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

Karla Linn Merrifield

Asleep, I’m Preoccupied
with cartoon elephants, the shriveled
Babars who shuffle in my dreams;
their grotesque pooplets
makes stinky-poo from a diet
of moolah, diapers do nada to stop it;
and with bulbous Play-doh dollies
who crowd behind my eyelids, twisted
kewpies in multi-hued pinstripes,
blobby fists stuffed full
of itsy-bitsy c-notes;
and with Erector® Set robocops
motorized, accessorized—
teeny-weeny tear gas canisters,
toonsy-woonsy rubber bullet belts,
mini metal semi-automatics.
Awake, I occupy a poem
and my crone’s mind is not playing games;
all those little Legos® monsters
of the dark side are no contest.
The dragon heart is provoked.
Karla Linn Merrifield is a seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence who has had nearly 300 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. Her books include The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press) and Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology: 99 Poets among the 99%, which she co-edited for FootHills Publishing. Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry is Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye ( Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at


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