Volume II Issue II: Earth, Spirit, Society
Section One: Earth
Getting to Black Earth
Poem by Patricia Monaghan
Start with ocean. A shallow sea, populous
with plankton, and giant fish that feed on it.
Let storms and sunlight flash across the sea.
As bodies die, let them drift down to mud.
Then let there be light. And fire. And heaving:
rock on rock. Let the sea sink. Let it
pour away into other, younger seas.
Let the land rest, damp, exhausted, rich.
Now, let ice appear from north and east
and west. Let it move south to form an isle
of green in a sea of snow. Let this happen over
and over and over for half a million years.
Let low pink quartzite hills hold back the ice.
Let lakes appear beyond, inland seas
with coastlines of blue snow. Let eagles float
above the blue and icy waves, fishing.
Now, catastrophe: Let water break
through ice, drowning sleeping bears still
in their caves, and wolves, and fleeing deer, and mice.
Let a great pathway open on the land
marking the pathway of the flood. Let creeks
and rivers deepen crevices in rock,
and gullies form and soften under wind.
Let oaks take root, and shagbark hickory,
and elderberry, yarrow, bee balm, clover,
big and little bluestem, rattlesnake master,
downy gentian, boneset, dogbane, ragweed,
and thickets of sumac, blackberry, blackcap, rose.
Let black soil deepen over limestone seabed
except where it erupts on crowns of hills.
Then, not long ago, let people come.
Start with ocean. End with Black Earth
Section One: Earth – Patricia Monaghan — LaDonna Azziza Redmond — Patricia Hemminger — Elyse Guttenberg
Mike Corum — Lyn Lifshin — Linda Hogan — Shea Daniels — Brenda Peterson — Tricia Knoll — Elizabeth Burk
David Murphy — Wilda Morris — Susan M. Botich — Susan DeFreitas — John Fitzpatrick — Judy Brackett
Karla Linn Merrifield — Janet Smith — Richard Robbins — Cait Johnson — Melissa Tuckey
Section Two: Spirit – Patricia Monaghan — Patricia Spears Jones — Larry Stapleton — Karen Morris
Miriam Robbins Dexter — Mel Kenne — Bee Smith — Starr Goode — John Briggs — Elizabeth Cunningham
Seamus Cashman — Betz King — Mary Dixon — Susan Little — Fiona Marron — Scott Hightower
Muadhnait Loideán — Nané Ariadne Jordan — Judith Roche
Section Three: Society – Patricia Monaghan — Patrick Cook — Siobhán Daffy — Jan Levine Thal
Dick Romeo Matshaba — Janice D. Soderling — Wes Rehberg — Lauren Camp — Liam Heneghan
Susan Ross — William Doreski — Jeffrey Betcher