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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

Wilda Morris

To Be a Wave
         After William Stafford
You must give yourself
to the ocean, rise and fall
in an ever-changing dance
with the horizon. You must hold
fish in your heart, let them glide
in schools under your ribs,
let gulls and pelicans dive
through your furrowed skin,
egrets wade at the edge of your shallows.
You must let the moon pull you
to sand, to rocks, pull you away
from solid land when it will.
You must be yourself as you crest,
surfers riding you to shore,
then dissolve into the vast blueness
where life began and still begins.
Gulf of Mexico, June 2010: Cento Lament
         For Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
open ocean
foreboding gray pallor
tinged with
rainbowlike sheen
dead fish
juvenile sea turtle
clinging to
sargassum seaweed
soaked in rust-colored crude
and chemical dispersant
flying fish      stuck
hundred-foot flames
sending plumes of smoke skyward
in ebony mushrooms
There are no birds.
Wilda Morris has won awards for free verse and formal poetry and haiku, including a 2009 Pushcart nomination. She has led poetry workshops for children and for adults in three states, including workshops at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin. Wilda’s book, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published by Rockford Writers’ Guild Press. Her poems have found homes in a large number of publications including The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Calendar,” Christian Science Monitor, Chaffin Journal, Frogpond, and The Kerf. Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge at provides a poetry contest for other poets each month. At least once a month, Wilda writes a blog, “Walking with Nature,” for the online newspaper, The Bolingbrook Patch.





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