April 4, 2022

This Season, MZD has commissioned poets to respond to the work created by dance artists. Thinking about dance through poetry adds a different perspective to the work and opens up conversation between artists in their creative practice.

Mary Pinkoski’s poem Behold, Your Disaster: A Praise Song is in response to Gerry Morita’s work The Real Disaster Show.

The Real Disaster Show is April 29 and 30 – 8PM MT


Behold, Your Disaster: A Praise Song

by Mary Pinkoski


And, I heard the forest fire speak:

When I am consumed by burning,

my body knows only desire


Yet, the word disaster did not roar from the mouth of the forest


And, I heard the hurricane speak:

When I am a centrifuge of elements

my body knows only frenzy


Yet, the word climate did not whip from the mouth of the hurricane


And, I heard the last glacier speak:

When I am emptying myself of myself

my body knows only disappearing


Yet, the word crisis did not drip from the meltwater mouth of the glacier


Disaster                                   Disaster                                   Disaster

Climate                                    Climate                                    Climate

Crisis                                       Crisis                                       Crisis


If this is disaster could it be holy?

If this is climate could it be holy?

If this is crisis could it be holy?


Sing the earth strong

Sing blessed be the stand of trees consumed in flame

Sing sacred is the force of wind and waves

Sing hallowed is the void of the final glacier


Sing the earth strong again and again

Until the burning forest is holy

Until the hurricane is holy

Until the last glacier is holy


In praise of the living,

Go whisper to an ember the story of ancient beings

crowded together in a vast breathing network

Inhale the spine of a branch of pine needles and stretch

into the complex arterial pathways of yourself

Exhale the thick moss of a memory so the ember knows

there was a time when we rested



In praise of the living,

Go shout to the gust of swirling wind and waves the story

of the gentle pull of the tide the forebearer of movement

Gulp that salty, moon-filled brine letting it stir your anger

Scream the frenzy of the fury of a forcibly displaced water


In praise of the living,

Go pray to the weeping block of ice the psalm

of the frozen solidity of redemption

Close your mouth around the communion of a melting ice particle

Open your mouth to the hallelujah shelf of ice receding

Let the ice know there is mercy even in disappearing

An anointing in the space where you once were


In praise of the living,

Go sing the earth strong

Go tell them never did the earth once speak disaster


In praise of the living,

Go tell them that we only spoke crisis


In praise of the living:

Forgive them

Go now sing strong the praise of the living

Sing now this holy inheritance


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