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.
I grew up watching mountains as a promise.
A father wasted by the eternal fire on the shop’s furnace.
A mother whose mother was mother on loan.
Loving slopes. I grew up thinking that nature was trees
In a park.
Sometimes I drive my car far,
Somewhere out of this urban ocean
That I am diving into wild.
But the wildest here is how we harvested concrete.
This pawn shop of natural spirits:
Landscape framed by the fast windows of the subway.
Today gave birth to another windy spring.
Does it matter anymore?
I sit neat in a terrace just to watch people come and go.
Rain left the asphalt clean and pleased
And I marvel at the flowers planted on the windowsills.
This is it.
This is him.
Springy boy dotting his landscape with promises of new horizons,
Where cars are grassy, buildings leafy and people flowery.
Daisies keep blooming upon manhole covers
And I still have hopes.
Spring in cities is rolling down the window
The miracle of sight.
Nice rhythm while life cheers up the prosaic tragedies
Of common men like me.
I guess I look stupid sitting in this park,
staring at that kid,
When he caresses daisies before he takes them to his mouth
The gentle bread of time that he will store in mind
For days to come
When spring is done and darkness catches his breath.
Mark Penny lives in a world of people, books and guitars seasoned with a laptop and a bodhran. He first came to light on March 9, 1964 in the mill and market town of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England, and led a nomadic existence between British Columbia, Orem (Utah), Haiti, Alberta (Canada), and Ukraine before settling in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, where he teaches English and raises feral children. In addition to sporadic pulses of poetry, he writes songs (music and lyrics), fiction (short, long and serial) and carefully graded TESOL materials, examples of all of which are available here.