ISSUE 10 | 2021 Environmental Arts and Literature Magazine
eno Magazine is a student publication founded in 2011. eno’s name comes from the Eno River in North Durham. The Eno River derives its name from the original inhabitants of the land, the Eno people, who by the late 1700’s had merged with the present-day, federally recognized Catawba Nation. The modern day Catawba Nation tribal lands are located in York County, South Carolina. At a broader scale, eno’s name reflects our connection to the places where we live, work, and play. To that end, we acknowledge the important work of the Eno River Association in preserving the natural and cultural legacies of the Eno River Basin and the many people and organizations around the world engaged in similar work. Editors: Angela Hessenius, Aubrey Knier, Ayse Trail, Bea Smith, Catherine Brenner, Claire Huang, Grace Chan, Hannah Smith, Helen Lu, Irene Park, Karen Gilbert, Kathleen Mason, Margaret Morrison, Max Hermanson,, Rachel Earnhardt, Scott Bechler, and Yifan Wang Faculty Advisors: Ann Thurston & Rebecca Vidra Front cover photo by: Tom Gilbert Back cover photo by: Marjie Meder
"Busy Bee" Photo by Troi Perkins
Our Mission: To inspire a respect for our environment by engaging in thoughtful expression through the use of artistic, reflective, and creative work. This publication is available in electronic format on our website. However, we believe print is a powerful and evocative medium, and so we have chosen to print a limited number of copies. When you’ve finished reading, please share this magazine with a friend. The printing of eno is generously supported by the Nicholas School Student Council, the Dean’s Office and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Printed by Steuben Press Longmont, CO www.steubenpress.com Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Durham, NC www.enomag.org firstname.lastname@example.org
"Lifeline" by Anna He
Letter from the Editors This past year, eno’s programming has looked a little different, but the mission of building community around art and the environment has remained consistent. We want to extend a special thank you to everyone who has helped make this magazine possible with excellent contributions of art, photography, poetry, and short stories. We appreciate that you thoughtfully seek and share the beauty of the natural world so that we may all enjoy it. To our readers, thank you for your patience with the changes to our timeline these past two editions. We hope that the words and images contained in these pages transport you, for a moment, to the tops of mountains, to the edge of the sea, and all the places in between. The eno Team, Angela, Aubrey, Ayse, Bea, Catherine, Claire, Grace Hannah, Helen, Irene, Karen, Kathleen, Margaret, Max, Rachel, Scott, & Yifan 2021
"Coneflower Macro" by William Hanley
Zachary Beach ....... 10, 13, 34 Julia A Bingham................... 36 Nicolette L Cagle..................... 7 Cortney Cameron.................12 Will Cordeiro..................... 8, 18 Jeanne Julian........................ 25 Chiara Klein................ 6, 16, 27 Sam Love................................. 35 James Platt ............................ 17 Margaret Swift....................... 14 Abi Vanover............................ 28 Cooper Young ................ 15, 20
Michael Gaffney.......................... 30 Tanya Schmid.............................. 38
Art Arianna Agostini............................ 22 Anna He......................................... 3, 26 Claire Huang .................................. 33 Aubrey Knier..................................... 6 Kariel Argenis Diaz Maisonet ... 17 Johanna Wassermann ................. 22
Photography Gabriela Nagle Alverio.... 7, 21, 36 Camellia Ghotbzadeh................. 17 Karen Gilbert.................... 29, 37, 38 Tom Gilbert................. Front Cover William Hanley.............. 4, 5, 14, 24 Anna He.................................... 20, 32 Angela Hessenius.................. 27, 35 Elizabeth Howard................. 10, 37 Haley Jackson......................... 18, 20 Jiaming Liu.................................... 16
Marjie Meder........... Back Cover Margaret Morrison.................. 15 Cal Oakley................................... 24 Maddie Paris................. 13, 25, 34 Daniel Parlock....................... 9, 19 Troi Perkins.................................. 2 HuiChien Tan............................ 29 Nadia Swit................................... 39 Yifan Wang..........11, 12, 19, 28, 31 Zoe Wong................................23, 34
"Magnolia Close-up" by William Hanley
glacial retreat By: Chiara Klein entombed in glacial ice, the soft glow of amethyst enshrouds my extent of existence. beyond the thick pale walls, frozen and jagged, a whole life of vibrancy exists. but in here, everything is muffled; muted. in here, the remnants of life skitter across the floor, pearled orbs echoing as they roll. out there, life is stained wine-red carnivals blare down white-hot streets fruit groves burst in bloom until each branch is weighed down with indecent abundance. I am so anxious to thaw. so impatient to live in that trumpet riff again. so eager to drink the perfumed juices and dazzle with stars in my eyes. but for now, I am wintering.
