Poecology, for me, was a return to the earth, to nature. The poems, dealing with crops, rivers, apples, bugs, sparrows, and summer squash, made me want to go outside, lay down in the grass, and breathe in the fresh air. Of course, instead, I sat in my house, cuddled with my cat, and finished reading and writing from a digital screen, but for brief moments, it was nice to be transported to a place outside my suburban home.
Tess Taylor’s “Easter Freeze” deals with the struggles of crowing crops in ever-changing and challenging climates:
Sky’s ADD, says Mora as we move
eggplant sprouts from 64s to 32s
shoving root-hairs down, transplanting–
like copying notes out from a notebook,
doing rote-work, piece-work, on for hours—
tomatoes have a better survival rate than poems, I say,
and Mora laughs.
But all this will be consumed so quickly
for all the tending that we do. Today
we move cukes and zukes with funny names—
cash crops for fancy restaurants—
For a moment, we’re in a hopeful time.
Sarah Ciston’s “TRAVELNET / 37° 45? 7.87? N, 122° 25? 12.50? W” put me into deep thought with phrases like “A bird flaps its wings in Bogotá, except the bird isn’t there, only its wings. This makes their flapping even more pronounced. This makes their rhythm a secret message no one hears” and “Write it down on anything that doesn’t move. Mark it permanent, so that it will stay where you cannot.”
Rebecca Mayer contributes several poems, many of them about the Ute. My favorite of hers is “Something She Remembers But Would Never Tell Anyone”: “Like when she was small and she thought God lived in a pink plastic bucket, or maybe it was that he / would eat from the bucket, so she could save scraps of French bread and pound cake and / sometimes whole cupcakes and feed God by placing everything inside.”
Diana Rosinus’s “Time Measured” made me stop for a moment and be still, catch my breath:
the patience in pause
the worship in wait
lost in irregular moans and breath, of wet
of still and air
where the body like a gyroscope hums—
time pauses here and waits.
There is plenty here to make you pause, to make you think, and to make you take in your surroundings. Poecology, though entirely online, can almost give a break from the digital world and remind us of the natural world around us.