a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
at the base of the mountains
are not like those in Washington who can’t agree
again this morning
like the cigarette in his friend’s hand will always be
the cigarette in his friend’s hand
as Romania is always his country, even if
the last king died in exile and he or someone
like him flicks a lighter
and smokes it all the way down to the filter.
There will always be another Romania, just not his,
with its faith and walls
and benches. They never call the barn cats
that come, asses bobbing across a paste of snow,
to the click of a door latch.
They bend their spines to the soft sickle
of palms, purring for nothing like water
which sluices down a logging chain
his friend fixed to the eaves, dripping snowmelt
from its dangled hook,
filling a depressed stone like an IV. He can’t remember
who said, “If you make enough money to live
here, you’re rich.” They meant
itsy bitsy cows set against a mountain, pastorals
no one has to paint.
Recipient of Writing in the Wild and Centrum Writers’ Conference fellowships from the University of Idaho, E. A. Greenwell was the 2016-2017 PEN/Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Terrain.org, Moss and other magazines and journals. He lives in Northeast Oregon, where he works with tribes, NGOs, government entities and private landowners to conserve land.