"Discord" by Aubrey Knier
Moonlight Recitation By: Nicolette L Cagle the moon high in the sky round orb of mania and magic standing upon his pulpit back straight and strong chin up his mouth opens wide reflecting moonbeams his voice strong reciting the symmetrical lines of Blake now mournful contemplating the loss with Sandberg’s bison then playful feeling the rain’s rhythm his own Langston Hughes the audience is hushed hiding in the great moon shadow of the oak his dark eyes sparkle he stretches out those gray wings all stand in awe of the mockingbird in the moonlight
"70% Water" by Gabriela Nagle Alverio
Journey to the Lake By: Will Cordeiro Past backwood rills and backroad rut, down home in Tennessee, she strays a gravel path inside the shrubby gloom. Each coonskin cap, each cornpone legend of some greater Boone, is mixing up her head—another line she didn’t know she crossed, a further tale, the Mason-Dixon or the lazy river where Huck and Jim escaped their mind’s own border. A prisoner of silhouettes, dogwood and sassafras that seem strung up with spiderwebs; along the underpass, graffiti thick as kudzu on these trunks, blood brothered names that would be praised as famous men, a land like grease that leaves a stain no future can erase—when she imagines how the South might once again be burning, bourn away with clouds of ash and acid rain, she thinks about her own past flooding through the afternoon. She slips through branching scraps where cottonmouths sleep coiled in the sun. What gossip tips the leaves? She overhears a song that’s hidden in the jostled wind as if some riddle shuffled off clear skin. Through canopy like frames of old stained-glass, she views a lake—but stepping closer, sees her eyes have painted on the empty air. A day-moon faint at the meridian signifies that history leaves by gradients. Iotas frolic in a gust of pollen. Nature duplicates fogged desires outward to echo in the vaults of blind cathedrals. All atomists construct machinery by which they are deceived. Lank, tangled vines have crushed gray shale. A dampness leaks around her ankles; inklings of a centipede brush by. Each quick step snaps a twig. The grizzled understory rots something human while roots entangle down the musty dankness.
Mosquitos sizzle through the humid air. Trees charter her a passage through green flames. Maybe this is just to compensate for a broken idyll in a broken world— sometimes the pieces fit together, though, the gears are tractable, the senses mesh, and jarred and spraddled as we are within our thoughts, yet something tangible begins to turn the whole kaleidoscope. The view shifts parallel to things-as-they-exist. The lake she has encountered at the end of this stray path is real. Between the hollers, the daylight fades. Sun stuns the water solid black then bright, which shatters every idol. She walks out further as soft edges lick the slick shore back. A glut of sludge and smut, as if someone had drowned right here before. Foul skein of algal froth, logs waterlogged, a seep of bubbles circled in a chain releasing troubled breaths throughout the deep. When nothing’s certain down its drift-wise edge, slow currents recreate their channels’ sifting. Debris gets dandled—rives and torques—among whatever forces drive the flow she’s been abandoned to. Enraptured by small urges, box turtles lurk below thick lily pads; sunfish curve up and nibble on her toes. A darning needle scatters its scintilla. She floats now on her back, a paradox between the elements. All tension holds her while clouds exfoliate the day’s blue void. As if embellished on the quiet surface, desire catches at fate’s fitful glimmers bent at sundown on the pond’s reflection. She stares across its glossy mirror, lost and relishing this rarity: a moment when her thoughts can wander free, suspended, before the fish’s flash and trash of flesh would school her in their tricks of shade.
