ISSUE 7 | 2018 Environmental Arts and Literature Magazine
prose • poetry • photography • art
Editors: Caitlyn Cooper, Hayley Hanway, & Sarah Poulin Associate Editors: Sneha Balasubramanian, James MacCarthy, Cameron Oglesby, Sunny Qiao, Apoorva Sahay Layout & Design: Hayley Hanway & Sunny Qiao Faculty Advisors: Ann Thurston & Rebecca Vidra Cover photo by: Julia Geschke
Eno Magazine is a student publication founded in
2011 that gets its name from the Eno River in North Durham and from the Eno people, natives who occupied the land prior to European settlement. The name reflects our connection to the places we live, work, and play, and more broadly, to the Earth. 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 thousands of organizations around the world that do similar work. 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 Dean’s Office and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Printed by Millennium Print Group Morrisville, NC www.mprintgroup.com Printed on recycled paper using renewable energy Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Durham, NC www.enomag.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by: Evelyn Garcia
Letter from the editors: In a time of frustrating environmental setbacks, projects like Eno have become even more important. Our cultures, identities, and quality of life depend as much on our environment as on our political structures. While there are those who favor short gains over long-term prosperity, we believe there are far more people willing to fight for a better world. The art in this issue connects us not only with our natural environment, but with one another as well. It is our hope that you will feel inspired, encouraged, and uplifted by the beauty of our shared home. Together, we can protect that which protects us.
Caitlyn Cooper, Hayley Hanway, & Sarah Poulin
Contents Artists Alexie Rudman................................. 10 Cameron Oglesby....................... 13, 19 Kendall Jefferys............................. 8, 10
Featured Artist Alex Rudee................................... 17-18
Photographers Anna Windle..................................... 23 Bobbi Lesser....................................... 31 Celeste Whitman................................ 9 Elizabeth Sarno............... 15-16, 23, 27 Evelyn Garcia................................... 1-2 Gordon Li.............................. 21, 33-34 Julia Geschke.............................. Cover Kelly Hovarth.................................... 32 Kelsey Johnson-Sapp........................ 14 Kendall DeLyser............ 5-7, 11-12, 22 Nathan Walker................................... 31 Rachel Brinks............................... 25-26 Rebecca Dalton................................. 24 Sarah Poulin.................................... 3-4 Sophia Li............................................ 28 Sujal Manohar................................... 30 Virginia Frediani................................ 9
Photo by: Sarah Poulin
Poets Alex O’Neill*.................................... 21 Bannie Bandibas.............................. 24 Betty Jamerson Reed................. 20, 32 Edward Levin................................... 24 Elizabeth Allen................................ 34 Faye Goodwin................................. 27 Hannah Zhaung.............................. 10 Julia Bingham.................................. 26 Kendall Jefferys............................ 6, 11 Leon Li.............................................. 22 Olivia Black........................................ 9 Rachel Ballantyne Draelos............. 16 Sam Love.......................................... 30 Ted McCormack.............................. 28 WK Lawrence.................................... 5
Short Story Authors Alex Rudee**............................. 13-14 Emma Fixsen.................................... 8 Geran Landen.................................. 23 Jill Hamilton..................................... 29
*Poetry Winner: “The Merchant’s Millpond” **Short Story Winner: “Turtle Patrol”
Tar under the wheels Blurring past yellow lines Crossing bridges Back onto main land Tall shadows of concrete and steel loom behind As the trees sprout up Replacing those shadows Ancient bedrock exposed Up and down the landscape A warm up in elevation for later Soon it’s all flat again Corn husks blowing by our faces Sky turns gray and swirling And we can almost see a little boy With a feather in his ear Sitting upon a hill with a bison by his side And for a while these wheels turn into hooves And the tar turns to dirt Only the growing elevation pulls us back To a world behind a windshield Sweating, straining, burning more fuel Snow begins to pelt the glass And it looks like we’re flying through space Stars rushing by as we come off that mountain Tall shadows of snow capped majesty looms As trees sprout again We travel parallel to a gorge In and out of a valley Through the rain, the wind, and blue To the ocean and we don’t stop.
