Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi




First, after some debate, er, discussion, etc.,
we cleared the fence line of the Australian pines.
Then, as I recall, years later, when we were on
the island park, we learned that all their pines,
also Australian, would soon be cleared off
even though that action would remove all the
campsite's shading as well as that running along
the shoreline near Gulf beach.  Ah, what wondrous
things mankind does when trying to turn nature
back into pre-civilization's Natural state.  Yes,
that's right, as we seek to reclaim nature we often
add to the destruction of other natural conditions.

The propensity of ants, for instance, to work out
from their colonies in teams enables them to transport
prey become victim become nourishment back into
their nests.  And, did you ever see a mother raccoon
not keep her young close at hand, so to speak.  Why,
even the barnyard hen, the apple of the rooster's eye,
makes sure the least of her chicks is accounted for.
And both the silver grey and the red fox are far
better parenting examples than most human couples.
So, nearly each time agencies or do-right societies
seek to become green conscious, they fail to study
the natural cycles already and previously working
within these regions.  They rarely seek counsel of
Native American inhabitants familiar with living
one with the lands, and just as vital, they do not
ask our aid except to raise or approve the monies.

Each time a stream is diverted, to rechannel waters
back to original conditions, each time some asphalt
is spread for a new hiking trail to not disturb creatures,
ants are run over, raccoons must seek new grounds,
and fox have to locate new forage places elsewise
such critters are too soon dislocated and disappear.
The hawk I see perched atop the light poles in the
morning, the occasional eagle feeding on its kill
in the high branches of Australian pines, the red-winged
blackbird, the grey heron, the white egret, the brown
furred rabbit--these all are the normal, natural ones
occupying our surroundings, but they need us to let
them be, to leave them room to live in peace with us.


After reading and rereading
in your published poems,
I touch the screen as if in so doing
I might somehow reconnect
for I delight in feeling again
your very life-giving breath--
that spewing forth in each verse's
line and image so carefully,
delicately etched
in your painstaking fashion.

I remember how you squeeze
out each word, each line as if you,
the artist, have to empty only one
tube of oils before you overlay
quiet hues with more vibrant colors
brushing out phrases, pauses,
white spaces, and punctuation
when recalling your mother's cookie
baking and your own berry gathering
and eating as a young child
savoring the flavors whether
in springtime or in summer heat.

When a cat stepped down from
the window ledge or the cocker spaniel
pawed at the door wanting yardspace
to run, you noticed without fail;
so, too, in poetic expression
your excitement, your disappointment,
yea, even your fading memories
find their way into lines, fine tuned
lines, and they reach me still
in memories fresh in scrapbooks
bound by endless passing of time.

Fred Wolven, South Florida


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