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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section One Earth

Cait Johnson

invocation to the balance
I call the secret society of earth
burrowing insects brokering dung to dirt
and rhizomes a scribbled streetmap underground
erupting in mushrooms
mushrooms sprouting, a pod of aliens, on damp hay bales
cocky intruders in sidewalk cracks
I call mosquitoes filled with blood
bat bellies filled with mosquitoes
the bloom of white-nose fungus
I call the tick and the spirochete
a golden heap of dead bees scooped with both
hands like grains of pollen or chaff
and behind them the sterile crops
I call up the balance
I call the cows and the poisoned corn
vats of drugs that keep them only half-alive
I call out the profit of poisons
drugs on the screen drugs in the veins
half-humans raised to work and buy
work and buy
I call up the balance
Cait Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of the Black Earth Institute and faculty for the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program. She has a private practice as a creative counselor, is the published author of six works of spirit-based creative non-fiction, and writes and directs slightly surreal performance pieces in the Hudson Valley of New York, where she worships the river.





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