The philosophy of "Regeneration Poem" is most clearly embedded in its second stanza:
You say, world is a forest on fire.
We become wolves that shape river’s course.
While I could say more about the parallel play in these two lines, for now, in brief:
"The world is a forest on fire" is a quote from Advaita philosopher, Sankara.** The metaphysics of Advaita Vedanta rejects the embodied experience as illusory--the world, which is maya, is conceptualized as something to be left behind on the quest for liberation.
To this, the poem's response is transfiguration—which is an embodied experience, and must be experienced through the body, and the body's being in the world.
"We become wolves that shape river’s course."
I was thinking here of Women Who Run With the Wolves, the influential tract from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés that argues so well that we are nature, and in recovering this we find the vitality that restores us/the world.
I was also thinking of a real story about wolves and rivers described by Peter Wohlleben in his book, The Secret Wisdom of Nature. Wolves reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park did change the course of rivers. The ecosystem responds to every part of the complex interconnections within nature.
We are part of the wild/world, which is more of an interconnected ecosystem than we humans sometimes acknowledge. Via, and being present to our interconnectedness, we can contribute to the communal functioning of the world in equal measure to our ability to cause destruction, create fires.
Do we leave the world behind in our quest for liberation? Or, do we become One embracing all-that-is—self, body, earth, cosmos? Do we embrace a metaphysics of the non-dual that excludes nothing—a consciousness that both begins from and returns to nothing, even as it fully enjoys and is present to the form/ation stirring into life, unfurling from stage to stage? For non-dual Tantra, this is the primordial dance. The rhythm is familiar to our animal body. Cognitive awareness can only try to get at the wisdom. The recursive journey of liberation happens right here in the world as we engage with it.
Listen to Regeneration Poem:
**Incidentally, I first came across this quote in a poem by Meena Alexander, "Fragile Places."