Leaving Home WK Lawrence
Photo by: Kendall DeLyser
Sun in the City Kendall Jefferys How much bigger the sun appears near the ground Clinging to the horizon Melted into its surface Lighting the ozone Particulates of thicker, lower air And as it rises it seems smaller Less spectacular Yet its light reaches farther And to rise is to fall To rise again.
Photo by: Kendall DeLyser
Puerto Maldonado Emma Fixsen
n my second day living in Peru, I accidently flushed a rather large frog down the toilet. Why was I in Peru to begin with? As a medical student, I was awarded a year-long fellowship to conduct global health research. This brought me to Puerto Maldonado, a sleepy but rapidly expanding city deep in the Peruvian Amazon. I have always considered myself an “outdoorsy” person. Growing up, I spent the majority of my time running around the forests of central North Carolina. As an adult, I seized any opportunity to go hiking. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Puerto that I realized how strongly I had demarcated “indoor” versus “outdoor” space. I loved nature, but I didn’t live in nature – and I wasn’t sure how I felt about allowing the natural world into my personal space. Living in the jungle, the lines between indoors and outdoors rapidly blurred. Our bathroom had four walls, a ceiling open to the sky, and apparently a frog infestation. It was quite a shock the first time I flushed the toilet and two frogs jumped out from their hiding place under the rim. One successfully leaped free and landed on the wall, where it stared at me accusingly while its partner swirled to a watery doom. Needless to say, I soon learned to check for frogs and other, more frightening, critters before using the bathroom. I also came to terms with the fact that I am not as accepting of nature as perhaps I could be. Tarantulas living in the national park outside the city: fascinating and part of the jungle milieu. Tarantulas living in my kitchen, where I can accidently step on them at 2 am: terrifying intruders. My research dealt with human health, and I spent most of my time traveling to different Centros de Salud and working in the local hospital. However, the majority of foreigners in Puerto Maldonado work in conservation. I befriended some of them and learned that people are capable of accepting all parts of the natural world, even the insects and arachnids, to a truly incredible extent. One girl, who lived in a conservation corridor, had two pet tarantulas that had taken up residence in her bathroom. Apparently, they ate bothersome insects and were “rarely” aggressive. (Besides, tarantulas perform a characteristic threat display before attacking, so it was possible for her to live in harmony with the spiders).
“Fading Fast” Colored pencil
Due to the combination of a hot, muggy tropical climate with limited money and resources, the majority of local construction was at least partially open to the elements. Kitchens are built outdoors to disperse heat from the small cookstove. Windows are covered only with wooden bars – a screen if you’re lucky. The house I lived in had a central courtyard totally open to the elements, a partially screened-in kitchen, and a major rat problem. I loved that I could work on my computer, surrounded by the lush greenery and flaming red Heliconia flowers of our courtyard garden. I could sip my tea and watch an iridescent blue morpho butterfly alight lazily on the wall. I didn’t love the clouds of dengue-infested mosquitos that followed me passionately around the house, and I was ambivalent about the rats that ate all our pasta, lentils, and coffee (conclusion: kind of cute, but probably disease ridden). What I took away from my time living in Puerto, besides a confirmation that I am a bit of an arachnophobe, was a sense of increased flexibility and acceptance of the natural world. I still prefer to have my bathrooms constructed with a roof to keep out rain as well as unwanted amphibian intruders. However, I am willing to cohabitate with the corner-spider that wishes to take up residence in my house (and hopefully, eat a few mosquitos). And I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to step out of my suburban American habitat, and spend a year living with nature in the Amazon. Eno
On the Banks of the Ganges Olivia Black
When Vishnu sought to measure the universe he extended his foot to the end of the world, piercing it with the saffron nail of his big toe. Through the hole surged the Ganges River, powered by sips from a glacial Tibetan chalice, flowing on past foothills and fecundity. The Ganges is the ebbing of eons, of Mauryan dams and Mughal canals, and lush forests devoured by civilization. Suffused with flower petals and oil lamps, the river stutters and gasps with pollution. But to bathe in the Ganges is to be washed of sin, perhaps ushered to God by a water-borne illness. Photo by: Celeste Whitman
Photo by: Virginia Frediani 9
New and Old Ways Hannah Zhaung
A curious result it is, The flattened arc-shaped beam Of light which derives from Mr. Sun. Which is all he can winnow through The panes, which are framed by Thicker edges; they view him as too Gratuitous, that he gives warmth To a room whose people beg for Artificial coolness. Only his bright light they welcome. He does not dispute, but Continues to deliver the meager Portion they can tolerate, and grows Still bolder, shifting each of his Infinite arms that his blurry fingers May grope the yet unreached and Cooled earth. Or polished squares, indicative of The manipulation of nature. Where lies the soil, once trodden on by Human feet?
