by Kamryn Pitcher
There’s a body in the rye
In the wheat, the barley
It’s spirit is lost in the corn
I saw it first as a child, wandering
It stood still, sang deep and low
A ruptured psalm, a hymnal
That came crawling out the core
Roots and rock in tow
A pebbled pulse, screaming
Gardens grew from its breath
Forests from a cadence
Full measure melodies in sweetened springs
The rivers ran through and through
Rain, torrential and aching
Like the body weeping, weeping
“I am here and I need you
As you have needed me”
By Jacob Wissinger
Back home we had this hill in this park.
You would drive to the tennis courts in the back of the park, look for the dirt road on the left.
You would take the dirt road bumping away inhibitions and worldly qualms with each piece of granite that wedged itself in your tires.
The hill was broad but shallow, it was the second of two hills in front of a small man-made lake.
We always laughed at the irony of the artificial lake, and even more so at the irony of how natural the hill was.
Zoysia grass had such a luster to match how cutting and rough it was but we didn’t mind.
On top of the weighted blanket I brought we made this halcyon act into practice for as long as we could.
A few of us fell in love on that hill, others merely endeared themselves to each other.
The grace of that silent lake reflecting a midsummer Georgia sunset is incomparable to anything i’ve known this far.
All the while I thought we had found the hill and we had made its significance
Yet I cannot ignore the notion that somehow the hill had been serving this function for its whole existence.
Put there in some cosmic act of deliverance to provide quarter for those in need of its service.
It’s earth day so I want to thank the hill, although we’ve not seen each other in some time.
I still feel the heat brimmed with life, the fireflies that softly settle in as the sun ventures past the reflection of the water.
Past the trees, onward to serve the same role in hills elsewhere, to gawk at souls more in need of the hill or sun than I.
I often think maybe I didn’t do enough to keep you, and that maybe I didn’t deserve you in the first place.
But thank you.
By Jacob Wissinger
There was a time, years ago, when any weight I choose to bare would dislocate every support I thought I had for it.
I’d go into the woods to clear my mind, I’d go up mountains to feel the weight in gravity that I felt in soul.
Not a hike went by without tears nor did it go by without a feeling that I was healing, or at least creating some sort of motion.
The day I went to Blood Mountain was brisk, a Blue Ridge 50-degree day in the winter rainy season.
Blood Mountain is the highest peak and most difficult climb in the state, exaggerated by a region without adherence to the rest of the world.
I got near the peak where I had thought tears would manifest but none were to be had.
I just looked out, the bowl-like fashion that the rest of the range had formed above the valley below was encompassing.
I didn’t smile or rejoice, as I scribe this I realize I have no idea what I felt
Maybe It was merely just the act of removing that weight step by step, sight by sight.
I made my camp stove meal, went to sleep, and awoke the next day
It was different, not that I possessed an answer or even direction, but seeing the morning fog below in the same valley that the setting sun lit ablaze the day prior captured me.
Reminded me that as the valley did, I will also take on many forms and many thoughts.
What remained was the valley as it had been for millennia, Appalachia in its truth is a husk or a memorial to former greatness.
An ode to tenure and the beauty of time.
But I am not, I will not see the days of aged beauty on earth, what’s visible is only before me. I may only do with these things as they are.
I may only do with myself what already is
And I hope
I take the form of Blood Mountain, in memory.