[The following is original poetry by Michaela Mujica-Steiner on ecofeminism and her journey toward aiming to cultivate a feminist relationship with the earth, interspersed with self-portraits]
We Play God
The mountain knows how we play God.
Knows how we judge its’ uncultivated curves as flawed.
Building up what we hold as supreme, monochrome houses model an assembly line.
This mountain grieves with tears of nitrate poisoning runoff as we blast another mine.
And stick another breathing box on a goddess who whispers in flowers.
A history where husbands pay the bills and wives clean up after a ranking of powers.
Suburbia. This expansion makes species in danger as we globalize societies abroad.
Scorching indigenous matriarchal cultures, parasitic armies infect this earth body, inspiriting sons.
In contrast, daughters’ fertile ovaries are habituated into a price.
Not heeding to her own insight, blindly mandated to serve men’s advice,
She is instantly property, with an inequitable access and amount of privilege over resources.
Unequal access to power tools and gendered forces.
One with the manipulation of Gaia and livestock, patriarchies murder animals for fun, along with souls.
Polluting cycles, deregulating seasons, suffocating the atmosphere until there is no call, this machine is dulling purifying floods,
Genetically modifying ancient bloods.
The fire of hope fades from our eyes,
As our generation watches our future’s demise.
Dividing from my roots with the pierce of a razor.
Cleaving a meat fringe, wings endless, pine needles rolling off bark skin, detaches my figure from nature.
My authentic self is but a dreamy ghost; a severance from feral nature can be my heroin for the witching hour.
Dominating my only notion of self, I shave, clear- cutting each hair follicle flower.
Unnatural glossy plastic legs attune to this disordered beauty industry.
Eyebrows yanked, hair eliminated to mask myself, I nourish this homicidal system fiscally.
Here, I start to go visionless. Purposeless.
Miserable, through domesticated forcefulness.
Civilization after civilization, a fresh prey is captured thus insanity recurs.
For as one cell of oppression morphs into two, interminable forms explode as all life is killed.
Is our sexual reproduction.
Driving me to delve further down this rabbit hole,
To feed my malnourished soul.
Pinning Down Meaning: It is Already Here
Blue dotted lines, infringements and bloodied stains on dead tree skins,
Are colored in and masked by the tap of a pen.
The forest feels my mark,
The inspiration for some zealous creative spark.
It is here that I write with mourning,
Trying to find some handcuffed voice.
I write to the producers, consumers, assumers, decision-makers,
By giving the reader a moral choice.
It is here that I write to identify, quantify, and categorize some rendition
of what’s real,
I write to tune in, turn on, drop out, and kill time.
It’s the open spout that unbolts a beating heart,
An ethereal vessel containing rage, fondness, yearning, and a willingness to
It is here I write to star lit lovers,
bodies electric with quantum magnetic magic.
I write to remember us together,
To be serenaded by thoughts that translate into feelings
that wondrously rhyme.
It is also here that I write to make my voice more than a number on a ballot box,
I write to my sins, secrets, passions, troubles, and I find
solace when I confess.
Words help me pin down meaning,
Onto the page, they reflect my true being like illuminated