“Scissor-tailed Flycatcher” Watercolor & Ink
Yet the persons go about in the Cooled buildings. No signs of Satisfaction preside in the people. Instead, each one moans about the “Heat” or insufficiency of chilled air. Few give thought as to how their Predecessors went about without it At all, and yet, Mr. Sun insists on Warming the floor—just as he heated The dirt of open-roofed abodes Not too long ago.
“Cardinal fish from La Rochelle” Acrylic paint Eno
Past Explorers Kendall Jefferys
I encase my feet In studded shoes Shiny, stiff, and new They protested Of what I knew For there was once a day Of laced and muddy shoes Shoes left by the creek side To take in the views Indeed, not long ago We took on the world and There was something beautiful about About the morning dew The mossy spring And the creek side where blackberries grew
Photo By: Kendall DeLyser
Turtle Patrol Alex Rudee
SHORT STORY CONTEST WINNER
arkness had fallen over the Osa Peninsula hours ago. The dinner dishes had been cleared, and several rounds of cards had been dealt before we pulled on our boots, switched on our headlamps, and marched into the jungle. It was time for turtle patrol. I followed behind Patricia, a turtle program assistant at the research station where I was staying. Cody, a fellow volunteer, led the way. For 20 minutes, we tramped through the black jungle, our arms outstretched to feel for spiderwebs in our path. Sweat, never a stranger in the Costa Rican rainforest, began to gather on my brow. 13
“Loggerhead Littoral” Chalk pastel, acrylic paint, watercolor paint
We emerged onto a single-track dirt road that wound through forest and pastures. In the glow of our headlamps, the grass beneath our feet sparkled with a thousand points of light, mirroring the blanket of stars overhead. It was a beautiful sight—until I realized that the constellations in the grass were actually reflections off the eyes of a thousand wolf spiders watching us pass. At last, we cut off the dirt road, climbed under a barbed-wire livestock fence, and found ourselves on Pejeperro beach. Headlamps clicked off (the moon was more than bright enough to lead our way) and we set off down the shoreline in search of nesting turtles.
While Patricia and Cody traced this route nearly every day, my volunteer work on the Osa Peninsula had mostly involved camera trap monitoring for a wildcat population study. Turtle patrol for me was more of an extracurricular—a chance to see another conservation program in action. But this would be my fourth patrol, and still I hadn’t seen a single turtle. We’d been walking the beach for 10 minutes when we spied turtle tracks, a rippling line in the sand where a four-foot sea turtle had pulled herself out of the waves. But there were two sets of tracks here: this one had already come and gone. We followed the tracks up toward the treeline, where Patricia detected other, smaller tracks leading back the other way. Hatchlings. We had found a nest. Patricia pulled on latex gloves and began digging in the sand to evaluate the nest’s condition. A pile of soft, empty eggshells grew beside her pile of sand. And then... The sand moved, wiggled, and a tiny turtle head poked through. Before long the hatchling was free, crawling clumsily around on the sand between us. Soon, we unearthed four of her brothers and sisters. These were Pacific green turtles, among the largest of the seven species of sea turtle that roam the world’s oceans. Green turtle populations have dwindled in recent decades thanks to poaching, mortality from fishnets and boats, and expanding beachside development near nesting habitat. They are now an endangered species, making it imperative that the turtles are monitored and protected wherever they come ashore to nest. Tonight, we were their protectors. While Patricia continued to excavate the nest, Cody and I shepherded the five hatchlings down to the treeline for their first rite of passage: crawling to the ocean. “Watch out for crabs,” Cody told me as I crouched over my three hatchlings like a proud father. “They’re super quick and will grab the hatchlings like that”— he snapped his fingers. Duly warned, I did my best to watch over my charges wriggling down the beach by the dim red glare of my headlamp. (White light could confuse or frighten the turtles, but they can’t see red.) Cody’s hatchlings were far ahead of mine, already in the surf. I heard a big wave crash, and then a shout. In the faint moonlight, I saw Cody fallen over in the waves, drenched from head to toe. I found out later that he had dived to rescue a hatchling from a lightning-quick crab. But my first thought was of riptides—this beach was notorious for them. I was too far to lend a hand, but I watched Cody get up until I was sure he wouldn’t be dragged under. Then I turned Eno
