Voice of the Mountain
I have a belly
of rock hard earth.
of feasting on lava flows,
gorging on the soup
of a melted planet. And
I have a brain,
the sentience of fire agate
and mycellium neural networks,
all chanting the names of gods
in an everlasting clicking of
the world’s rosary. Euphorbia tirucalli.
Convallaria majalis. And on and on,
in a silent green Hail Mary. My heart
beats the bass drum of slow time,
one human life expiring in the flashing
of my eyelash. All is burnt
umber, bricks of clay waiting, wanting
to be molded from my flesh,
and above it all? A sweet circle
tracing a figure eight
along the horizon.”
A race of creatures
born of fire-
just as we are of clay
and the angels, light-
dancing, dancing nightly
emerging from out of their
releasing hungry little beasts
of abundance onto a land
meant for consuming.
They dance around a bonfire
built of themselves, incapable of
making shadows, eating wood
and plastic, flora and rubber tires
with no discrimination. The great feast
that ends only at dawn, but it is still midnight,
so carry on, carry on our starving friends,
and we will sleep easily as you revel,
as you eat everything we have set out
What Does the Sun Say
when no one listens.
As the bedrock shields us
from ruthless burnishing.
As we unlock the fierce power
of the only star the in sky that matters
by rubbing wood together. Friction fire.
Heat tucked away for a rainy day
in the concentric rings of an old growth
redwood tree. Carbon buried treasure.
All of life is a layering.
The wicked rays sent from the centre
of this solar system electromagnetic
vessels for encrypted Morse code.
Communicating in koans
with our shadows, the mind wriggling
with riddles while the body is awash
in the stillness of a sun-bestowed bliss.
afrose fatima ahmed
afrose fatima ahmed is a hybrid Texan-Washingtonian living in the Bay Area who writes poems for strangers with her typewriter. she is the daughter of Muslim immigrants from India. Her body and her art live in liminal spaces: polar US borderlands, the division between land and sea, the place where urban density drops off into rural solitude. afrose comes to poetry as just one avenue for creating experiences of beauty and communion for herself and other people. her writing emphasizes all the senses and acknowledges a world in which humans are suffering and experiencing bliss against wild landscapes that are simultaneously living and dying. www.instagram.com/afrosefatimaahmed
Bill Zuk is a multimedia artist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria specializing in printmaking, digital art and sculpture. His artwork finds a spiritual passion constantly refreshed by Aboriginal belief systems and the vast polar landscapes and Indigenous cultures of the circumpolar world. He is co-editor of the British Columbia Art Teachers’ Journal and Curator of Art in Public Places jointly sponsored by the British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association and the Government of British Columbia. He is also a Board member of the Victoria Visual Arts Legacy Society (VVALS) that provides bursary awards to post secondary art students. His artwork can be found in the permanent collections of the University of Victoria; Government House Foundation of British Columbia, and recently, the Museum Collection of the Bienal De Gravura do Douro, Alijo, Portugal. For more information, see www.zukart.ca and www.intotheice.ca.
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