The Miasmas

Around the turn of the 20th century, there were no medical facts regarding what sort of disease,virus, or bacteria lurked in the bloodstreams of insects that spawned in swamps.  The weather itself, the climate, was thought to be the bearer of illness. It was known as the “miasmas”, a foul air that lingered in tropical tarns, an atmosphere created by heat, humidity, and rotting vegetation. Food spoils, the air is heavy, nothing dries out, the flowers droop with the constant beating of rain, a short walk with the dogs bring mosquitoes to ears eyes nose and neck. There is mildew and it’s coming for your things .

The miasmas, I think, has not been discounted by the discovery of microscopic entities. There is a “presence” in this sunless steam. The ground is full, she cannot hold water anymore, she has closed herself to hold on to any oxygen remaining. The teaming cities of microbes and bacteria that depend on oxygen are in a state of emergency. Minute rivers have flooded their banks, and small insects and worms are now refugees, seeking higher ground. It is just not me, or you, the ground itself is praying for some sun and a fresh breeze, for air. But the miasma sits like a cloud within a cloud, messing with your moods .

In the small town across the state highway, they are lining up for the Greensboro Funky Fourth, a small parade of wonderful folks, Bread and Puppet, a lawn chair contingent, barbecue, music, babies, dogs ,and summer people. Flags everywhere, New England and New Englanders full of the self satisfaction of being a wonderful inclusive part of americana, lawyers and loggers eating hotdogs together, but never really together, you know what I mean?

The sun breaks through, the clouds won’t give. There is a reason we love the matching of yellow and gray, it brings relief to the eyes, that go directly to the spirit. Dispelling the pollution of the miasma, I will wipe the surfaces with a diluted bleach solution, I will light the soy candle of coriander and rosemary, I will light an incense stick, and pick the wild daisies and think of myself as a missionary.


One thought on “The Miasmas”

  1. Wishing the hazy, rainy, overcast and chilly days would yield to the sun here in July on the Outer Cape. Am very much in the same water craft as my sister–a true poet.


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