back to my hatchlings. They were gone. I don’t know any feeling more sickening than failing to keep defenseless baby turtles safe on their way to the sea. I ran back and forth across the sand, chasing every dark shape until I was no longer sure where I had started. The hatchlings had disappeared on my watch. Despairing, I climbed back through the vegetation to check on Patricia’s progress with the nest. Only giant piles of sand and eggshells remained. But then, amazingly, mercifully, another scaly head poked through the sand. And another. Blessed with a second chance, I carried #6 and #7 down to the sand. The crabs would get zero chances to snag a snack this time around. Slowly but surely, #6 and #7 flippered their way toward the surf, as I hovered as close behind as I could manage. A wave rolled in, filling my boots with seawater—I couldn’t have cared less—and when it receded, only smooth sand remained. The hatchlings were out to sea, and I whooped for joy. No sooner had I walked back up the beach than hatchling #8 was entrusted to my care, and then #9 and #10. They kept coming, until finally Patricia reached the limits of the nest. By then we had released 18 hatchlings. Judging by the pile of eggshells at Patricia’s side, 100 of their siblings had made the seaward trek on their own. After all the lobbying, lawsuits, and letter writing, saving species often comes down to a few volunteers hiking 10 miles in the middle of the night through spidery jungles and desolate stretches of sand, all to watch over a brood of hatchlings as they scatter across a crab-filled beach. Being a foot soldier for conservation is all blood, sweat, and tears. But for the sight of a newborn turtle following in the flipperprints of its mother under the bright Costa Rican moon, it’s a price I would pay a thousand times.
Photo by: Kelsey Johnson-Sapp 14
Photo by: Elizabeth Sarno
Rachel Ballantyne Draelos I spread myself out and melt into the grass Becoming the blades of translucent sun-glass I am the bubbling under the stream The salmon that fall through acrylic and steam I melt underneath and become beetle shells The nettles the splinters the crunch and the wells The hollow and echo and ghost through the trees Breathing the waters and rustling the leaves I am the sky now, the moon-clouded sun The breath in your lungs and the drum of your run I am the skin holding blood to your chest I am the dewdrops on pinecones undressed I am the rock rolling up silver hills To generate forest from butterfly frills. I am the scraping of birdsong at eve The kisses of lava on saltwater frieze I am the washing of particled stones The salt-weed and sea moss and ocean-bleached bones I am the jungle infusing exploding I am the tundra diffusing unloading I am the depths of sulfurous sea valleys Crabs spidering through my Riftia alleys I am the heights of the quartz-weighted peak Lighter than air where peregrines seek In one slip of time, with a reach of my toes A stretch of my hips and scuff of my nose I reach out to space with the tips of my hair – Come talk with me, child; you’re under my care.
Leopard, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
FEATURED ARTIST: ALEX RUDEE Affable and funny, Alex Rudee is a favorite host for Halloween parties, Friendsgivings, and movie nights. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a 2nd year Duke graduate student studying environmental economics and policy, and his brilliance in academics is matched by his talents as a musician, photographer, and writer. Eno keeps the identities of submitters secret from the board until after voting has finished, yet Alex won not only our photography contest last year, but our short story contest this year (you can read his winning submission on page 13). Eno sat down with Alex to learn about his insights, experiences, and artistic goals. How did you get into photography?
