"there's no through trail" —Han-Shan, translated by Gary Snyder

Birthdays Like Chanterelles in Golden Light by Mary Elder Jacobsen

Language of Bark by Jayne Marek

Language of Bark by Jayne Marek

Issue: Fall 2016

                                 Sonnet for a friend, on reaching 70

 

Some days, they crop up right in front of you.

Easy. Quick. Done. And once you find one, there,

and luck is with you, here, another one pops into view.

You just can’t help but move toward where they are.

Some days, the foraging bewilders you—

the uphill trudge, the path unclear, dried leaves

of seasons past like waves you’re wading through.

But then you navigate between the old-growth trees

and make your way toward undiscovered treasure,

where northern evergreens have raised their needles up

to stitch the treetops and blue sky together

to knit a shawl of open weave that lights you up,

and all at once, you see the search for what it is—

a chance to find yourself, aglow, in old familiar woods.

 


Mary Elder Jacobsen

Mary Elder Jacobsen’s poetry has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, GMR Online, The Antioch Review, Southern Poetry Review, and The Greensboro Review, among other venues. She holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro and an MA from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she was a Teaching Fellow. She is co-curator of the reading series Words Out Loud: Poetry & Parables, Fantasy & Fables in conjunction with Art at the Kent. She lives on a hill above a lake in a pocket of wild woods in rural Vermont with her husband and son.