a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
The land and the startled faces there
And the shifting sands of the quivering
A mother touches the small face of her
Newborn and her love is the first chapter
Of many more to follow.
Children reach out to explore the
Vastness about them and their busy
Fingers touch sunlight and shadow,
The softness of a pet’s fur, how
Shapes become the words of
In what became the land of the
Free and brave, indigenous people
And slaves freed or not have known
The touch of flame and noose
Even as the words of piety
Fade into hate and venom.
Whole neighborhoods razed
By the torch, mothers’ cries
For their lost ones unwritten
On the careful books of
The bullets spit their fire
Into the backs of the
Unwanted and knees
press with force against
Until all breath is gone.
So Many so many.
Hope and despair and anger
Seethe in such a world and
What is to be done.
Now the steps of marchers
Touch the blood bruised streets
And words shake free of old
Evasions enshrined in statuary
And a flag too long lofted
Above the intent believers.
Now is the time we say.
Now is the time.
Doug Bolling’s poetry has appeared in Posit, Kestrel, The Inflectionist Review, Albatross, Fox Cry Review, The Missing Slate (with interview), Common Ground Review, and Chaffin Journal among others. He has received Best of the Net and Pushcart nominations and several awards, most recently the Mathiasen Award from the University of Arizona’s Humanities Publication Harmony Magazine for the poem “Body and Soul.” A native of Kentucky, he has had published short fiction and poetry set in Appalachia relating to the damages from coal mining and other causes. He has taught at academic institutions in Kentucky and the Midwest and lives in the greater Chicago area.