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

Laura Grace Weldon


Bear Inside

I dream a weary-eyed brown bear
tries to hibernate under my ribs,
gently pushing organs aside
with his large paws.
I try to make room but
his burrowing wakes me.

Now, thoughts claw at me.
I need to plan my new class,
plant chard, better support
my saddest friend. And why did I
say what I shouldn’t have? Probably
too much wine, but hard to cut back

when smug men flirt with fascism,
play Russian roulette with the climate.
I despair of our species while also
heartened by a tweet showing people
arms circled, singing for hours
to protect a family from ICE.

Their voices, amplified by ugly structures
common here in the Anthropocene,
echo in my heart’s chambers.
I can’t get back to sleep
but am glad of the bear’s company
in these quiet hours before dawn.


White Regards Itself

Pond a sky-dimmed pearl
against snow’s white throat.
Sweet alyssum wilted,
crickets silenced,
bees crumpled
at the hive’s bleak entrance.

Somewhere under white’s cold grip
color waits, even though
white regards itself as
the sum of all possible colors,
even though white regards all else
as the exception.

Watch the sycamore render an opinion.
Her leaves are a satisfying brown, larger
than any hand. See how she saves them
till now, sets them free to cover the snow.
See how each one rests there,
dark as the strongest promise
palm curled, waiting.

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Laura Grace Weldon has published two poetry collections, Blackbird (Grayson 2019) and Tending (Aldrich 2013), with a third due out soon. She was named 2019 Ohio Poet of the Year. Laura is a book editor whose background includes teaching nonviolence, leading abuse survivor support groups, and writing collaborative poetry with nursing home residents.



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