Earth Gasping

On October 6 I gathered with other writers and avid readers at Grateful Steps Publishers Bookstore in Asheville, NC, to celebrate the appearance of another issue of Fresh, a literary magazine edited and published by J. C. Walkup, Penny Morse, and Buffy Queen.

They have been supporters of my poetry writing and I read a recent poem that is in this issue. They wanted to have an ecological focus on earth, so I contributed “Earth Gasping,” which picks up themes I have been meditating on for some time.

At the same time, I want to celebrate my agreement with Wipf & Stock, a publisher mainly of religious studies texts in Eugene, Oregon, to bring out my collection of poems entitled Turnings: Poems of Transformation. I am very pleased that they have added a poetry list to their publications.

I was drawn to them by the appearance of Weak Devotions, by Luke Hankins, an Asheville poet and senior editor of the Asheville Poetry Review. For those of you who want spiritual grit and religious depth in poetry, I recommend it highly.

Earlier versions of some of the poems in Turnings have appeared in this blog. Others reach back to the very beginning of my poetry writing.

Doubly significant for me is that their office is five blocks from where my wife Sylvia lived in her college years at the University of Oregon. Since her sister is nearby, I hope we can get out there to launch its appearance in late summer or early fall of next year.

For the moment, here is “Earth Gasping.”

Earth gasping

overheated from the race

against our human grasping

reeling from her broken pace

Melts ice to cool the fever

slow the fire on the land

Turns winter into summer

beaches dolphins on the strand

Inhales the noxious vapors

breeding cancer in her lungs

Swallows refuse of her captors

the bile rising to her tongue

Sends lilies up in mourning

the rainbow as a pledge

the cockroach as a warning

the raven as a hedge.

1 thought on “Earth Gasping”

  1. Earth gasping is one of my favorites of your many beautiful pieces; it says so much in your particular subtle, metaphorical and visual style. I can’t wait to read the upcoming book and congrats on finding just the right publisher. Keep us posted.
    ps: Yes, the Grateful Steps gathering was a feast for readers and writers. You added so much class and clarity to our gathering. Thank you again!

Comments are closed.