Providing grounds for the greening of human language.

 

 

 

 

Most Days, the Morning Sun’s a Blazing Smudge by Mark Penny

by Jonathon | 2.14.14

Mark image

Most days, the morning sun’s a blazing smudge
Athwart the city’s searing opal dome,
An egg dropped on an egg, the crack of dawn
Sprawling against a shield that will not budge.
But sometimes, when I stay up all the night
To will my love of nature on the world,
No screen of silken, dusty gray or white
Conceals the chick of heaven where it’s curled.
Those days, the line of jungled, jumbled crags
That spine this island juts along the east
Like a cold lizard basking and the rags
Of last night’s laundry tremble at the beast.
Then the frail yellow phoenix lifts its head
To light the sky and burn awake the dead.

_______________________________________
Mark headshotA middle-aged man in Taiwan
Declared it was time to get on
With his stories and verse
Before loading the Hearse.
It’s of him the above is the spawn.

Mark is, if not ubiquitous, variously present, as follows: Mars Denar, ici, Lowly Seraphim, Dawning of a Brighter Day, Sunstone, and Dialogue.

Photo by the poet.

Valentine Haiku Chain by Patricia K.

by Patricia | 2.13.14

Swans Valentine

As part of Wilderness Interface Zone’s Love of Nature Nature of Love Month, we thought it would be fun to run a Valentine haiku chain. This is a just for fun song and dance event for many voices and dancing levels.

A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but there are longer and shorter forms. In English, haiku often take the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables, but there are many ways–take your pick. If you’re interested, you can find out more about haiku here or here. (For fun, check out the “annoying haiku” at the first website.)

There’s no deadline for this activity and the only requirement is that you focus your feeling in a nature-oriented haiku. You can link your haiku to an image in a preceding one or simply forge a link out of new images altogether.  The chain runs as long as participants continue to forge links in the smithies of their minds.

Considered a mindfulness practice, writing haiku requires discipline–even if you’re writing effectively annoying haiku. So if you like the challenge of cramming your deepest feelings and most perceptive insights (or your silliest ones) into 17 syllables, this activity is for you.

Ready? Here is my opening Valentine haiku:

Tart flowers have shaped
bee’s dance; bee, flowers’ bouquet.
Almost, this is love.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Patricia Karamesines1Patricia Karamesines {p.karamesines@gmail.com} is the author of The Pictograph Murders (Signature Books 2004), an award-winning mystery novel set in the Four Corners area. Her poetry appears in the landmark anthology Fire in the Pasture (Peculiar Pages 2011) and has also been published in Dialogue and Irreantum. A long time ago, she was the founding editor of BYU’s literary journal Inscape, a feat she remains satisfied with. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and essays. She writes for A Motley Vision and runs the nature writing blog Wilderness Interface Zone that advocates for the greening of human language. Currently, she is an English tutor and adjunct at Utah State University-Eastern Blanding where she works closely with the university extension’s Native American student population.

The Trees in River Country by Sarah Dunster

by Patricia | 2.12.14

Maple leaves on grass by Rosendahl

The trees in river country know the wind,
and how to bend  in winter blasts. They hold
snow and take the water. They change color—
as the leaves of maples turn, so too
a sister to her brother.

There are deep roots in a certain field, grown up
on our name past—fed by ashes of Cedar.
What wounds we’ve had will bear true grain,
but you and I will not be felled
by spade or tractor chain.

__________________________________________________

To read another LONNOL Month poem by Sarah Dunster, go here.

Spooky by Sarah Dunster

by Patricia | 2.11.14

blue eye art

You watched her pass, the woman you
were with while you learned Poetry.
Black hair—she smiled with such grey eyes—
you watched  her pass without goodbyes,
and these hills blind me, golden; fierce
with bristling grass, smoking in the sun:
a cloud kicked up, an offering
to sanctify our suffering.

She lay down for a minute
to allow that one to come. Only
think, while holding him, a child
once held in warmth and now, exiled:
blue eyes, all. And hair like lightning.
That’s us, our full cheeks swelling,
full eyes dripping with questions still,
bellies and hearts and arms to fill.

That’s us. Black hair—she smiled with such
grey eyes. You watched her pass without
heart-ill goodbyes, at least in words.
And summer passed, and autumn turned
to place her in the pines, in heaps
of needles, sharp with what you felt
but did not say. We found her there:
ponderosas, pitch-dark like her hair.

We sang you out one icy night,
with half-shy notes of grief you would
have quickly silenced. We stood there
by your bed and sang the trio, though
you were joking when you asked; how
truly black she was beside you—
Tongue lolling, and that spooky eye
watching even as we said goodbye.

