Covered by the Forest
by Elizabeth Rimmer
Morning light is softened beneath the trees
and the wind in the sycamore’s high branches
moves the leaves like rain. I stop,
and the whole wood flickers around me,
precipitates the dawn chorus to flowers
of song, of dunnock, chaffinch, wren and thrush.
Cold and damp are nothing now, and I hear
the stealth of feeding and finding prey, the romp
of squirrel, weasel-screech, the scream of hawk.
Moss grows over my knees. Wings make passage
between the tangles of my spreading hair.
Beneath my buried feet, the push and flow
of water draws me inward. I grasp and shatter
rocks between my toes. The filaments of my roots
touch bluebell corm, cached acorns, badger’s sett.
I do not flinch now from the small blows
of squirrel and tree-creeper on my hardened skin;
ant and caterpillar are welcomed to my bark.
I sway with tides of moon and weather.
Sun and wind and rain speak world to me –
I hold it all in my wide-spread boughs.
This White March Woods
by Julianne Lutz Warren
This white March woods
is less oestral mare,
than hungry moose,
with cravings slow
to melt into spring.
She waits to drop
her calf, while the
moon half rises
over the backs of
shaggy hill humps,
dark at dawning,
beneath the pink
of sky, sunning
into blue dawn.
And the breaths of
spruce trees warm bread-
sweet patches of ground
beneath their boughs,
into shapes of
yearlings, where these
half-grown beasts might
browse and sleep.
by Gillian Prew
0000000000000000Blood the maker gushes
0000000000000000from the throats of the things of earth.
0000000000000000– Osip Mandelstam
Curled-up and morning, barren and not-loved
from cradle cut, drookit and dry-suckle.
From the womb-machine he spilled/
0000000000two spun eyes
as if life was000for a moment000too ecstatic.
doubled-up000000where the concrete bites
he dreams contagious shapes/
000000000000000000a rage of reddening ghosts.
His beautiful cloudy flanks
00000a weld of wounds and wires
00000he feeds from the dark/
0000000from misery’s underside
the light carmine and open-throated.
Elizabeth Rimmer was born in Liverpool, moving to Scotland in 1977. Her first collection Wherever We Live Now was published in 2011 by Red Squirrel Press. Her second collection The Territory of Rain will be published by Red Squirrel Press in September 2015. She blogs at www.burnedthumb.co.uk.
Julianne Lutz Warren, Fellow with the Center for Humans and Nature, has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology. Based now in New York, interior Alaska resonates with her as a home place. Along with creative writings, Julianne has authored the scholarly book, Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey. Currently, her work contemplates extinction and generative renewal in the Anthropocene. She also is active in the climate justice movement.
Gillian Prew was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1966, she studied Philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1984 to 1988. Her collection, Throats Full of Graves, has been published in 2013 by Lapwing Publications. Her latest collection A Wound’s Sound, primarily about the ethical status of animals, was published by Oneiros Books in 2014.