a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
labyrinths and children cry in cages. In our country we make lists:
what to buy at the grocery store, which dust cauldron we clean today,
how many of the homeless die of neglect. There is something pale written
on the back of my hand. A map. Or the word sea. Or only the blue veins
of my own existence. I sit on the couch and think about climate change,
believe in the dazzle of young girls, in the waggle of sunflame
on upturned faces. On my list of things to do today, six items.
There is a chance I will neglect them all. My heart is a salt bag that bursts
where water tongues the beach. In our country the sinewy branches
of trees cry. I am guilty of living in a house of boards. My table once
tree. My desk. My hands like birds. Everywhere feathers. And yet
I move through the escape-route-width day, unclip my mind.
The weather channel says no rain, only wool clouds, stern wind,
long, slow blowing air, come to rest in clipped grass, to spin again,
dispassionate, over the ruined rooftops of our country.
Judy Kaber is the current Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine. Her poems have been published in journals such as Atlanta Review, december, and Spillway. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest in 2009, second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Contest, and the Maine Poets Society Contest, 2021. Her poems also appear in the following anthologies: Enough: Poems of Resistance and Protest, Wait: Poems from the Pandemic, and Balancing Act2: An Anthology of Poems by Fifty Maine Women. She has three chapbooks: Renaming the Seasons, In Sleep We Are All the Same and A Pandemic Alphabet.