a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
blue hour tin-scraped with cicadas my hand lifts the curtain cloth and light spills its ghosts inside wooden bodies a hovering of marionettes white rain dogwood blossoms between cheat river and witcher creek, fields of abandoned furniture, wood glazed with beeswax ruin written we follow deactivated logging routes to the gorge bridge sleep on confederate gravestones, bins of dead sunflowers the old ones come to us, dragged forward by their shadows, their voices left to creak in the kitchen pipework they come through the ruined apple orchards, they sink, swaying in the orchards, feet heavier, feet, bruised into rootsong they know these are the last of days and so I take their hands, kiss them and my hands hold dead leaves / moths constellate the charred roof with silences dusty stars you adrift here, this between-ness of things and I could not reach to you. your shadow left in the coal heap like the other gandy dancers hills unfold to hills grey on grey in the cotton fields, an accumulation of absences. in the woodcutter’s forest, the rose-smoke of burning ghosts everything dreams dissolution and there is no knowing of place to endure there between voice and landscape is to walk your desire is where the garden of the real might blossom whole moons, remedies, knowing. you say: we will drown of false translations. water is its own heavy meaning. tracelessness. and river-systems die out though you walk the maple ridges for centuries you come no closer to what is here will have no articulate word left to hold when the first names disappeared, sight followed then the landscape the light falling, becoming language language without tense the coarsened linens of our bodies left soaking the aftersilence
Steffi Lang lives a quiet existence on the very tip of a mountain in rural Appalachia. Her work has been published by Corbel Stone, Existere, and Rust + Moth, among others. She can be found at http://mothwood.tumblr.com.