"Autumn Falls" Photo by Daniel Parlock
"Banding Birds" by Elizabeth Howard The Dawn Chorus By: Zachary Beach Notice how the birds take shifts. The stars become a whisper, the mountains assume their presence, and high enough for the golden fingers of light to nudge them awake are the robins and blackbirds. Big birds with big eyes and big pupils, seeing better in darkness, they sing because they feel safe. The light gets bigger. The birds get smaller. The proud chaffinch, feathers splattered in the colors of zebras and oak, fills the air with its presence. The air is too still to fly, the insects still soundly dreaming, they sing because there is nothing else to do.
The dew disappears. The composition of singers changes. The baton is handed off to the finches and thrushes, The smallest orange and yellow streaks. They sing music that never repeats but is still recognized immediately, they sing to proclaim their existence. Listener, listen. Do not let trauma stifle your song. Do not become the plowing oxen forever bound to progress. Do not let the packed subway car crowd out your voice. Welcome the upwelling of purpose within you and let your present heart paint its song across the clear blue sky.
"Icelandic Submarine" Photo by Yifan Wang
Tree By: Cortney Cameron Though from this place, I cannot move, With naught—but dirt—and sun— and rain—for food: From just three things, I have grown A hundred feet, a leafy crown— An atmosphere, a barken gown. Young one, rest beneath my shade And share in all these things we’ve made.
"Though the Woods." Photo by Yifan Wang
Winter By: Zachary Beach I gaze out the cabin window that braces me against the cold, my body shivers at the sight of the cutting breeze moving the pines. Bouncing before me are two infant red foxes, unperturbed by nature’s bitter cold, blending predator and play, baring their white fangs but biting softly, like a lover, as their caramel colors swirl like the cream in my morning coffee. The muted winter seems calm, as a pine cone lands with a “pfff”, but the mouse is hypervigilant for shadows, for the owl has evolved to fly silent. Humanity has killed half the planet already; anything delicately balanced can fall with the slightest push. Children today have not nightmares of boogeyman, but of mornings without birds, trees without leaves, ash falling like snow from heaven, cereal bowls of coal. Tonight, we brown our marshmallows and sing to the fire, as its cackles serenade us back.
"Into the Abyss" Photo by Maddie Paris
The Eavesdropper By: Margaret Swift Sit yourself alone in the wood when rain is just a whisper, and you’ll hear the earthworms nudging the sleeping forest faeries awake. (Aye, and this takes some doing) If you listen (not too hard now) just enough (so they won’t know you're there) you’ll hear the little people yawning, s t r e t c h i n g beneath earthen sheets and thistle-down lichen quilts. Sit still as a mouse and you just might see them spring from moss mattresses, caps tipped up in greeting, shaking mud from trim coats and walnut-shell wellies.
Faces lift, finding friends, sharing sips from scarlet teacups and quick notes on faerie matters: Did she swap a babe for a changeling? —Something about a silent stone circle (and gossip of that sort) In sudden concert, veiled wings unfurl. A soft tune tugs your ears, insistent in its keening, pleading that you hold your breath and quicksilver tongue. They shimmer into the air (the faeries) slaloming raindrops, a flutter of idle chatter and leaf litter laughing, leaving naught behind but the eavesdropper (you) and wee crimson cups of tea, still warm.
