a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
They ask such questions now.
The afternoon news program
tells me stars are disappearing—
we manufacture day all night,
egos unstitching the darkness.
I am so amazed at the times
I’m actually alive. My answers
about war and bad men sound
like platitudes. A coastal disaster
far from this farmland, living
in a creaky house I didn’t build,
drinking water from a well
I didn’t dig. I am so amazed
at all the times my children are alive—
like snow over the ocean,
aurora borealis, a mirror mountain
lake made from a volcano.
They open mouths, hands,
belief-spaces to swallow my analogies
for headlines as we zip through town,
their round faces in rearview reflection,
another question surging,
the next wave washing the scraps
of shell farther from my useless hand.
Silence is never an answer until it is.
escaping the flat blue foundry of the Mojave.
Feeling sick half way there, I wonder where
the land will end and where to go from there.
Couples loop sordid promises on bathroom stalls
across the ample interstates of America.
Vacationing planes painted like killer whales
sink toward the airport with jet echolocation,
disturbing my windowpanes and sleep.
Without meaning to, I write Lost Angeles.
Wind in the green paradise of fronds imitates
the spatter of rain. The days after the rain,
those are beautiful also, but there is no rain.
Off the coast the Pacific is dark all the way across,
even over the Great Garbage Patch, our plastic,
our purchases. The lights ascend as passengers
touch down. Sometimes a flower is so striking,
it doesn’t need to bother with scent.
We’ll approach curiously, just for the beauty.