One way to stop seeing trees, or rivers, or hills, only as “natural resources” is to class them as fellow beings — kinfolk.
— Ursala Le Guin
The Weight of Waking [poem]
Those of us who fall restless around equinoxes and solstices know moon-rounds and the slides of sun do addle and stir every living thing and those that come to life in a squint or a poem
slip over stones made smooth by time and turtles, ancient ambers and vernal sapsuckers aroused and fuddled, we wake as one. And here our future lies:
in mating owls (woot-woot) chitter doo-wikitty Carolina wrens kon-ka-ree blackbirds bud-breaks hylas’ kreeek (the first frogs
and after) caterwauling coons, in dreaming (we) of bloodroot/faerie-cup/mossy seductrix tiny cotyls tips and midges, the weight of creation no more than an eyelid.
And for this we saunter our Sunday mornings in the Southern Loess Hills and sometimes the Nishnabotna and the Kitskatuus river (known in settlement times as Platte). Come along with us or find alone a wild and quiet place to wake and walk and spring lively.
– Jack Phillips
*Why poetry? The constraints of language even in wild company can make the sounds of soft muscles (though native to our species) a means of distance and separation. Free verse and unfettered speech can uncivilize us a bit, rewild our tongues on the path to recovered creatureliness – naked of form – to embrace the skin of rhythms, the taste of vowels and the feel of harder sounds. I especially enjoy the fricatives. No one needs to see your writing. Just sing it with the frogs.
Photos from our Saunters — just before and just after vernal equinox — in Fremont County, Iowa: blue-winged teal, turkey vulture, Troy Soderberg. Scarlet-cups, filamentous algae, Angelica Perez.