a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
steaming pools above a swift river.
You came here for a respite from marches and protests,
a reprieve from the news
of the savaging of the republic
but all the strangers in the hot tubs
who usually confide their
yoga injuries and cleansing diets
are clamoring fear
So you hole up in your cabin
alone. Hiking at sunset you see
five ravens swoop through the cedars on the way to their roost
and you feel the thrust of their wings in your own chest
and taste their acrid cries in your throat.
Then deep in the night you awaken
to silence, aware
of the ravens out there in the trees
with their wings banked around the coals of their hearts
and their bright minds
for fellow humans is complicated
by creeps. Even corvids will pillage a nest.
At dawn the ravens rush back from the deeper forest,
their voices haranguing whoever still sleeps.
Black wings flaring with sunrise, they drive
the night back into hiding
for another day.
Charles Goodrich’s poems and essays have appeared in Orion, Northwest Review, Willow Springs, The Sun, and Best Essays Northwest among many other publications, and a number of his poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on “The Writer’s Almanac.” He also co-edited the volume In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens. Charles is the author of three volumes of poems, Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden, Insects of South Corvallis, and, just out from Silverfish Review Press, A Scripture of Crows, and a collection of essays about nature, parenting, and building their house, The Practice of Home.