Earth Fat

I was working with used machine oil.

Looking for ways to recycle it as art.

Watching it split and curl on water.

When I suddenly saw it as a fat.

Like butter melted, grease that sticks, that makes watertight.

A fat!

As a woman I know about fat.

Those deposits that creep onto my hips and belly, arms and thighs.

Calling me to exercise, to balance out….too much weight.

Religiously reading the, small print, ingredients on today’s packaged nutrients.

Fat per 100 gms.

Starving myself. Detox. Giving my body a break. Drinking only water.

Feels great.

Once I vividly recall seeing my own fat, in a wound that cut deep…

We can all see it now…in operation documentaries…in mammograms…….

Human, creamy, lard.


A ventilated , cold, room in which, once upon a time, there used to hang whole carcasses for a, grateful, knife to carve off blocks of precious, tasty, fat. Raw and unhidden. Fat.

Fat that dribbles glistening down the chins of those that gnaw bones, that keeps them either warm….or obese.

And does not wash out easily.

That stains transparent.

I see the fat that so many parallel mammals seek to build up before winter’s bitter teeth bite in.

Protective, warming, fat.

In some countries viewed as beauty…. as a sign of wealth.

Ganesh dances, wobbling his happy belly, laughing, somewhere far away.

My inner bear shakes its skin in ripples of glorious layered muscle and fat.


We press seeds to glean their nourishing fat.

Squeeze them til only husk remains.

Bottling the produce in graded, filtered, qualities of amber.

That seed’s protection and reserves.

We extract it’s future.

And yet our vanity now fights this build up of reserves in us.

We no longer need it.

We pay to have it sliced away.

Who needs it?

(I wonder where that resource goes!?)

And then I ask whose was it?

The animal’s and seed’s?

Whose fat are we now wearing?

In the fragile, Gaian, systems, we ignore at our peril, nothing goes to waste and all spins in cycles.

Something goes to waist, certainly!

Perhaps this black oil, this crude, black gold….that we extract, cut out, go to war over, what I had previously thought of as her blood, is fat?

The eons of collected layered composting Life?

The Earth’s fat? In molten form, before it hardens to seams of coal.

Her reserve? Stored for when it got colder?

Her timeline knows wonders we will never be privy to.

If I imagine being her, it is being taken faster than I produce it.

Perhaps she is becoming chilled to her very bones.

Physically and through our basic lack of care.

I know what I do when I feel chilled.

I put more layers on.

I move faster, jump about a bit, blow on my hands.

She accelerates to get warmer.

So she changes the heating control. Turns up the dial.

Tunes her flows to warming, for she has to be warm to Live.

If she gets too cold she will die.

I used to believe that the Christians got the teaching of Hell all backwards.

‘Underworlds’, ‘hell fire’, ‘hot’, ‘smokey’, ‘lorded over by Satan’… was an obvious warning not to go there….but then they did.

I clearly saw the bringing up of oil, to fire the planet, as ‘devil worship’.
And to model their ‘fallen angel of evil incarnate’ on the, previously beloved forest dwelling, prankster and lover, Pan, was surely no coincidence……

Now this feeling brings it even closer Home.

It seems we cannot all just stop making the Earth more beautiful in our eyes.

Giving her free liposuction and expecting her to be grateful!

Dancing around our artificial fires, blinded by our genius, creating false idols.

While she demonstrates her suffering in the only way that she has learned how to get our attention!

We cannot put it back.

But we can plant more trees to shade her,

Whose innate generosity we now, increasingly, depend upon.

We can seek out new ways to fire our imaginations

Redefine our definition of ‘power’.

And try and ‘feed the world’ again.

Help her put on a few pounds.

Put a few pounds onto her.

Put a few pounds (££) into her.


Let her begin again to build up her reserves and glow with health

And restored vitality.

A plump, bountiful planet again.

For where was once a firm, fatty, giving nipple,

I see wrinkles and pruning and dryness.

Cracks and violent rashes.

Dry skin and raw patches.

And I understand her molten need to create new virgin land.

Such a birth.

New basalt ground that for millions of years cannot sustain us.

To increase her ocean cloak,

Creating winds to blow her seeds, to create more energy in the failing pump, to fan the fires, to layer the charcoal that makes the coke,

In order to regenerate that fat.

To shake off miners and pipelines and intrusive exploiters.

Perhaps she needs it now, what has been taken.

We cannot put it back.

We are extracting our own future.

In a different way.

Just listening…

Kat Robertson December 2018

photo collage by Barbara Donahue, Treesister.
(made using images of my own moonlight dancing body)

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