a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
For Dr. Rob Unsworth
when the hand-hewn riverboat
leaves, and the fly fisherman who
built her, water knows, mourns
in gathering ripples of what once was.
Perhaps the sky feels it too, vacant
of flight. Weighted clouds hover over
the scene bleak as a field left fallow.
Even the absent vessel’s wake folds
and refolds over itself as it considers
what’s lost, never to come again.
Certainly Mallard, Moorhen, and otter
recognize the scent of absence,
as well as steelhead, bluegill,
redfin shiner, even Muskie taste
empty’s bitter flavor, likewise
wheatgrass, wildrye, willow moss,
duckweed sense the missing. Surely
dragonfly, backskimmers, wood frog,
and spring peepers must perceive it, too.
No doubt trees shudder to their roots
along the banks. Fungus, fanwort,
lichen, and microbes pulse underwater
to the harmony of grief. The landscape’s
heaviness melts into might-have-beens
into the ether, ashen and grey. A certain
kind of beauty in the unknowing
of a thing, river breath rising into mist.
Carol Taylor Was grew up in the heart of Detroit, studied at Wayne State University, taught school, camp counseled special needs children in the summers, prepared bones at Cranbrook Institute of Science, and raised three children with her husband in Plymouth, MI. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Natural Bridge, and many others. She’s been nominated for Pushcart and Best New Poets. Carol writes and walks miles every day.