NONFICTION


Whose Words These Are:
Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon 

by NANCY LORD

Words are among the songs we hear, the sounds carried even into forest. I commit to an October listening: to the plinks of raindrops on leaves, the calls of birds, water running over rocks, the names we give in reverence and dismissal, the past as it informs the present.


Wonderberry Jam

by CYNTHIA SCOTT WANDLER
Art by MEGHAN RIGALI

. . . sunberries. Mom finds them on the shelf, holds them out to me, tells me that in all her years she has never actually seen a seed packet of them for sale before. Of course I buy them.


Ocean: An Autobiography

by H. E. FISHER


Ocean. This is my autobiography, so be hush.

I started in the wet of my mommy's belly and swam in you, raced, swallowed you. My skin burned in your silver reflection. I dove into your churn and you delivered me.


Three Pounds

by HEATHER TOURGEE

The same carbon molecules that lodged themselves in the cell walls of prehistoric swamps, pressed and churned and chemically mutilated to become bituminous, or maybe anthracite, have been burned, released, and sunk into my own flesh and accounts for a significant portion of my own embodiment.


Searching for a Landscape Identity

by ELI J. KNAPP

It’s a common, yet chronic, disease. The symptoms are straightforward, but the cure, if there is one, isn’t. It goes like this: If you see something cool, the next time out—perhaps even years later—you expect to see it where you did that very first time.


Burn It, Bury It, Send It Downriver

by JENNY RUTH
Photography by WILLIAM C. CRAWFORD

Burning garbage is not illegal around here. I checked. It’s not illegal in most of the county, unless you live in a town where garbage removal is a munic­ipal service.


Reversals

by STEPHEN BLACK

My grandma, the daughter of a west Texas rancher, corralled the scattered world with words: crow, barn, maple, whirlpool, starlings.


Sailing in the Fog

by JERRY D. MATHES II

I sleep just below the waterline, wedged in a bunk in the forecastle. I dream of fish.


Yet Another Poem About Denver

 by ASHIA AJANI

The slopes and nicks of Denver seem to change almost imperceptibly. A catfish joint goes out of business. A neighborhood-run gardening initiative is abandoned and overrun with weeds and empty beer cans. Rent goes up seventy-five dollars. Then another hundred. Then another.


Dailiness

by KELLY GARRIOTT WAITE

Blind Cat sleeps on a rust-colored cushion in a wicker chair in the sunroom. He's on his side, his straight orange back facing me, his face steeping in the sunshine that streams in through the windows.


Acadia National Park: A Confession

by CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON

When I was in my thirties, I was an Angry Young Man. I was wrathful, irate, mad, sore as a crab, waxy, hot under the collar, raging, fiery, wrought-up, fuming, foaming, in a red-hot passion, in a pucker, in a huff, in high dudgeon, infuriated, furious, hopping mad, rabid, foaming at the mouth.


The Sins of the Fathers

by CANDACE R. CRAIG

What Faustian bargain was made to set a river ablaze? How apocalyptic it must’ve seemed in the children’s eyes. But it didn’t often strike their parents this way. For most, this was the price of industry . . .


Weathering the Storm

by REBECCA BEVANS

And I, small being caught in this woolly mess, retreated further into myself, until I was a speck within the body of a girl who was still somehow crouched in lightning position on a sleeping mat inside a flimsy tent at the bottom of Tin Cup Pass.


Cacophony of Quitting

by SEAN PRENTISS

Each one of us shouting our two-minute notice, each crying what
we most want from that other world [a bacon cheese burger] [a
hot shower] [a swim in a river] [a long night’s sleep] [a boy- or
girlfriend nearby] until this cacophony of quitting fills the air
& steals, for one moment, all our savage fatigue.


Working Resonance: Concerto for Guide Dog, Handler, and World

by EMILY K. MICHAEL

 In darkness, the audience rises, applauding the last performance of the evening. Before I can bang my hands together with wild abandon, I slide my guide dog’s leash back over my arm,into the crook of my elbow. My companion rises from his prone position and assumes a dignified sit, scanning from left to right. He recognizes the applause as a signal for our imminent departure.


The Space Between: On Climate Change and Haiku Perception

by JESSE CURRAN

The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
with children.


Two Ways to Take

by NICHOLAS LITTMAN

When I stepped into a commercial maple forest for the first time, I thought I had come into the wrong place. The maples were there—gray and leafless in their winter drab—but it was what stretched over the snow between them—the miles of black and blue plastic—that made me uneasy. It wasn’t their ugly straight lines or their artificial tautness that unsettled me. It was the idea of what they were replacing.