a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
In late fall a crown shall be touched by fire & open its seed to a disturbance of soilbare of duff & longstrawa son shall standin a caustick heatbury his roots deep & though the life veins of his needles flow brownhe shall rest in a catena of heartwood
an understory of three-awned hope
a night of lightning strike & ember
then rainfall upon xeric sandhills& earth shall be humid with fand & rust& he shall offer gall to philodoxa son shall stand in the forest of his seedstock shall rise like a candle from the burnt soil
shall grow toward the sunlight & he shall not reach out his limbsfor his heart unberghed to fire
his flesh thin above cambriumin flames he shall reach toward me & stand
he shall call on the name of his lord god
he shall survive blight & offer his handhe shall squeeze his yellow flesh into the light & he shall turn white & grown& as my arms bare he shall cover me in his shadehe shall stand by my reddened heart& he shall reach as a striver into my soil & he shall bring our fathers into his own.
by my white snag of skeleton
he shall live when I burn
Brent House, an editor for The Gulf Stream: Poems of the Gulf Coast and a contributing editor for The Tusculum Review, is a native of Necaise, Mississippi, where he raised cattle and watermelons on his family’s farm. Slash Pine Press published his first collection, The Saw Year Prophecies, and his poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, The Journal, Third Coast, and The Kenyon Review.