My poem, How Tiny the Grass Seeds, appeared in the Summer 2014 — Sticks & Stones — issue of Elohi Gadugi Journal.
Easy to overlook in a museum featuring
a replicated Viking boat. The Quern was not
wood masterfully shaped into curving sides
with upswept prow and stern.
Even as we walked on the wooden deck
of the museum Viking boat, the Quern stone,
behind its shield of glass, was protected from us
as if it was a moon rock, that might be taken
simply because someone wanted to hold
a piece of the moon. Or (in the case of the Quern)
to feel the stone once used by a woman Viking
scraping and grinding tiny seeds—
smaller than wheat or barley—into flour.
A friend told me she grew Amaranth
and Quinoa—grasses—but cleaning the seeds
by hand got the best of her.
How would grass-flour taste?
Sweet? Dry? Bitter? Would you count the seeds
you needed to plant next year?
Fiercely protect the seeds to be certain
your kids had food? And the Quern?
Pack the stone each time you move.
The Palouse near Rosalia, Washington
What is it like to travel through the Palouse in far-eastern Washington state? In late summer the wheat-growing landscape has a particular grand tableau ambiance.
The Word Is Field, from my Palouse collection, appeared 5/6/2014 as the featured poem on The Daily Dose of Lit blog.
Notes & References
Photo credit: Katie Eberhart
At the Northwest Poets’ Concord in Newport, Oregon on Saturday May 5, 2014 from 3:00 to 3:50, Katie Eberhart and Eleanor Berry will perform from their collaboration Convergence of Visions: A Dialogue in Poems. They will also talk briefly about the evolution of this project, including the effect of the collaboration on their on-going work.
The performance will be a back-and-forth exchange and will follow at least one thread of the poem-conversation.
The Good Earth by Katie Eberhart was published in the Elohi Gadugi Journal, Intersections & Transitions issue, Winter 2014.
The Good Earth
by Katie Eberhart
We climbed Smith Rock and there were people
in the mouth of the stone pillar—
Monkey Face. To get there you go by
Terrebonne. From the highway you think
“this is a hard-stressed landscape,
an agglomeration without name brands”
but after climbing the steep switchback trail
to the top of Smith Rock and descending
the other side—from above—looking across
the Crooked River
you see beautiful land. Terre bonne—
manicured and irrigated fields, rows of trees, houses.
Roads curve sinuously and overhead a peregrine soars—
And later, between river and cliffs
where swallows’ mud nests stick to stone ceilings
and white smudged handprints trace
the climbers’ vertical routes,
I stand barefoot in the Crooked River.
A boy who had been swimming says
“the crawdad is coming for you.”
Underwater, pincers and claws scuttle
toward my feet or—my feet happen to be
in the crawdad’s path—the crawdad chasing
a flock of little fish—the fish now hiding
in a forest of reeds—and all
—like us—going somewhere.
. . . people in the mouth of . . . Monkey Face. . . .
Smith Rock State Park.
Photo by Katie Eberhart.
Unbound: Alaska Poems by Katie Eberhart and published by Uttered Chaos Press can be ordered from the publisher or at Amazon.com and is in available at some independent bookstores, including:
Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, Bend, Oregon
Parnassus Books, Ketchikan, Alaska
Fireside Books, Palmer, Alaska
In Unbound: Alaska Poems, the poems evoke places and historic moments such as the evidence left behind by former residents of the (Matanuska) Colony house we lived in for twenty-eight years as well as nature and seasons, hot springs, berry picking, root vegetables, ravens, and the magically technological room at the Museum of the North in Fairbanks that is called The Place Where You Go To Listen.
Is Nature Enough? and Still Life With Vegetables, two poems in Unbound: Alaska Poems appeared first, and can be read online, in the Elohi Gadugi Journal.
Other poems have appeared in Cirque Journal, Sand Journal (Berlin), and the Palmer (Alaska) Arts Council’s 2010 Anthology, Voices Between Mountains. Water Tower Tales was the featured poem at the Palmer Arts Council’s annual meeting in 2011.
More about the process of publishing Unbound: Alaska Poems on my Nature & Literature blog: The Long Road to a Poetry Chapbook.
Elohi Gadugi Journal selected four of my poems for the Spring 2013 issue Root & Branch:
Where Is The Nobility In Accidental Death?
Is Nature Enough?
More about these poems on my Nature & Literature blog.