___________________________________________________________________

Sarah Dunster picSarah Dunster is wife to one, mother to seven, and an author of fiction and poetry. Her
poems have appeared on the online LDS poetry blog Wilderness Interface Zone as well as in
Victorian Violet Press, Segullah Magazine, Dialogue: Journal of Mormon Thought, Psaltery
& Lyre and Sunstone Magazine. She has published two novels with Cedar Fort under their
Bonneville Books imprint: the award winning historical fiction novel Lightning Tree, and Mile
21, which is a contemporary fiction/romance novel. When she is not writing Sarah can often
be found cleaning, cooking vegetarian or international meals, holding small people in her lap,
driving kids to soccer and piano lessons, singing in local musical productions with her family
or taking long walks after dark, especially in thunderstorms.

Witching Hour by Bradley McIlwain

by Jonathon | 2.10.14

Bat

at midnight
bats
dart

through
streams
of moonlight

glistening
like gypsy
moths

above
mountain
tops

and dangling
dream
catchers

glimpsing
visions of
desire

(more) »

Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

by Jonathon | 2.07.14

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_De_roze_perzikboom_-_Google_Art_Project

Beside the garden wall where grapevines run,
a peach tree stands, diseased and bent with age.
Her blackened branches reach up to the sun
in daily supplication for her wage.

Each year, I think, must surely be her last,
but faithfulness is undeterred by whims.
So, not content to rest on harvests past,
she bears young fruit on geriatric limbs.

With every spring, new buds and blooms emerge
and swell with promise fed by summer rains.
Though twisted and decrepit, still the surge
of liquid light flows through her ancient veins.

I’ll gather and preserve her living gold
to line my pantry shelves against the cold.

_______________________________________________
MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Image: Vincent van Gogh, De roze perzikboom (The pink peach tree), 1888.

Serendipity by Merrijane Rice

by Jonathon | 2.06.14

Erickson Image 1

The sunset splashes honey colors wide
and floods the valley floor with golden light.
It laps the mountains on the other side
before it circles down the drain of night.

Upon the dark blue dusk, the moon floats high,
adrift within the last of twilight’s glow.
Too early for the stars to fleck the sky,
the city lights take up the task below.

I’m one such light, now flowing through a stream
of weekday traffic like a shooting star.
By merest chance, I caught this evening’s dream
because I had to navigate my car

from basketball to piano for my son.
Thank heaven for the errands I must run.

_______________________________________________
MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Photo by Nicholas Tonelli, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons

LONNOL Events

by Patricia | 2.04.14

WIZ Valentine9

WIZ’s heart and LONNOL Month is officially open.

We’ve received a few tokens of affection but are longing for more. Please search your files for poems, short fiction, short essays, mp3s of readings of your work or of other work that’s in public domain, your original artwork, etc. and send them winging our way.

Along with submissions from our readers, we’ll have a winter wonderland/fond feelings haiku chain, to be initiated soon.

Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be four years old. To celebrate, we’ll be offering one or more of WIZ’s old movie giveaways. Giving our readers presents on our birthday is something we really enjoy doing. To “win” an old movie, all you’ll have to do is read each movie’s review and comment in the comment section. WIZ will contact you with further instructions about how to receive your free DVD.

It has been a hard, difficult, overlong (some would say interminable) winter. Let’s use February to warm things up.

2014 LONNOL Month begins on WIZ

by Patricia | 2.02.14

WIZ Valentine1b

It’s another LONNOL Month, WIZ’s traditional month-long celebration of love and the natural world.

We’re issuing an open call for nature-themed, love-laced writing and visual arts: original poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), videos or other media that address the subject of love while referencing nature, even if lightly. By the same token, we’re interested in nature writing raveled up with themes of love.

If you’ve written artsy Valentine wishes to someone beloved—or perhaps created a video Valentine or made a live reading of a sonnet or lyric poem that’s original to you—or if you’ve written a short essay avowing your love for people, critters, or spaces that make you feel alive, please consider sending it to WIZ. Click here for submissions guidelines.

We hope you’ll join our month-long celebration combining two of the most potent natural forces on the face of the planet–love and language.

Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow

by Patricia | 12.17.13

800px-Crab_spider by RedRue

Polar fleece. One of the best.  Inventions. Ever.

My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”

What a lovely man for doing this for us.

Until recently, my polar fleece jacket has been out of commission, in need of repair. I’ve been wearing an uncomfortable coat—the shell, actually, from my husband’s coat—made of polyester. The coat is much bigger, heavier, and longer than my fleece jacket but nowhere near as warm. (more) »