In common places, you would expect soft, peaceful things -- alas, none of this is ever true. Things experience such fierceness of death. Nothing rests. Because to close our eyes is to betray ourselves to violent death, unexpected as a cough, ushering the aftermath of the wrong kind. Do not let anyone tell you differently. Nothing is protected, not even with prayer.
Storms will have their way. Its shadow waves across the lake. A duck skid-lands on the surface before everything is unleashed.
There is nothing more deliberate than a raindrop.
There is a certain amount of emptying to getting to somewhere.
It is impossible to see in a deluge.
One step, then a stumble, then a hillock, then a rise over nothingness. It is a long distance with no village in sight. This is an uncivilized place.
I cannot remember clearly the way back or if I even knew it to begin with, or if I dreamed this. Exotic in its strangeness, almost terrible and yet familiar.
We think everything is sustainable; it is not. We think, given enough time, everything will return to normal; that is simply not true. It certainly will never happen within anyone’s lifetime. There is only so much nature can withstand before the ecological system collapses.
Everything has limits, yet we see them as endless. There will be a zero point when we will not be able to return to the way things were. We have wantonly disregarded every possible warning. This shift twenty degrees above is not normal.
I remember distantly when we worried about several generations beyond what we could see. Once, we prided ourselves as caretakers; now, we seem to pride ourselves as being careless.
Nothing is being done to prevent it, but everything is done to accelerate it. We are digging our own graves and don’t see it.
Today, in the excruciating heat, begging was heard in the field absent of people and no one was there to hear it.
Such is the love of a world, laughter is from oceans, a gradual and penetrating light longed for and found,
Such is the love of this world. It is like a trust that was promised before the world began, knowing it would someday be needed.
Such a love is given like a mother to a nursing child while softly singing remembered lullabies. Love arrives like heat-flashes.
When light is pulled away, stars like so many nervous eyes remind us of promises our ancestors made we surely have forgotten.
Jonpaul Taylor is a fiction writer and poet from Detroit, MI, studying English at Wayne State University.
Emily Vanston is a writer based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Stuart Turnbull is a writer working on a project to write one unique story for each American State. You can follow his progress on this, and his attempt to write an average of 500 new words every day of 2014, at his blog www.thisunitedstate.com
Martin Willitts Jr is a Quaker, organic gardener, retired Senior Librarian, winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest, with 6 full-length poetry collections including national ecological contest winner "Searching for What Is Not There" (Hiraeth Press, 2013) and 28 chapbooks including contest winner "William Blake, Not Blessed Angel But Restless Man" (Red Ochre Press, 2014).
Richard Zwicker is an English teacher living with his wife in Vermont