Tag Archives: trees

mindaugas briedis | slow trees

Tėti, Medžiai lėti, bet balsuoja už vėją pirmi Mokosi lenktis, treniruojasi Dar jie laukia audros Griežtos vienišos mamos Ji užduos išmokt atsitiest iki aušros Nebuvo bėdos, šliaužiojom tarp tiesos ir sriubos Šūvio aidas parode- mes kalnuos Lygiagretus urvai susikirstu tikrai Jei turėtum kantrybės jais sekti iki kontūrams blėstant Bet nurimsta širdis, kai paviršium nuslysta akis, Pasaulis pradėtas žiemos įkarštyje jau vėsta Aš bijau kai prieina vaikai Tėti, tu juk viską žinai Kai aš mirsiu, ar aš mirsiu visai? Kažką atsakau, juk ne veltui barzdotas Tiek suvedžiota, neapžiotum Lygiagretus urvai susikirstu tikrai Jei turėtum kantrybės jais sekti iki kontūrams blėstant Bet nurimsta širdis, kai paviršium nuslysta akis, Pasaulis pradėtas žiemos įkarštyje jau vėsta
Mindaugas Briedis is a philosopher and song-writer from Vilnius, Lithuania. He works as a professor in several Vilnius universities. Also keeps alive bardic tradition which he understands as the oscillation between pure poetry and language/expression experiments. Similarly his music gravitates from traditional author’s songs genre, a la folk-rock arrangements to alternative acoustics. Mindaugas has recorded five albums and published a poetry collection titled Ice for Priapus. For more, visit briedismusic.com/

michael jennings | remains

My son guides me up the long hill squelching in run-off, along trails narrow as goat paths through the trees to show me the strewn bones of a deer nested in her shed shreds of fur, almost golden, where some wood spirit laid her to rest, and the coyotes and crows stripped her, leaving only a hoof and furred knuckle intact among a clutter of collapsed ribs. He shows me the clean white vertebrae, the pelvis with its odd eye hole, the knee still attached with some last rope of sinew.                This is his find, stumbled on as he tried his new spring legs in a downhill, helter-skelter run, and stopped, and stared, and in his eleven year old mind knew that this was the stuff of running undone, something the receding snow left for him personally, a sign of winter’s weight.                               We eye it together. We go down on our knees to gather pieces of the witchcraft mystery. The grey trees around us are also bones that click and chatter in the wet wind of almost spring. The brown limpid eyes are gone. The crumbling gnarl of spine, once nerved and tremulous, is now only a train wreck the grass will hide in a month’s time. We feel the doorway of earth opening. We feel the thinness of our skins and the prickling of short hairs rising. We know what’s at the bottom of things, how soon the mayflies will be dancing their measured reels of the evening.
jennings-photoMichael Jennings was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans and grew up in east Texas and the deserts of southwestern Iran before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He is the author of eight books of poems, most recently Silky Thefts from Orchises Press and Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries: New and Selected Poems from The Sheep Meadow Press. He is also an internationally recognized breeder and judge of Siberian Huskies and the author of three books on the breed.

marian o’brien paul | legacy of apple trees

You know how it feels when you’ve eaten almost all the apple? The sweet flesh gnawed down to the core, thumb on blossom end, forefinger on the stem, not enough apple left for a good mouthful? Years ago, spring flooded our backyard with apple blossom scent so sweet it jerked me sideways when I walked out the front door, pulled me over the porch rail to look at the pink, bee-filled cloud. All summer long we siblings waited while green apples swelled, watched for the first faint blush on apple skin kissed by hot sun, climbed up tree limbs, stretched out arms to reach the fattest fruit. We never suffered apple gripe from eating apples still too green. Adept at finding the best fruit, not even worms warned us off; we’d seen our mother excise bad apple parts and we knew how. The yard is empty now: trees, like years, gone and children old. Where small feet once bared the ground, the grass grows thick. The legacy of apple trees: soil enriched by autumn windfalls. Memory is strong. I still smell apple blossoms on spring wind; taste a just-fallen apple’s sweet-tart juice, the bruise sun-warm; wish the core held a mouthful yet between forefinger and thumb.
Participant in the Poetry as Contemplation and Proclamation Seminar Fall, 2012, Marian O'Brien Paul taught literature and writing for more than 25 years. In April 2013, her poem “Cahokia Mounds, Illinois” appeared in The Midwest Prairie Review (Univ. of Wisconsin). Others of her poems can be found in the “Poetic Asides” column, Writer’s Digest (Feb. 2011) and in The Stony Thursday Book (Tipperary, Ireland, 2010), as well as in various journals, e-zines, and magazines over the years. Her blog: http://nativemissourian.wordpress.com/.

elizabeth raby | at the peak

Above smoldering caldera, from the rim of the volcano long gray slopes of cinders still hot and smoking, nothing alive but the fire inside. It’s hard to believe that this barren beginning will in time nourish so much green, so much life. The wildebeests graze on the richest grass on earth nourished by minerals forced out through fire. Our earth has done it again and again and so have we, I guess. Churned and ruined land at Verdun, bones of 600,000 bodies collected, piled in the grim hump of the ossuary, most of the bombs from that battlefield gathered too. Almost one hundred years later, although the ground is still prone to detonate from unexploded ordinance, trees have grown tall. How many times can we do it to each other and the earth? How much ruined land, corpse-littered, can regenerate? We wait for the super volcano, the asteroid, the force that will finish us. Perhaps if sentient life evolves again it will be better, finer, kinder, deserving this magnificent chance.
Elizabeth Raby is the author of 3 full-length poetry collections, This Woman (2012), Ink on Snow (2010), and The Year the Pears Bloomed Twice (2009), all published by Virtual Artists Collective and of four chapbooks. She worked as a poet-in-the-schools and taught poetry at Muhlenberg College.