"Trumpet Vine Macro" by William Hanley
Extinction Capital of the World By: Cooper Young
"Haleakalā" Photo by Margaret Morrison
The sea pinches the center of the island into an hourglass of land. Clouds hug the mountaintop, where the summit has been covered for days. Along the mountain’s spine, palm trees stand like match sticks, lit with green flame. More species of birds have died in Hawaii than anywhere else. The flute song of the black mamo has been forgotten, as have the scarlet-orange feathers of the koa finch. When predators invaded the island, the flightless birds could not run fast enough. The valley is quieter than it used to be.
the ardor of galaxies By: Chiara Klein we never think of the impressions we might make on the stars; but perhaps they watch us each night go about our sweet human ablutions as we put our terrestrial worries to rest, trusting innocently in the four walls around us surely, they look down on us with soft starlight blushing at the sight of the kisses we bestow on the lips of our beloved, knowing no similar sensation likewise, they can’t understand why we cut roads through mountains or put vegetables in bags to take home from the store but perhaps, they are fascinated by our warm skin, and our ice boxes and maybe even they are thinking about us as they dim in deference to the morning sun: maybe they blink and marvel at how far away we are, wonder briefly if we are lonely, and then continue with the task of their cosmic existence.
"Colorful Nature" by Jiaming Liu
I Have Walked This Path Before By: James Piatt First published by Foxglove Magazine I am peering through sunbeams, which are illuminating my memories, as I walk along an old forest path I have walked so many times before. Anon I have walked this path before... In the springtime when cheery trees were pink with blossoms, giant maple trees were showing their pink buds, and young animals in their new born freedom loped along the river, carefree, and filled with the excitement of new birth. I have walked this path before... when summer’s heat gently placed its warmth upon my shoulders as I sat on a beach chair near a placed pond thinking about the beauty of nature, and listening to the sweet warbling of tiny songbirds. I have walked this path before... when autumn’s slowly increasing winds started their polished journey into winter with whispered hints of fading time, and the sun was covered with dark moisture filled clouds. I have walked this path before... when the chill of winter blurred my footsteps, tiny birds took refuge in bushes and I, bundled up in wools and layered cotton, pondered on the coldness of the season, and the amount of wood I should carry to the library to start my nightly fire.
Top: "Euphoria" by Camellia Ghotbzadeh Bottom: "Untitled" by Kariel Argenis Diaz Maisonet
Habitats By: Will Cordeiro I dodder city blocks at night locked in loops of scattered thoughts. A shadow swoops. A bat -a luna moth? No, marooned above me, a sprightly pygmy owl squats on landline wires. An almost otherworldly figure, this apparition from the wild. The owl peers down now at my gaze, the margin of two different glooms, its hard-edged yellow eyeshot pupils blazed with moondrunk fire. Quick, it flies away, a shrunken silhouette again -- I'm left to share its habitat, dark mixed-up streets with lit-up rooms.
"A Dark Thorn" by Haley Jackson
"Spanning Time." Photo by Daniel Parlock "Landmannalaugar." Photo by Yifan Wang
Here We Were Happy By: Cooper Young Merwin’s home hides in the mountains of Haiku, Maui. My parents and I drive down the uneven dirt road towards it. A hundred shades of green, held back by a modest wooden fence, surround our small rental car. At the end of the road, a gap in the fence welcomes us. We park and walk into the property, careful not to step on the budding plants. My father tells me
"Sea Oats" by Anna He Nearly fifty years ago, Merwin moved to a remote patch of land on the outskirts of Maui. The soil was stripped of nutrients, and nothing but dirt encircled his house. Every day, Merwin wrote poems on his porch until noon, then planted seeds of endangered palms until dark. He watered each tree with buckets of sink water, until they could survive on rainwater alone. Merwin has been dead for a year, but his garden hasn’t stopped growing. The property is full of life—a jungle of over 2,740 palm trees. Only slivers of light reach the soil, the rest tangle in the fronds of palms. Wind whisks the treetops, but the air at the ground is still. We pass sugar palms, Chinese fan palms, and stop at a Tahina palm.
