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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

Sage Cohen

The Unified Field

A vacuum is not empty.

Stillness is not still.


May we rise again in blueberries

that nourished the bird that nourished


the cat that nourished the coyote.

May the scatter of feathers make a pattern


for navigating the darkness.

Gravity cannot unify the family


before the car hit the guard rail

with after.


May there be some way

to enter, then crawl, then stand


in the son’s empty bedroom

everything just


as he left it.

Generation. Transmission. Integration.


May the hunger that is death that is life feed you.

May what has been taken make way


for what is coming.

May the sun lift the heavy-headed bud.


May the petals give way to the gloss of leaf

to the bare shoulder of winter.


May spring come again.

May the earth hold us rooted and send


the ground up through our feet.

May the women stand together


at the gate, hold hands

and sing.

Dear Redbud,

Today Theo and I collected
your fallen hearts, pressed
them inside of my I Ching where,
like wishes, they will become forever
fixed, vein-stained with their moment
of departure. You were a wedding
gift. It was spring and everything
was possible. Ardent bark
and lustrous leaf, you blazed. Now,
you are tentative, leaning a little
as if resisting the burden
of representation. Shy of color
and circumstance. I want to cover
your bare shoulders, your many
empty arms. As if winter were
something I could spare you.
As if letting go were not
the only way to begin.


Sage Cohen is the author of the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World from Queen of Wands Press and the nonfiction books Fierce on the PageWriting the Life Poetic, and The Productive Writer, all from Writer’s Digest Books. She offers information and inspiration for poets and writers on her website.

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