by Tovli Simiryan
Another note, you hiking alone,
in/out of cyber-space near some campsite in West Virginia,
moving slowly along a nameless creek, eventually closing in on Ohio.
So I print…so I have paper thoughts now,
folded for weeks inside my LL Bean kangaroo pocket,
a soft hunk of fluff; not the brittle leaves you crush as
fall arrives beneath your boots, dust filling cavities—
something to guess at…or, better still, declare humbling.
Just send me a picture—the Red-backed Salamander, for example,
before it forms a crust against leaves and gravel.
I hear its red striped skin is forever—a tattoo of belonging,
social monogamy and defended homelands.
Sounds like something you’re looking for, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I’ve stopped guessing, or better still everything I own
is an envelope licked, sealed shut and tasted—the hollow places filled
with living beings, or some plastic bottle tossed aside, now part of
a tattooed reptile’s habitat. Everything has its little place whether discarded,
remembered or born…
that’s it, birth; I am born deeper and deeper
and looking up, there are so many eyes, so many suns—
every piece the darkened forest transcending an upheaval of principle,
the little creek with no name and, then your footprints floating against the water;
spinning in the air. There you are—drowning in the earth;
hanging on precariously of course—see how much we’ve loved you?
American BeaverKatie Daley
American BullfrogLaura Grace Weldon
American ChestnutCarrie George
American GoldfinchMarybeth Cieplinski
American Giant MillipedeMary Quade
American HornbeamJeff Gundy
American White WaterlilyGeoffry Polk
Artist’s BracketSusann Moeller
Banded Fishing SpiderCharlie Malone
Common Star-of-BethlehemBrita Alaburda
Common StonefliesKaren Schubert
Eastern ChipmunkNathan Kemp
Eastern Tent Caterpillar MothZachary Thomas
Eastern Red-backed SalamanderTovli Simiryan
Firefly BeetleJacquie Peoples Dukes
Gray CatbirdTheresa Brightman
Great MulleinLaurie Kincer
Green HeronPaula J. Lambert
Interrupted FernKathleen Cerveny
Meadow VoleRoberta Jupin
Monarch ButterflyDeborah Fleming
Pearl CrescentMonica Kaiser
Poison HemlockJon Conley
Red-Headed Ground BeetleBob King
Star JelliesCameron Gorman
Sugar MapleSteve Brightman
Turkey VultureLaura Grace Weldon
White-footed MouseMichelle Bissell
White-tailed DeerBenjamin Rhodes
Wild CarrotJessica Jones
Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.