Reader Response: Issue 1-5

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Issue #5     –     Issue #4     –     Issue #3     –     Issue #2     –     Issue #1

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Issue #5, June 2017 – Making Kin: Part II

Winter by Anne Bergeron

I read this narrative re-experiencing the grief I couldn’t imagine I would ever have over loss of snow…Because of the freeze- thaw winter syndrome I can no longer live in my home in Maine. For the past two winters I have been living in Northern Mexico – Last year we had winter – plenty of snow on the Rockies – and little in Abiquiu. I thought I was in heaven… One year later I am mourning the loss of snow with the same kind of grief I experienced in Maine. I am mourning the loss of any kind of precipitation. Except for one half day of rain about a week ago – we have been totally dry. Because of the lack of snow on the Rockies there is no snow melt. The river is dangerously low. The beautiful black sage is dying back as is the desert scrub. There is no escape from the heartbreak. Thank you for this moving narrative.

~ Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood, Maine

After•Word on Kathleen Moore’s Great Tide Rising by Lise Weil

This world is astonishing, irreplaceable, essential, beautiful and fearsome, generative, and beyond human understanding… This is the wonder-filled world that we are destroying, the lyric voices that we are silencing, the sanctity that we are defiling, at a rate and with a violence that cannot be measured because we have only the paltriest understanding of the world’s multitude of lives.

Well, she nailed it. Moore suggests instead of Anthropocene we name this age we are entering the Obscene era. Oh how I agree.

~ Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood, Maine


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Issue #4, October 2016 – MAKING KIN: Part I

Editorial Lise Weil

The dream of hotdogs in homemade bread leapt alive to me…. I think this theme of kindred worlds, making kin of strangers endangered (animal, plant, and all other earth forms) could not be more timely, and I like the Alice Walker quote about the earth enslaved. I feel as if this “Dark Matter” focus is an endorsement of a path I sometime blaze alone—and love meeting up with kindred spirits!

~ Marcia Goldberg, Montreal

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“Deer” & “Magpies” & “What My Cat Would Say to Me” by Jennifer Finley

Thank you for simply beautiful and powerful poems. I could relate to them and “Cat” brought tears to my eyes.
Dark Matter is new to me, bringing to me a connection to kindred spirits. Thanking you all.

~ Rita Mae Underwood, Butte, MT

Thank you for your beautiful poems. I am moved by your felt sense of embrace by the earth.

~ Sheila Murray, Columbia Falls, MT

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“Kinship and Murder” by Karen Mutter

From +35 years of direct observation, this is sadly, an insightful observation touching on many of the common practices of medicine. Karen, you are much more than a skilled physician, you exhibit soul which is not often present in practice or academia. You are brave and true. It is wonderful to know that you are.

~ Henry A Brown, Miami Beach, FL

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“Becoming Kin—Becoming Elephant” by Deena Metzger

The elephants who “spoke” with the author prompted me to reflect on a baby/youngish bull elephant I encountered at the Angrignon Park zoo about 15 or 20 years ago, a fellow who eyed me deliberately in his glass cabin and engaged me in a Full Stop. I paused for at least half an hour to think with him about his situation. He was so alone and so isolated from trees, waterways, mountains and sky where the human wardens had confined him in this glass cage so we could oogle him, and I knew he was lonely. I wanted to share with him my sorrow, so I copied the pacing he was doing. Back and forth, I hung my shoulders as he slung his heavy trunk as he walked this way six or eight paces, turned, and came back. I was with him and no one else was around, so I knew he saw me copy him. After about twenty minutes of this, he stopped and trumpeted very loudly, as if I had it all wrong. He was more agitated, not less, having been found out. Sure I “cared,” but could I get him out or bring him home? No. I felt his rage. He wanted to break out of that glass cabinet and batter down doors, run across waterways and get through oceans of grief to rejoin his kin. I was NOT that. But I did hear his story, and I know the word “story&tdquo; in this piece is the right one.

~ Marcia Goldberg, Montreal

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“Saved by Whales” by Nancy Windheart

I am less and less comfortable with humans. But at the same time I found in animals and plants the love I needed. I am single with no child. I am 48 and I sometimes ask myself what is the purpose of my life? I know there is a good reason why I have not been able to have children, and I feel that I have something important to do while I am here. I learned unconditional love with my cat who pasted away last fall. She was a rescue cat and I promised her I would provide her with the best and take care of her no matter what. Which I did. After her passing I was devastated. I learned what it was to have a broken heart. I felt so connected with this cat, I could feel her pain and when her spirit left her body I felt a relief and the pain in my chest stopped.

