Section One: Earth

Volume II Issue II: Earth, Spirit, Society

 
Section One: Earth
 
 

Alaska Range

Alaska Range


 
 
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
 
 
 

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Volume II Issue II:
 
Earth, Spirit, SocietyFull Table of ContentsCreditsEditor’s Note

Section One: Earth – Patricia MonaghanLaDonna Azziza RedmondPatricia HemmingerElyse Guttenberg
Mike CorumLyn LifshinLinda HoganShea DanielsBrenda PetersonTricia KnollElizabeth Burk
David MurphyWilda MorrisSusan M. BotichSusan DeFreitasJohn FitzpatrickJudy Brackett
Karla Linn MerrifieldJanet SmithRichard RobbinsCait JohnsonMelissa Tuckey

Section Two: Spirit – Patricia MonaghanPatricia Spears JonesLarry StapletonKaren Morris
Miriam Robbins DexterMel KenneBee SmithStarr GoodeJohn BriggsElizabeth Cunningham
Seamus CashmanBetz KingMary DixonSusan LittleFiona MarronScott Hightower
Muadhnait LoideánNané Ariadne JordanJudith Roche

Section Three: Society – Patricia MonaghanPatrick CookSiobhán DaffyJan Levine Thal
Dick Romeo MatshabaJanice D. SoderlingWes RehbergLauren CampLiam Heneghan
Susan RossWilliam DoreskiJeffrey Betcher

Closing Poem – Patricia Monaghan