a bit nervous due to emergence from the hermity work-from-home Covid life. (Crossing my fingers that everyone stays safe. Will I even remember how to lead these things? How much have my social skills atrophied?) It’s like learning to be human in communities all over again.

How are you doing?

If you want to try engaging with others in the arts of collective joy, here are my two offerings.

EnChantMent singing with Creativity Alive!

Thursday, July 8. outdoors at Boulder Public Library’s Creekside Plaza. 7-8:30 pm.

Chosen as Boulder Daily Camera’s “Pick of the Day” for fun things to do!

Calling my first public dance since the Before Times pre-pandemic:

Dancing Under the Stars returns to Niwot, CO every Friday night this Summer in Cottonwood Square

July 9th, 2021: Contra/Folk!

7 pm – FREE Contra/Folk class
7:45-9:30 pm – FREE social dancing with DJ and Live Music

Caller & Instructor – Tina Fields.

Fiddler – Royston Hunget; Piano – Teri Rasmusson

Located outdoors in Cottonwood Square (Niwot Road and 79th Street) amongst Niwot’s great independent stores, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops, come and have a beautiful Summer evening in Niwot! Parking is plentiful and free either in Cottonwood Square or the surrounding area.

See you on the dance floor!


That Isn’t Anarchism January 7, 2021

Filed under: Cranky Rants — BrujaHa @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I am disturbed by the use of ‘anarchist’ to describe those storming our U.S. Capitol yesterday, and want to point out that they were not actually Anarchists, but Trumpists.

No self-respecting anarchist would pull down the American flag just to replace it with a Trump flag. Anarchists bow to no human structural authority: the anarchist tenet for creating a better world is everyone acting from a place of ‘freedom plus responsibility.’ Each person ideally aids the community according to ability, and therefore also everyone mutually benefits.

“An-archist” literally means no hierarchies. It does not mean doing whatever you want simply because you want it. The Capitol’s violent raiders are instead minions of a mad racist, sexist, wanna-be totalitarian Emperor, so exactly the opposite of anarchists. I’m actually surprised Trump’s ploy of stirring them up into a violent froth didn’t win him the ability to invoke martial law – again, the opposite of anarchy.


I posted the above paragraphs on Facebook this morning. They got a lot of comments and fomented interesting discussion, so I decided to share it here too, with yet! more! additional context. If you’re interested, read on for more about Anarchism, followed by my personal experience as part of a contemporary anarchic collective.


Anarchism is a system of government that is non-hierarchical in nature. (The suffix “-archy” refers to that sort of linear up-and-down power structure. Think hierarchy and patriarchy.) Contrary to popular belief, though, anarchy does not equate with violence, disorder, or chaos. True anarchy depends upon its citizens subscribing to both freedom and responsibility.

You might argue that you’ve never seen an anarchic group that fulfilled its visionary potential. Freedom plus responsibility is indeed a hard thing to pull off on a large scale, since few people actually want to do the dishes. 🙂 But we could argue the same about pure capitalism and communism too. If you can find an example that has actually worked as ideally envisioned without corruption setting in, please tell us about it.

Anarchy was an important movement in the late 1800s-early 1900s, with such famous proponents as the Russian “anarchist prince” Pyotr Kropotkin and Emma Goldman helping to wake up, rile up, organize, and empower workers and women in America. Kropotkin collected examples of empowered individuals helping one another in community, each according to their ability, in what he called “mutual aid.” My favorite chapter illustrates forms of mutual aid enacted by other-than-human animals. Collaboration among free agents seems to be a foundational principle to life in Earth.

Anarchists were also active in the Resistance during the rise of fascism in Europe and WWII.

But it is far from a new idea: anarchic themes can be readily found in the writing of 6th-century Taoist philosophers Lao Tze and Chuang Tzu.

It is also not simply a historical curiosity: witness contemporary ‘green anarchists’ such as Derrick Jensen and John Zerzan. They say that rather than meaning ‘out of control,’ anarchism actually means ‘not under their control’ – in other words, not allowing oneself to be controlled psychologically and physically by the currently dominant hierarchical, patriarchal paradigm. Instead, an anarchic system is self-organizing, self-regenerating, and mutually beneficial for all involved instead of only benefiting a powerful few. Even while sometimes using violent means to get there, anarchy is, at the heart, a utopian movement.

Food Not Bombs: My Experience

I was part of a self-designated anarchic collective during the early 1990s, Food Not Bombs. This loose-knit band of volunteers successfully fed hundreds of people for free on the streets of San Francisco every day. A regular distribution site was in front of City Hall – in part because that’s where a lot of hungry working-poor and homeless people lived, and also just for visible orneriness. We ran this operation solely on coins donated in a can, when the city itself struggled to do the same in its official capacity on a fat budget. FNB delivered at least one and sometimes two or three meals a day, all made of delicious organic produce and bread that would otherwise have gone to the landfill due to being slightly bruised or past its ‘sell-by’ date. The vegies were collected from food stores in a raggedy van, then cooked into soup by groups gathering in volunteers’ home kitchens. All tools were meticulously cleaned, the cooking was joyful and fun, and the soups came out hot and delicious. We volunteers regularly partook too – a blessing in the life of an impoverished grad student.

