American Chestnut · Indigo Lake

Blight of the American Chestnut

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by Carrie George

with observations from the naturalist Donald Culross Peattie

The chestnut grows blighted and destined to die
on the bodies of giants that once feathered and bloomed
like a sea with white combers plowing across its surface.

Illness inhabits a legacy, inhabits a system
of root, trunk, and vein swirling black thunder through
the chestnut, grown blighted and destined to die.

Muted browns resurrect in lovely women’s locks,
in fine silk cuts pleated into dresses, curtains, tablecloths
made like seas with white combers plowing across the surface.

Resurrected in memory and laboratories where needles
shock cankers into surviving samples. We play god
on the chestnuts, growing blighted and destined to die,

or to try, at least, as generational loops curse roots back
into fatal sprouts with only distant dreams of parents flourished
like a sea with white combers plowing across its surface.

We treasured their wood in pianos, barn timbers, fences,
smoothed their tall torsos into human shapes and desires.
The blighted chestnut we sentenced to drown
its white combers still bobbing on the surface.

Continue Reading

American BeaverKatie Daley

American BullfrogLaura Grace Weldon

American ChestnutCarrie George

American GoldfinchMarybeth Cieplinski

American HornbeamJeff Gundy

Artist’s BracketSusann Moeller

Banded Fishing SpiderCharlie Malone

BluegillOlivia Farina

Common Star-of-BethlehemBrita Alaburda

Common StonefliesKaren Schubert

Eastern ChipmunkNathan Kemp

Firefly BeetleJacquie Peoples Dukes

Gray CatbirdTheresa Brightman

Great MulleinLaurie Kincer

Green HeronPaula J. Lambert

HepaticaAmanda Schuster

Interrupted FernKathleen Cerveny

Jack-in-the-PulpitMichael Buebe

Meadow VoleRoberta Jupin

Monarch ButterflyDeborah Fleming

MuskratCatherine Wing

Pearl CrescentMonica Kaiser

Poison HemlockJon Conley

Star JelliesCameron Gorman

Sugar MapleSteve Brightman

Turkey VultureLaura Grace Weldon

White-footed MouseMichelle Bissell

White-tailed DeerBenjamin Rhodes

Wild CarrotJessica Jones

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Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.