Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

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

Section 5

Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll
Elemental List of Questions

After Pablo Neruda

In the Oort Cloud of imaginings, what is the outermost vision you dare hold?
When city dwellers no longer see stars, do planetariums sells tickets to movies of the Paris night?
Will Sundays become the day for free admission to monarch museums for children in strollers and babes in arms?
How will parents explain birds they no longer see?
If we had only the light of fireflies to live by, would we burn prayers at altars?
Did star worship begin with sun bathing, sun saluting or midnight lovemaking?
Who invented the golf that bounces balls off solar panels?
When wells run dry, will you drink diet cola or mojitos?
Who stole the scryer’s pool and the dowser’s wand to sell on the black market?
As ocean levels rise, will whales sing at the Metropolitan? Will states fund pre-school swimming instruction and lifeguards?
Who unplugs the ocean when plastic clogs the drains?
Will dry riverbeds become skateboard parks or war memorials?
When you hold your feelings at bay, what still pool reflects your face?
What rushes the tidal bore forward beside parallel extinction timelines?
When king tides grow as sea levels rise, who pays the royalties?
In the valleys of rain shadows, do farmers water gourds with the shadows of tears?
How many kerf cuts does it take to sway a sapling mind?
When teacups rattle in the cupboard, do homeowners assume there is a whole lot of fracking going on?
What is the golden rule for living on a bluff?
Does traffic jam taste like sloe berries or aluminum foil?
Who developed the smartphone app showing the real-time global position of the last black rhino?
How does a graffiti tagger learn about the bower bird?
When fuel-less cars strand on the roads, will their backseats become classrooms?
When bees no longer pollinate fruit trees, what substitutes for making lemonade?
When you open a zoology textbook’s table of contents, do you turn first to the list
of has-beens or to the musical score of creation?
Which is more deadly – the buffalo jump or the lover’s leap?
At the closing curtain of the end of days, will there be wild applause, calls for encores,
or the frantic scurry of ushers to recycle programs?
Tricia Knoll Knoll is an Oregon poet. Her chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press) addresses how humans and wildlife interact in urban habitat. Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press) mixes lyric and eco-poetry about a small town on Oregon’s coast, Manzanita, Oregon. Website:


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin