a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Reverse, and all that energy backs up
And forces Itself in the opposite direction,
Filling us up with shame and sickness.
Then the ascetic holy man dynamites
The sculptures he used to pray before.
And the spurned lover tosses acid
On the beauty queen, his former wife.
And the novice painter, maddened by her master’s
Gift, slashes x’s in his canvas with a knife.
And the outdoorsman who used to love
The Appalachian highlands makes a deal
To blow the insides from a mountain
To efficiently extract some gas, and kills
The ancient beauty of the verdant,
Untouched holler his company stole it from.
I wonder how he sleeps at night, killer
Of beauty, murderer of life. He should
Watch that online video of the West Virginia
Man whose county has been fracked.
How beautiful the drinking water is, tumbling
From his kitchen tap. You can’t even see
The methane pouring down unseen, inside
The stream until he strikes a wooden match
And extinguishes it inside the flow to produce
A mushroom cloud of orange flame that bursts
And sizzles in the air he steps back from, shielding
His children, dazzled – as anyone would be—
By the beautiful vision of burning water.
Kate Daniels’ most recent book of poetry is A Walk in Victoria’s Secret. She lives in Nashville where she teaches at Vanderbilt, and serves as director of creative writing.