Only the cloud rat knows
how to scale the tree
of heaven, whose roots
are hidden in fog

from mortal view.
And only the rough-
skinned tubers in the field
might possibly know the volume

and density of time, or how
the worms have mastered its
parceling-out. What does it matter
if it is tortoise or serpent

that grinds the wobbly
axis of the world? The sky
is portent and mystery,
the sea’s architecture

encoded in salt; the wood
is wild or so I think, only
because I have not learned
to read the wood in me.


In response to Via Negativa: Statement of ecopoetics and Via Negativa: Observer's Credo.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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