"The Colorful Caribbean" by Haley Jackson
"70% Water" by Gabriela Nagle Alverio Its trunk stretches fifty feet into the air, where leafy blades splay in circles. Native to Madagascar, the Tahina is nearly extinct. The palm can only reproduce once, and dies shortly after. We rest in its shade, and walk deeper into the brush. Still, there is no sign of Merwin’s house. He wanted it to be part of the terrain; difficult to find when looking for, but easy to stumble upon. As we walk, I piece together stories from my parents. My father knew Merwin as ‘Bill.’ They met a few times in the poetry world, over the course of thirty years. Though they never shared any adventures, my father recounts their chats with a smile. Merwin was a poet’s poet. He never taught and wrote for the sake of writing. He was what people imagined a poet to be.
One more turn down the faint path, and we find ourselves at Merwin’s front door. The wood of the doorframe is an aged teal, and a golden fox hangs in the center to knock with. We leave our shoes outside, and step inside the home.
The shelves overflow with enough books to fill more than one lifetime. Broadsides, woodprints, and photographs line the wall. The house has been left untouched since Merwin’s death: notebooks still open, napkins folded on the table, as though Merwin just stepped outside for a moment of fresh air.
"Orange Octopus" by Johanna Wassermann
Merwin has as many visitors as ever. A cardinal still returns to the porch where Merwin fed it blueberries every morning. Poets come to seek what Merwin sought. But now the late poet rests among the spirits of the mountain, where no one can find him. A photo of him with his dogs stands on his work desk, beside two woodcarvings of frogs. Merwin was a beautiful man. His hair slowly faded, but never his blue eyes or his soft smile. Beneath a pair of binoculars, I make out the jagged letters of his handwriting. His note, addressed to his wife, Paula, and stained with wood shavings, reads
"The Majesty of the Sea" by Arianna Agostini
I don’t care about being out of it if we’re out of it together. Even forever. xxx
Merwin and Paula, grew old in this home together. When she died two years before him, he stopped leaving the house as much. He lived, writing, waiting, until his ashes were mixed with Paula’s, and they were buried in their garden. I follow my parents outside, to a clearing in the green. The palm trees Merwin raised drop their seeds and decorate the grave, which states: Here We Were Happy
"Into the Mist." Photo by Zoe Wong
"Litter Critter." Photo by Cal Oakley "Heron in Duke Pond." Photo by William Hanley
River in Your Living Room Hurricane Florence, New Bern, North Carolina By: Jeanne Julian If a river in your living room recedes, dread remains like those legions of dead fish stranded gasping on Interstate 40 after floodwaters subside. At first you cling, grope in the stew of ruin then recklessly you want to purge it all, destroy any emblem of deluge, banish any hint of topsy-turvy. And even if your own safest space were not invaded, if water never filled like a fishbowl your homeplace, you’re submerged in what might have been. The flood’s ghost laps along your walls, authenticates your framed seascape. You open drawers,
like a baffled cop directing static Dada traffic: a sailboat grounded, cockeyed, against City Hall; streets barred by pillars the current pillaged from the Queen Street condos; on sidewalks, random scraps of plywood scrawled with “Go Away.” On the curbs, in front of every household, piles of wreckage build and build, vengeful offerings to an angry god: “Here! Take this mold-upholstered sofa as your throne. Craft your palace from our scraps of sodden drywall.” Meanwhile remnants of an osprey nest dangle from the wreck of a channel marker. One swallowtail wanders a blighted garden awash with flotsam. Weeks pass, and still, swill and ash cascade down the Cape Fear River.
and silverware seems to float into your hand. Your goblets appear to bob like buoys in mid-air, washed out of their comfortable cabinets. Your clothes hang wetly in the dry closet. You know that anything you place—here, or here— can be displaced, as if you live in the Titanic. Hearing the rush of running water, “What’s that?” my friend Suzannah says, staring at my front door, haunted by the surge. “It’s just the laundry. I threw some towels in.” Now everywhere whimsy signals calamity: the ursine landmark statue in the public park becomes detritus dire as Delmore’s heavy bear: drifting, upright, in “the water’s clasp,” then released, plunked down in Main Street
"Window to Another World." Photo by Maddie Paris
"First Light" by Anna He
small hours By: Chiara Klein to see snow in North Carolina, you have to set an alarm. I set mine for 3 am, wake up to hushed flakes, falling in a panel beneath the yellow street light heavy, then staggered, then swirling, then heavy again. still and breathless, sky the faintest, haziest rose. I lay on my stomach, my chin on the window sill still in bed, but spellbound by the cold flocking on pavement and pine straw. as I fall back to sleep, the muffled sounds of voices. I rouse myself to the window sill again; look out to see a family of four, two young children, dragging their boots through the carpeted streets, marveling up at the wonder of snow-capped pines. to see snow in North Carolina, you have to set an alarm.