Growing up, my mom had a home-based business in photo albums, like scrapbooking, and so she was always the documentarian of the family. As a kid, I would come into her workshops, and I wanted to make my own scrapbook right next to her. I followed whatever she did and tried to design my own creative layouts. That exposed me to it, initially. I was always borderline-obsessed with animals. I loved going to the zoo and seeing the animals and collecting postcards and cutouts from the zoo books and magazines I had as a kid. I always liked having those kinds of images of wildlife around. That inspired me when I got older to test out my own abilties.
Blue-and-yellow macaw, Zoo Aves, San Jose, Costa Rica 17
You’re artistic in many ways. Do you favor any one specific medium?
I don’t know that I could pick one. I think, professionally, writing is the most useful and kind of my biggest advantage. I’m not a professional photographer, so most organizations have professional photographers whom I’m not going to compete with, but I feel like I can write a story to rival anyone else who can write a story. Photography is just so immediate, and it’s also very shareable - like you can put your pictures up and have so many other people exposed to the experience that you had and hopefully inspire them in that way. Writing a story or a blog post or an essay might be more powerful to the people who read it, but you’re going to get far less people reading it. I find the need for a lot of different kinds of expression, music being another one, so I like having the variety of the different kinds of mediums.
Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California
What kind of equipment do you use?
This is another instance where I’m not really a hardcore photographer. Not that I wouldn’t like to have really fancy equipment, but, for me, taking photographs is all about capturing those serendipitous moments while I’m out exploring, adventuring, whatever. So [my camera] needs to be practical — something I am going to take around with me, something that I’m not going to worry about, and something that’s going to fit in my limited budget. The camera I’ve been using for the last few years is a Sony Powershot. It allows me to have a camera wherever I go, at least while I’m travelling, and to capture the moments.
What’s your favorite thing about photography as a medium?
My sarcastic answer is that I don’t have to put all the time into learning how to draw or paint. But more seriously, photography — it captures the world around you, it can bring people closer to far-off places, to places and things and animals and people that they might not be able to see otherwise, and it’s very personal. I feel like you get an emotional connection looking at a beautiful photograph.
Bill McKibben wrote, “What the warming world needs now is art, sweet art.” What do you think of that idea?
Is there anything in particular you hope people feel when they look at your work?
My interpretation is that what science really needs is stories, cause that’s how we connect. That’s how you get engaged, that’s how you empathize with another cause, and obviously images are a hugely important part of stories. [Photographs are] a much more immediate way to transport someone to a place or to an issue — something that helps you relate. I think that to the extent that we’re trying to work toward environmental change, policy change, whatever might be, the science is important, but the science isn’t going to reach people without the stories, both visual and narrative.
For me, seeing an image of a really cool place or scene makes me want to go there. I think that the utlimate way to empathize with an issue or another group of people or a certain place is to actually go there or experience it for yourself. I guess I would hope that my photographs also inspire more people to want to get out there, to travel, to go outside their comfort zone and visit new places and try new experiences that will help bring them closer to the issues of the world.
Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Frog, Amani Forest Reserve, Tanzania
Cheetah, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Saguaro cactus, Saguaro National Park, Arizona 18
The Comet Betty Jamerson Reed
The sky, peppered with silver stars, flaunts its beauty, exploding like a silver fountain across the night.
Post Hibernation Betty Jamerson Reed
Rounding a double “s” curve one spring morning–post hibernation– I slammed on my brakes; my silver Vibe idling nose-to-nose with a frightened Ursus Americanus, whose massive paw clenched nervously. Displaced by development, the bear flared his nostrils, shifted his dark eyes, glanced hastily away and back with an unvoiced question: friend or foe? Pulling into the on-coming lane, I found my bear there. So we danced a few cautious back-and-forth’s. Tiring of this and spurred by fear, my bear leaped to a boulder, jutting from the bank, gripping it tightly, clinging, fearful of a fall. Then I pass, deserting this wayward bear, vaguely recalling tales of sky bears dwelling in azure space, Callisto‒ and Great Bear, whose blood tinged earth’s leaves orange and red–but I have left my un-caged bear behind. Eno
Artwork (p. 19) Cameron Oglesby “A Midnight Flight” Acrylic paint 20
Photo by: Gordon Li
The Merchant’s Millpond
We drifted too, that Blackwater pavement with speckled copper hues. For some, the Avenue a dismal maze. For us, a spot of muse. A silent stop on fluted shags— we rest on scaly knees. The gleying Millpond’s signature a pulse sensed on the trees.
