a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
May, 2015 The estuary is in constant motion an ever shifting landscape converging currents ripple mercury shimmer scribbles of foam undulate along leading edges. A black water river the Cape Fear clear yet stained dark with tannins slips through forested swamps. Channels converge outside my hotel window, mix with salt surging up the intracoastal waterway. The plan was to locate and study documents plat maps, wills diaries, slave rolls but the river catches me won’t let me go. A very early subtropical storm hangs offshore. Ana small in stature yet fierce enough to be named. Acres of marsh grass billow and sway brilliant green in a rain splattered landscape. A NOAA ship scribes lazy circles in the river. Two days I watch and then all at once I have to go to the ocean. I’ve never chased storms before but something deep in my chest pulls me down the string of barrier beaches to Bald Head Island. Laughing gulls and grackles jam with the gale a gawky surfer paces barefoot along the breakwater sand streams across my ankles mountains of clouds climb the sky.
Suzannah Dalzell lives on Whidbey Island north of Seattle where she divides her time more or less equally between writing and land conservation. Her poems have appeared in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Pilgrimage Magazine, EarthSpeak, and Raven Chronicles. Currently Suzannah is working on a book length collection of poems that explores the ways in which her ancestors impacted the American landscape over the last 375 years.