"Snowy Verstovia" by Angela Hessenius
"On the Road." Photo by Yifan Wang
Blue #4 By: Abi Vanover It’s a cherry capital I’m headed towards. I only remembered now drinking cheap beer with foam on top. The drive was long, I thought I earned it. Delaware’s three-thousand miles east to my back. Each season drips differently in my new north country. It’s gingers and jonagolds That fall into my open mouth; the harvest will soon be a wild thing come past. Summer was long, slow, sweet; sinking into the tongue. I spit out a hard pit And left.
"Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon" by Karen Gilbert
"Little Red House" by HuiChien Tan
Deep History May Disquiet Us By: Michael Gaffney When I was a kid on Long Island, I was fascinated by a five-million-pound boulder that sat near my elementary school. It was called “shelter rock,” so the story went, because it served as a dwelling for the indigenous peoples of the region, before settler colonialists murdered and displaced them. Shelter rock was always shrouded in mystery for me, not merely because it recalled a violent past I hardly understood, but also because of its sheer mass: the size of house, it seemed to gather everything around it in orbit, it “took dominion everywhere,” as the poet Wallace Stevens once said of a jar in the wilderness. I learned more about the boulder one year in elementary school. My teacher, gesturing toward the classroom window, invited my class to imagine a two-mile-high ice sheet on the horizon and explained how it would have slowly carried the granite rock to that precise location 20,000 years ago. Shelter rock was quite unlike the outcrops I saw on mountains or highways, revelations of erosion and road building; it was unmoored from the Earth, a glacial erratic scraped from the bedrock somewhere and deposited toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch along with soil and other remnants. Over thousands of years, the rock was surrounded by biological life in a process of ecological succession that is still in progress: trees, grasses, and wildlife moving northward to reclaim the space once presided over by the Laurentide ice sheet and its tundra. Learning about the past of Long Island in that way was my first lesson in what some call “deep history,” which encompasses geological and evolutionary history, and the history of humans before the invention of writing, all narratives of the past that are typically ignored by history textbooks. To think through the deep historical lenses of geology and evolutionary biology changes the way you confront a place. The contemporary geology of Long Island, for example, is now determined by biological forces: it is dominated by those human settlers who spread, so the current thinking goes, in waves out of Africa, only arriving in North America 13,000 years ago (or possibly much earlier, according to current research), and on Long Island even more recently. There is, it has been said, now a distinctly human layer on the planet—a strata to which the term “Anthropocene” has been controversially attached. To build the structures of New York City, materials like concrete, steel, copper, brick, and glass were assembled over hundreds of years. A collection of minerals, the city is a geological formation in its own right. And like any geological formation, this new form of human “exoskeleton,” as the philosopher Manuel DeLanda might say, allowed new forms of ecological systems to emerge, with pigeons, rats, cockroaches, and so many trillions of microbes thriving in novel niches. But the term Anthropocene also refers to the distinct changes humans—more specifically, those in industrialized nations—made to the atmosphere. And it is in this sense that the historical irony of Long Island’s deep history is hard to miss. My home is one of the many coastal areas threatened by the rising oceans and superstorms of global warming, a space that in the deep future may no longer be able to sustain terrestrial life. Long Island weaves together the glacial past and the warming future, a landscape composed by one form of climate change and fated to dissolution by the other.