Needles, plates around us moved peat plumes strike our nose. Those bearded strangers looked at us on duckweed paths we froze.
POETRY CONTEST WINNER
Were we lost or had we found a secret in the swamp? Something sacred in the land a place we shouldn’t tromp? That heavy air was charged with life though time there did stand still. Friction felt beneath our boat— the current brought a chill.
Dear Tree Leon Li
Landmark of memory, sculpture of time Tree, how you bridge the heavens and the earth Every leaf like a mind reaching for light Every root grasping deep into the dirt Fractal of fate, as if math were alive In your silent, unfolding expansion You plunge through the air, you fall towards the sky Like the birds that reside in your branches Not long has passed since I lived in your limbs I mean not in my own life as a child But six million years ago as a chimp When I was still faultless and free and wild The Garden has closed its gate to my kind But Tree, will you stay to warn, to remind?
Photo by: Kendall DeLyser
Erosion Geran Landen
The waves are breaking. The waves are breaking on Hillcrest Street. I repeat it to myself in my head, and I still can’t believe it. The waves are breaking on Hillcrest Street. Well what used to be Hillcrest Street. I can see bits of asphalt in the sand, the same asphalt Pat and I used to bike on as kids. The last remaining landmark of Hillcrest Street. It had been the path to the Mecca that had always been the Hillcrest house. “It’s on the highest point on the island,” Grams used to tell us, with ferocious pride. She’d mention it when anyone talked about the dunes eroding, when anyone mentioned that another house had fallen victim to the sea. Bury me in the sea. Bury me in the sea, she’d always ask. But now that we are here to pack up her things, to say goodbye to her and the house and the island (was there a difference at this point?). Now that we are here, for the last time — the coast guard has ensured us that it will be the last time, they are closing the bridge next month — how can we fulfill her final wish? Is there a sea left to be buried in? It’s all around us, consuming the island, but it feels hollow. “I can’t see it anymore, kids. I can’t see the ocean,” she had told us, the last time
Photo by: Anna Windle
we took her down the stairs to put her feet in the ocean. By then, her vision was gone. And so were the baitfish. The dolphins didn’t play in the surf like they used to. The osprey had seemingly disappeared. “I can’t see it anymore either Gram.” We have to do it. The ocean she knew and loved is gone, but we have to do it. I don’t want to let go of her or the house or the island, but I have to do it. And so we let her ashes fly over the increasingly barren ocean. A body of water that used to mean so much to her. She and the ocean had always been so similar in my mind. Always there, always nurturing, always fighting. And now that she is gone, what am I left with? Nothing on the crumbling island is the same anymore. Gram is gone, the fish are gone, the dunes are gone. She fought as hard and as long as she could, but she still left in the end. “Maybe not now, Jack,” She had said. “But I can still feel it. I can hear the waves breaking and a seagull calling, and as long as there is a tide, there is a chance to see it again.” That’s why she asked. The magic of the ocean was gone for her, for us. But still she asked. “Will you bury me in the sea?” And so we did. As we watched the ocean consume the last of her, an osprey flew overhead, a fresh kill in its claws. There is still life here. The waves are breaking on Hillcrest Street. The waves are breaking.
Photo by: Elizabeth Sarno
Environmental Action Edward Levin
I was born a cloud of smoke, Never heard my teacher spoke, Ever held my rage to stoke, Twisted by this season.
Mission: Oplan N4TU123 (NATURE) Bannie Bandibas
With this dread since I awoke, This failed cause that I’m a joke, Atmosphere will light my toke, Keep my path from treason.
Under the heat of the sun, That now burns my skin. Where I once run, Now forbidden.
Me and mine and all my folk, Rising now on we will stroke, Up away from toxic soak, Right our way to reason.
