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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

Susan M. Botich

Pearl moon

rests against night’s dark breast—
a jewel turned inside the vastness
of tides incomprehensible,
light through the trees, into the grass
and the houses where we sleep
within ourselves.

And, there amid the white pin-prick tears
set into the fabric that is
draped across night’s shoulders, moon,
stretching out beyond its circle,
ebb and flow, swells
into the sectioned windowpanes, glances

against the crystal, hanging,
reaches across the floor’s simple flatness
and creates
new stillness, a returning of memory,
atoms formed before the universe was
into its edgeless arrangement.

Arctic Moon

Sun at midnight, drowses close
to the western horizon,
distant Chugach mountains.
All around our little log home,
air exhales, thick with wild grass, pine.

Sky, blue, air, blue
and yellow, deepening,
in silence.

Sun dips below the horizon,
takes one long breath, then
surfaces again above
the ridgeline, buoyant,
summer solstice enthused.

We go inside
to, ourselves, dip
down below.

Under a pastel sheet, an old quilt,
and the horizon of waking.
We will stay longer,
submerged. Longer than that
arctic summer moon.

We will sink below
our horizons.
Drink the water of dreams;

fly over the Talkeetna range,
the Susitna flow, into the hills
where fiddle-head ferns curl
like sleeping snakes.
We go inside,

climb the stairs, close the heavy
drapes against the golden arctic moon-
light, drift as stars, unseen.

Susan M. Botich has published poetry in Margie, The American Journal of Poetry, Rattlesnake Review, The Meadow, The Danse Macabre, Illya’s Honey, Wildflower Magazine, The Tonopah Review, Avocet and The Inflectionist Review. She enjoys writing in structured verse as well as free verse. She has lived in California, Alaska, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Minnesota, Nevada and, most recently, beautiful Bend, Oregon. She also writes for magazines and news publications as a freelance journalist.


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