There’s something profoundly disquieting about this. To be disquieted means to be disturbed or unsettled in a way that leaves you silent, unsure of how to respond, but also pensive, like you’re sitting alone by a fire in winter. Deep history puts me in that mood, I think, because it minimizes human significance, agency, and progress in a way that seems to defy all of the ingrained stories we tell about ourselves as a species: our centrality to the planet, our uniqueness, our technoevolutionary progress. Deep history tells us that we are only one product of the directionless force of evolution, that we are not fully in control of the planet or its climate, and that we are more like the first humans that evolved on earth than we would care to admit. It is as if, as the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once imagined, we are no different in the face of climate change than those humans who endured the last glacial epoch, painting cave walls in firelight. Dwelling on the deep history might seem bleak, but it has its benefits. To see ourselves contained by so many histories—the story of Earth, the evolution of life, the evolution of humans, and the development of so many “imagined communities,” to borrow Benedict Anderson’s phrase—is to develop a sense of entanglement with the planet, which in turn begets care and respect for the sheer complexity and mutability of where we all dwell. But, of course, this nonhuman perspective has its drawbacks. It has been said, for example, that because climate change is inevitable on a planetary timescale we need to do nothing about it. But that is the opposite conclusion we should come to. Humans have always had to adapt to climate change, whether that meant migration or exploiting different food sources. Today we need to do the same and more, because we can directly influence how severe the changes will be by limiting carbon emissions. That climate change will always happen only increases the importance of learning to mitigate it and adapt to it through decarbonization, natural carbon sinks, or rewilding and restoration projects. When I go home these days and stare over the Long Island Sound, which remains too close to my parents’ house for comfort, it is hard for me to ignore the strange implications of human geology and planetary time. And that’s why, when I pass by shelter rock, I find myself unsettled, and a little surprised, to see that it’s still there.
" "'Mani' Pile" by Yifan Wang
"Descend." Photo trio by Anna He
"Of Natura and Libertas" by Claire Huang
Tiger’s Above, Tiger’s Below By: Zachary Beach There’s no going back. The ground is always falling away. Between the maternity and the morgue are eternal journeys woven like spaghetti. Wanting to hold on, but soon our plane takes off, the runway falls away, indifferent to our leaving. Hills that took hours to climb become insignificant, mountains reduced to mere wrinkles on the Earth’s aging skin. On one strand, I spent a month in the rainy and oh-so-green Pacific Northwest, nose serenaded by Elm and Fir, ears waking up to meet the song sparrows and chestnut backed Chickadee, Each day picking blackberries (they call them marionberries). Returning to the bush from which I found so many of the ripened berries bursting with the flavor of June to realize, (in my naiveté), what is picked is gone forever. A broken stem of what once was, it will be another year for them to be replaced.
"Grasshopper" by Zoe Wong
People cannot be replaced. They leave holes where they once were. We are snowflakes in springtime. Taste every berry you can. The ground is always falling away. There’s no going back.
"Common Yellowthroat" by Maddie Paris
A Tiny Acorn By: Sam Love The monster oak towering over the forest starts as a tiny acorn burrowed into the soil. Greta Thunberg started alone outside the Swedish Parliament with her hand lettered sign crying out "our house is on fire." Fearlessly she viewed her OCD as a gift to challenge world leaders with “How dare you for stealing our future”. Like the oak’s tiny seed her message sprouted and rippled around the planet in a movement politicians can no longer ignore. Let’s hope her urgency spreads to other issues and peace breaks out in a de-nuclear world where we can smile at the sun.
"Eurasian Jay" by Angela Hessenius35
Beachwalk By: Julia A Bingham I place my feet, one after the other over soft dark sand she brushes my toes icy salt wash admonishing, You cannot change the tides. I slow my steps and wait, allow her to wrap round my ankles I begin to numb water cools the heat of my shame You fear it was your fault? she pauses, pulls back sighs and then returns higher now, the cuffs of my pants are wet neither kind nor harsh reminds, some change is beyond my control You are not so central. She lets go, I do too I begin to walk again I am not so central It is easier to breathe.