The trees that I played with, Now sawed for chairs. I have no one to share with, My joys and despairs. The flowers that blooms freely, Not sudden dries. Where is my tulip and lily, That hears my silent cries. Hills and mountain are destructed. Slowly having the the lowland’s kiss. O beautiful nature, my beloved — How long could you suffer from this? Can you still be strong — While I’m seeking for solution? It is us, who treat you wrong — Just give it a try, we’re now on. Setting the fire to save you. Having the desire to help you. Not only to build again your road — But this is also for our own good. Let me speak to this generation — Let the nature have it’s elevation. For it has been here before any nation. To keep it is our task and mission.
Photo by: Rebecca Dalton Eno
Photo by: Rachel Brinks
Early August in the Badlands Julia Bingham
The wind slides away today’s arid heat, swept as if with a broom over the hills and horizon following the sun’s trailing colors. The few trees and grasses here sigh, relieved of harsh hot rays, but now deprived of productive light. The birds — swallows, hawks — make final swoops before giving way the sky to bats’ delight of insects and nighttime desert flowers. The moon shakes her shawl of clouds and dusty haze; Brighter. Gleaming silver underwater. Twilight is her shining moment before the first stars chorus behind her brief solo and eventually blanket the above in a sparkling quilt. The crickets rejoice, as do the coyotes — Now is their time to Sing and to Dance and to Thank the moon and then roam, playfully, over the prairie.
Faye Goodwin Even the heavy sun is dread and steam today, drags its wet mass into glaring cloudless morning. The ferns of my skin fiddlehead and furl, the loam and vine of my sweat grow eyelids that blink slow as sap in the creeping afternoon All waits and breathes in swamp, putrid, all mustard gas building in the bulk of trunk and back of neck, all oozes in a soup of fallow fen, gallows bend from sickly mangrove throats and yellow buzzing locusts dirge the death of 2pm and then clean blue water sweeps the road. Wind breathes. Shakes fresh branches into waking. the soil exalts. Stilled life bursts again. Frogsong. Waterfowl. Molluscan baptism. The clay of my body drinks and lives again. the earth cools and rests.
Photo by: Elizabeth Sarno
Photo by: Sophia Li
It’s All Electric
Ted McCormack Whether lush and green, Dry and dusty under the sun, The blue of the sea, Or the gray and glass of our cities With their yellow and white striped streets, It’s all electric. In spite of each process and thing, From photons to photosynthesis, From a thought to a knee jerk, Seeming so singular And independent in its individuality, When you look at them Far inwardly, At their ultimate depth, Their uniqueness breaks down Into universal similarity With all mass and matter. All things…the quick and the dead, Us, them, and it Are all electric, Negative orbiting positive, Electrons orbiting protons and neutrons In mostly empty space In their atoms, Attracting and repelling themselves Into molecules, Valencing into Animal, vegetable, and mineral,
Solid, liquid, dust, and gas, Living cells and windblown sand. Look deeply Into yourself and me, And you will see That we are both Ten to the billionth power Positive and negative electric charges, Repelling when our too-much-alike forces Encounter each other, Attracting when we find our differences appealing. We orbit each other, Held together by nuclear interactions Much older than love. Ancient and powerful, The electromagnetic forces That are the essence of all Nature Swirl within each of us for a lifetime. Then millions of millennia from now, When Earth passes, Our eternal atoms will recycle into new stars Where stellar nucleosynthesis creates The elements that formed us Into introspective humans Who contemplate our existence And our place as electric beings Somewhere in the spectrum From sub-atomic to galactic. Eno
Searching for Higher Ground Jill Hamilton
t’s a strange feeling, knowing that you’re living through a significant moment in history. Lately, I’d become more aware of the headlines in the news, more perceptive of my daily conversations with family and friends. I realized, perhaps subconsciously at first, that this period in time would surely change things. I found myself making an effort to remember the small details – the pictures and protests, the feelings of uncertainty, the undeniable weight of the air. What was it like? They’d someday ask, wanting the perspective of those who’d lived through it. Conflict was increasing at a staggering rate as populations rapidly shifted around the globe. Millions of people were leaving their homes, uprooting their lives and moving inland and upward. In many parts of the world, the ocean had finally won. Rising seas had reached toxic levels, saltwater lapping at front doors, seeping into the groundwater, and bittering everything that it touched. Many of the resulting consequences were easily seen — coastal towns washed away, cities engulfed by the tides. But there were countless other horrors happening too, many more subtle and more deadly. The ruined drinking water, the spoiled