a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Peeling away everything that hurts, madrona bark tastes bitter and smells of other people’s clothes. Fir cones scent my temples. All the moths we touched have died. By sundown the birds will be tucked in their trees, the Salish will cover itself in mist.
A long time ago we believed that the deeper the bruise, the shallower the tide. We scraped bottom on our way to the shore; shredded kelp beds scrubbed tannins from our blood. We were reliable as a weather report, we turned leaves into magpies and mimicked their songs, we followed the creek.
Rachel sang us to sleep when she drank, and because we slept well, she continued to drink, her eyelids morphing from green to gold when we were ten, or tomorrow, and we see what changes the surface, the way, when footsteps approach, frogs tiddlywink to the center of the pond.
Lupine blankets an alpine meadow more slowly than we strip it. Whatever we stand on sinks, like that library with the foundation firm only when empty of books. Moths are combing the skies for our dreams. Morning bells are ringing but we sleep on and on.
Jenifer Browne Lawrence is the author of Grayling (Perugia Press), and One Hundred Steps from Shore (Blue Begonia Press). She is a former editor in chief of an independent literary journal, and enjoyed a multi-decade civil engineering career in urban stormwater management. Lawrence lives in a small seaside community on Puget Sound in Washington State.