"70% Water" by Gabriela Nagle Alverio
"Banding Birds" by Elizabeth Howard
"Coos Bay, Oregon" by Karen Gilbert
Perishable Goods By: Tanya Schmid You once jogged daily down this green path, headphones pounding out a rhythm to match the stomping of your feet, pushing your legs faster as you chased “to dos” around your brain. Now you walk softly, and see, and listen. The silver undersides of leaves flash at you. You turn your head to feel the exact direction of today’s wind as it strokes your cheek. You hear the drizzle falling lightly on your rain-jacket’s hood. Much has changed since the rush of the world was suspended. As you cross a field you wink at the red and white clover, smile at the shaggy blond heads of dandelions, and whisper the new names you have learned: chickweed, plantain, sorrel, St. John’s wort. Within each square yard, you see a dozen different grasses all growing harmoniously -- some short with fat stalks the complexion of olives, others shooting tall, dressed in bright lime, and those bearded or heavy with straw-colored seed – very different from the even, bluegrass carpet your folks once had as a lawn. You stop to inhale the diversity and to gather a few poppies and chicory blossoms, leaving enough so they can reseed. You know that each time you see the small vase of wildflowers on your kitchen table, you will be uplifted by this memory of bending to gather them. On your daily path through your neighborhood’s enchanted woods you run your hands across hazelnut or oak, beech or elm, because now you can distinguish them not only by their leaves but even in winter, by the texture of their bark and the leaf buds on their branches. You watch as the black buds of the ash give leave to the white blossoms of the hawthorn, and your nose lifts to nature’s perfume when it rides on the spring breeze. You have learned the names of the wild berries and know when each will be ripe enough to call to the birds. In May, the song of meadowlarks, vireos and warblers dances beside you as you walk, accompanied by the calls of your forever neighbors: the mockingbirds, jays and woodpeckers. You know the new voices bring pollen from the Gulf of Mexico on their wings or seeds in their bellies from the Amazon Basin, their feathers still dusty from the slopes of the Andes. "Chester County, Pennsylvania" by Karen Gilbert
"Forest Friends" by Nadia Swit This awakened state follows you throughout your day. When you put on the jeans you bought cheap downtown, you see the cotton that grew in vast fields in Texas transported to South Korea where it became thread amidst humming machines, then sent to China where the thread was woven into cloth and to Bangladesh where the cloth was sewn into pants. The pants were then sent to India where they were dyed to a stunning deep blue and on to England where they were washed in twenty machines with pumice excavated in Italy – all to get the chic effect you are currently wearing. You have gained respect for the weary hands of the artisans that crafted the fabric that warms your legs. And you are careful to wash your clothes less often because you see now that all things are perishable, that their existence depends on how they are treated. Not too quickly thrown in the laundry or donated to the second-hand store. In general, you move with more care, so as not to stain that blouse, rip that jacket or lose that earring, leaving its mate never to be worn again. Because things, like people, plants, and animals, have value. When you get in your car, you know where it was made. You understand the months it took to develop the finest details of its engineering, interior design, and aerodynamics. You imagine how electronic arms and a hundred human hands assembled the thousands of pieces. You are grateful for all of these, including the plastics derived from oil that sat in shale for a million years. Another expression of that same oil now fills your gas tank, and propels you down a path that took complex, heavy machinery and dozens of man hours, cement, and chemicals to make it smooth beneath your tires. Helping you get to where you want to go. And when you return home, you take a moment before going inside to look with gratitude at the sky. You remember the day your painting instructor showed you that clouds are not white, not even shades of gray, but alizarin crimson and yellow ochre and cerulean blue. And that is how you see clouds now. That was also the day you learned that shadows are useful to bring forth what needs to be seen. And when you go inside, you look closer into the eyes of your loved ones -- your partner, your child, your dog -- and you understand the meaning of the word “cherish.” All this happened when you finally slowed down. When things stopped just long enough for you to catch your breath from all the running.