FNB volunteers were regularly arrested, due to not having a permit to distribute food. As this costly inconvenience didn’t stop us from continuing the practice, I suppose the commonly held view of anarchists being lawless and out of control proved true. But this was a classic Catch-22 situation: we couldn’t get such a permit because our home kitchens were not regulation restaurant standards. And there was of course no way to make even one of them regulation standard, especially on our donation-can-based budget. I actually felt quite disappointed to never be among those arrested. It was just bad timing, I guess: I was never serving on a day the tables got raided. As one of the group who most loved words, story and rhetoric, I really hoped for the opportunity to speak in court, in the city named after St. Francis, about the ironic, painful injustice of being arrested and facing jail time for the horrible crime of feeding the hungry.

Making decisions with Food Not Bombs wasn’t always easy nor fast, as they were all made by consensus at weekly meetings. This offered my first exposure to decision-making processes that weren’t based on the usual straightforward hierarchical power structure where the ‘boss’ made the rules, nor a nominally democratic voting model that being win/lose, still winds up excluding the minority voices, desires and needs. Decisions at FNB were entirely based on a non-hierarchical consensus model, so were discussed until everyone could agree. You might not get your original first choice, but you would gladly agree to another choice now because it had become clear that this was the best decision for the group at this time.

I loved learning the consensus model of decision-making. I found its formal structures very usable and its processes and outcomes profound. People had their differences, natch, and tempers could fly. But still the soup got made and people got fed. And naive youth like me learned a lot. Leading through example, one elder homeless woman with a keen mind, ratty hair and few teeth who also served as a volunteer helped me recognize and challenge patriarchal norms as they were happening on the ground – even among comrades. I began waking up to ways in which I habitually gave away my own personal power to men. I have also since brought the formal principles of consensus decision making to many other groups.

Food Not Bombs was begun in San Francisco, California by Keith McHenry. It has since grown to have chapters in many cities all over the world and a presence at numerous direct protest actions, music festivals, and other change-making events.

I am proud to say that I have taken part in a successful mission-driven anarchist collective. The experience made me a better person. And I can attest that no bombs were in sight, except in the name. The logo of this peaceful band of anarchists offering “free soup for the revolution” features a carrot in fist instead.


References you might enjoy following up with:

  • Food Not Bombs the organization’s website
  • Goldman, Emma (1908, March 17). A Beautiful Ideal. NOTE: This is a short lecture which Emma Goldman planned to give before the Edelstadt Social at Workingmens’ Hall in Chicago on March 17th, 1908. But she was prevented by Captain Mahoney of Maxwell Street Station, with a squad of about fifty police. Free PDF, courtesy of The Anarchist Library. (Who knew that existed? Finding stuff like this is the best part of writing blog posts!)
  • Kropotkin, Pyotr (1902). Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. NY: McClure, Phillips and Co. NOTE: Please note the age of this publication and forgive him for examples of non-inclusive language that we now have, thankfully, moved past. Free PDF
  • Skirda, Alexandre (2002). Facing the Enemy: A History of Anarchist Organization from Proudhon to 1968. Edinburgh, Scotland: AK Press. NOTE: I just came across this book whilst searching out a free version of Kropotkin for you. So I haven’t yet read it, but want to. Blurb: “Skirda argues that the core problem for anarchists has been to create a revolutionary movement and envision a future society in which the autonomy of the individual is not compromised by the need to take collective action. How anarchists have grappled with that question in theory and practice make up the core of the book.” Free PDF

Finally, thanks to my friend CL Morden for the observation in discussion that anarchy “does not mean doing whatever you want simply because you want it.”


Sounds of the Forest January 6, 2021

An interesting project is afoot: people submitting homemade sound clips from their local forests to contribute to a sound map of the world. The map and attached soundclips are linked below. Maybe folks reading this blog would also like to play? Go out into your local trees and let your phone listen along with your ears. One-minute recordings seem to be the norm.

Some of these are also played on where you can listen to a random forest instead of human talk radio.

I like this use of technology to inspire people to get outside and be silent, listening deeply. Silence is one of those ways we can most easily touch the holy.

“We were taught to sit still and enjoy the silence. We were taught to use our organs of smell, to look when apparently there was nothing to see, and to listen intently when all was seemingly quiet.” — Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Dakota

“May we all grow in grace and peace and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us.” — Thomas Merton

If we had a keen vision of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. — George Eliot, Middlemarch

Regardless if you want to participate in the recording project, please go outside today and listen to the voices of more-than-human world. Even in cities, we can often hear the winds, birds, rustling leaves of trees, and sometimes small beings like crickets. For those of us who love using words in abundance (like me), this simple act can blow your mind and change your life. Entire worlds can be revealed by just listening — and that naturally goes for listening to humans too, especially those who don’t look or think like us. My wise mom used to say we should listen twice as much as we speak; that’s why we have two ears and only one mouth. 🙂