croplands, the storms so dangerous that inhabiting many places was inconceivable. I was lucky, for my move inland had been premediated and not unlike those of the past — I’d moved upstate a few years back for a new job. For many though, displacement was happening under far less privileged and positive circumstances. Countries with nowhere left for their citizens were purging entire towns and regions, forcing their people to leap into the arms of any nation that would catch them. We all watched as the world’s leaders stumbled to implement laws in response to the chaos. They were colloquially referring to the newly proposed immigration policies as Higher Ground Acts, a feeble attempt to inject a dose of morality and wordplay into the global disarray. We face a time that necessitates not only a shift of populations, but of culture and compassion, a face on the television had recently been saying, trying to invoke the type of international cooperation that almost always fails. Humans were inherently fearful of difference, pushing away diversity in favor of
segregation and similarity — and this unsettling truth now faced us all like never before. The crisis of rising tides was no longer a potential future threat, but a readily erupting reality in cities big and small. Waves of turmoil pummeled governments and the people that led them, unwilling to wait for the policies and plans that should have been put in place long ago. What had previously plagued only the isolated corners of the world now revealed itself to the denser zones of humanity as well — Miami, New York, Japan, and countless others were desperately seeking solutions. The climate exiles. The State-less. The environmental refugees. The millions who were searching for empathy and acceptance, reluctantly willing to build a new home in any country that would take them. Some governments had already formed agreements with others, those with long-ago historical ties reuniting once again. Other nations had formed regional alliances in advance of any international directives, trying feebly to negotiate a plan that would somehow favor their industries and economies. But the majority, it seemed, remained closed off and defensive, refusing to open their doors until absolutely forced to do so. Many people spoke of the opportunities at hand, urging leaders to seize this chance to reshape humanity’s views of class and culture for the better. Presented with a human migration so vast in proportion, now was the time to design diverse and equitable cities, create immigration policies unrecognizable from those of the past, and to lay the foundation for a more sustainable and just future. But it was a process so inherently complicated, existing in such intense opposition to the world’s longheld views of culture, country and place, that none of us dared predict how events would unfold. Questions and proposed solutions churned among nations, flowing past us in this most significant moment in time. We talked and we watched and we listened, looking to one another and wondering what it would be like to someday reminisce. What had the world done? What had we?
This fictional story, set in the late 21st century, references the following article for ideas and terminology: Byravan, Sujatha, and Sudhir Chella Rajan. (2015). Sea Level Rise and Climate Change Exiles: A Possible Solution. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 71(2), 21-28.
If We Could Hear the Earth
When we punch holes to drill for oil and gas the planet would say ouch As we fell oxygen producing forests the sky would cough As giant shovels dig giant mines the mountains would cry As we release CO2 to warm the planet thunderstorms would rumble As we disrupt the ocean with disposable plastic the fish would scream If the Earth could speak the planet would tell humans be prepared to be homeless
Photo by: Sujal Manohar
Photo by: Kelly Hovarth
Capturing a Rainbow
Betty Jamerson Reed
The death of dark clouds, vicious wind and gushing rain, then the fierce dawn of a rainbow against a backdrop of sunshine and morning mist floods my face with a smile, rare on morning commutes, so I steer my ebony Volt to the curb, wrestle the I-pad from an alligator bag. Tapping an icon, I capture the scene for future contemplation and drive on to earn my wages, my throat tightening, dreading a dreary day of scrambling vibrant words into dull code, amputating life from language, facing a lifetime of boring labor bereft of a rainbowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beauty.
Photos (p. 31) by: Nathan Walker (Top) Bobbi Lesser (Bottom)
Children of Summer Elizabeth Allen
Run free into the night, all you tired and broken Let the stars guide you to this familiar forest A magical site, your home away from home Your home that will always be here Your home that invites you back Let yourself believe in beauty And the moonlit night Will welcome you Nature calls Answer Answer me I am waiting Reach out to me I hope for your embrace I will always wish for you I know that you have been gone But I also know you can come again You have the freedom to choose and to believe You have the freedom to become again children of summer
Photo by: Gordon Li