a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
We exist as one organic miracle linked to others —E.O. Wilson
I cut strips out of whatever the day gives me: Pieced cloth. Swatch. Remnant.
In this way, I graze fingertips across the day’s ridge and swamp, assemble
a creaturely mood or remaining habitat: scrub jay, grasshopper sparrow,
gopher frog, or sometimes toppling statue, thrusting fist, shouting voice.
My weave is a notebook for diamond light—flashing mirror, S.O.S.
The silent throat speaks like this, can sing pillar or bract into vermillion ensemble.
A day’s thread forms itself until I can name it, touch it: That one, a summer sunset
but with last year’s danger in it. This one, tanager trills, cardinal clicks, twigs like wishbones.
Into and through, into and through, the edges do the weaving work. Some days,
I can decide: This morning will have a loaf of bread in it, the company of an old friend,
and my first memory of fruit—a tangerine divided into sections on a blue plate.
Other days, the weave is a tunnel adjusted for light, a vine in lurch of wanting,
a canyon of cactus promising, you will feel this. And I do—hour by parched hour,
a needling awareness of forevermore: slendering threads of tributaries, filaments
of roots on fire. And everywhere, plunging populations of birds and butterflies,
most of which I don’t yet notice. Today in my yard, another paper wasp dismembers
yet another caterpillar and fire ants carry off a monarch. Over slip of sand, tumult
of pebble, the ants drag and hoist their dead treasure, its exquisite cathedral
of wings tattered but intact. If the mood is right, I marvel at their journey—
Look at how they pull that chamber of light right down into the earth.
Aliesa Zoecklein has poems published in Entropy, Copper Nickel, Posit, Seventh Wave, and Split Rock Review among others. In 2014, her chapbook At Each Moment, Air won the Peter Meinke Award and was published by YellowJacket Press. Aliesa lives with her wife in Gainesville, Florida, where she teaches writing at Santa Fe College.