My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”
First item of business: Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature-themed prose: creative nonfiction or environmental nonfiction, eco-criticism, interviews, hybrid literary forms, and short fiction, including novel excepts, that reflect on humankind’s relationship to the natural world, wherever writers engage it.
We’re especially interested in writing that demonstrates the need for and effects of what I call €œgreen language €–rhetorical prowess that taps into the fertile realm of language’s most vital energies. One of WIZ’s foremost goals is to advocate for better behavior in the teeming yet at-risk environment of human language.
So, got nature in your prose? Please consider sending it to Wilderness Interface Zone. Before you submit your writing, please read our About and Submissions pages.
Item two: Poets, please continue sending your poetry. WIZ loves poetry! Please send your nature-inspired poems to Jonathon at WIZpoetryeditor@motleyvision.org.
Item the third: For the past three years, starting on or around the spring equinox, WIZ has launched its Spring Poetry Runoff, an annual, themed poetry competition celebrating spring’s highly anticipated arrival. Each year, the influx of vernal verse has graced WIZ with a garden of poesy. It’s been one of my favorite times of the WIZ year.
This year, Jonathon and I have chosen not to run the Runoff. We’ll bring it back in 2014 in new and improved form. However, we will host an informal spring fling featuring poetry and prose that revels in the arrival of warmer and brighter days, the annual emergence of life, and the onset of spring migrations that change life’s scenery.
Spring rises before the sun on March 20. Feel free to add a ribbon to WIZ’s literary maypole. Even if your poem, essay, short story or novel excerpt merely mentions spring and nature, please consider submitting it to the festivities.
My neighbor’s light steps
Through gaps between the boards at night,
And my neighbor’s light steps
Drift like leaves among his unguessed furniture.
At sunset, the sun leaks from his room.
We have never spoken through the wall,
Though we have, at other times, spoken,
And we have, at other times, thought
Of each other’s sleeping.
Male and female,
Twining like butterflies in the space
Of the wall’s other room.
I guess love
And wait ’til their trembling,
And the wall’s trembling, pass.
Then embers of their conversation
Once more permit sleep.
I hear a woman crying.
I think, “There is a woman in my dreams, crying.”
Then I think, “No, I am crying.”
And then another voice says, €œNo,
That’s real sadness on the other side
Of the wall–not your dreaming. €
I follow the sounds, but when my eyes open,
They have nowhere to go in the blindfold blackness.
Yet to my ears, the nightingale, a bare-throated woman,
Warbles her sorrows through the wall’s divide.
Patricia Karamesines lives with her family in the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S. She has won many awards for her poetry, essays, and fiction. She is the author of The Pictograph Murders, a mystery set in the area where she lives. An adjunct English professor for Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, she teaches English composition but acts at the college mainly as an English tutor, working mostly with the school’s Native American students. She is founding editor of Wilderness Interface Zone and a passionate advocate for the environment of human expression.
Photo of an old door in Dakhla, Egypt via Wikimedia Commons.
Black seams skitter
Through mantled rock,
Encrusted veins of blackened heart
Hide within its poisoning death
Until exhumed by grave diggers,
Faces black with toil-worn greed.
Black smoke bellows
In high desert air,
Sooted walls of blackened lung
Hide within its poisoning death
Until exhaled by grave fillers,
Faces white with aged fate.
Infant heart struggles
Within plastic tent
As bellowed tubes and gauges pump
And beat louder than Death’s blackened wing.
Hides within its poisoning death
Until excised by wondrous grave emptiers,
Faces pink with reborn life.
Lee Allred lives alone in a small gray house on headlands overlooking the windswept Oregon Coast. Lee has lived and travelled extensively across the globe. He is a professional fiction writer and much of his published work incorporates poetry €”lines from the classics and lines from his own.
Photo by Jack Corn, 1974, via Wikimedia Commons: “First shift of miners at the Virginia Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #4 near Richlands, Virginia, leaving the elevator.”