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

Karla Linn Merrifield

Karla Linn Merrifield
for too long, but usher in—
on stealth bombers—
the era of gasp, the everyday
debacles of 2012—summer solstice
eve—and dashes help convey—
ohmigod— the nature
of pepper spray— no innocent
vegetable— and— damn!—
climate change; rush
into metaphors—suicide missions—
so that the frackin’ trope— rape;
allusions— slavery; illusions—
mercy— translate abrupt leaps
of poetic faith.
Long Strange Climate Trip
Yesterday afternoon at Site #2 I dropped
pink windowpane acid, tripped out
at Monument Lake in the national preserve.
Blake le Tent blew over and away,
my camp chair came to an abrupt end leaving
me with wind, clouds, a rainbow sun
and the water’s blue circumcised eye.
I climbed the fully erectile cell tower.
I moved into a pendulous breast gourd martin house.
I discussed the fortunes of the planet
with a recombinant saurian.
Time flew northward on blue heron wings.
Suddenly I was airborne,
a cypress seed planted far into the future
as far north as I could imagine going
from the Everglades and remain
on the North American continent.
Far, far out. Over far eons.
the boreal
the temperate deciduous
the subtropical wetland
where I took root,
I grew on Ellesmere Island—
above the Arctic Circle
What was once
the world of ice
is the world ending in fire.
I stand alone in my dome,
last tree on Earth,
burned alive, burned alive.
Karla Linn Merrifield, an eight-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has had some 400 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has ten books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry is Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North. Her Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills) received the 2009 Eiseman Award for Poetry and she recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber – The Contemporary West in 2012. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye, a member of the board of directors of TallGrass Writers Guild and Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at


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