A new pain took place, the broken heart, but it was different. It was so hard that I decided to apply to become foster mom for the SPCA. That is when I met this white cat whose owner just passed away. She was so depressed and sad that she could not stay at the shelter. She came to live with me and I could feel how sad she was. We were both grieving and something magic happened. Slowly we healed each other and now I can feel a new special connection. I could not let her go back to the shelter or even imagine her with an other human so I decide to keep her. When I decided to keep her she changed, she came out and started to trust me and sleep with me on my bed. She is now a completely different cat. Still scared of other humans but so happy with me. Even the way she looks at me is different. I can see love in her eyes, not pain anymore… English is not my first language so I apologize if this sounds like broken English

– Regine Hervy, Paris, Ontario, CA

Simply beautiful and eloquent

~ Connie Eastman, Gunnison, CO

Hmmm. Words can’t convey how inspiring your story is… It seems that you were born connected with the Universe but grew in awareness and remembrance of this as you grew up. Your story also conveys how our early life’s experiences, though painful and confusing at the time, are actually guiding us to our life’s purpose. I had no idea that the Baja whales interact so closely with humans. Thank you for how openly you shared your story and demonstrated the connection we could all have with the other kingdoms in the universe (mineral, plant, animal) if we would just open ourselves up to their energy level and learn to just BE in the moment.

~ Deanna Sava, Buffalo Grove, IL

Wow! This is such a powerful story. I am speechless. My bow to you.

~ Noelle Imparato, Baltimore, MD

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“Invoking the Salamander” by Cynthia Anderson

I felt so much like I was with you while reading this poem – and wishing that I had been. I have been eyeball to eyeball with a golden crab – it felt like direct and unfiltered synchronous knowing.

~ Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Santa Barbara, CA

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“Divorce of the Night Sky” by Tricia Knoll

Love this prose essay poem about divorce, lack of night sky, lack of something comfortable like pure dark. Lovely writing!

~ Patricia Brody, New York

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CODA : “Embracing Duncan” by Kristin Flyntz

I so enjoyed reading your story about Duncan… I was riveted, moved and felt a deep heart opening in myself and for you both.
Thank you for sharing so deeply.

~ Heather Faris, BC, Canada

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CODA: “Just ThisI” by Lise Weil

This is how I would write about my animals, if I could. Thank you.

~ Lou Robinson, Ithaca, NY

Ah, a love letter like this to the cat of one’s life makes me remember so many of the soul friends who were perhaps the truest intimates I’ve ever known. This piece says something about how to grieve well and how to grieve fully–I of course remembered my own experience weeping for months as I vacuumed the dark grey hair of my dog Simone from every crevice of my house– and in weeping for her I was able to heal some of the grief I still carried after the death of my father years before. Amazing how these animals help us even when they have vanished from the scene.

~ Camille Norton, Stockton, CA

You capture the “I know you’re here” because all my senses tell me so. A loving tribute that captures that fleeting period of time when the gone are still here.

~ Tricia Knoll, USA


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Issue #3, December 2015 – EXTINCTION/DEVOTION

“from The Lost Journals of Sacajewea” by Debra Magpie Earling

I was introduced to Debra Magpie Earling’s work by Melissa Kwasny who writes brilliantly and eloquently about this piece — see her essay in this issue. Thank you, Melissa!

This is a great and terrible poem. Terrible in its power, probing and witnessing. So fierce it could blind us, if we look at it long enough, like gazing at snow and sun burning together. Or drive us mad, as it should for not knowing, for looking away, for failing to bear witness, for the fact that our NOs are not powerful enough.

A few lines from Earling’s “shattered prose”:

A woman hard-frozen in the field
Her trail marked by the blood of the hundred pounds of buffalo
she carried.
And the sleek footed wolves trailed her,
wove weaved* a tight trail around her sniffing
the bitter wind she carried.
The razor snarl of their teeth chewed the meat off her back
down to the column of her bones.

I have never read a poem like this. It is a great poem. It has brought me to my knees.

~ Deena Metzger – CA

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After•Word “Ghost Dance: the poems of Debra Magpie Earling” by Melissa Kwasny

This astonishingly beautiful and compressed review teaches us how to read the excerpts from THE LOST JOURNALS OF SACAJEWEA– thank you. Gorgeous writing.

~ Camille Norton – Stockton, CA

I love the writing of both these women, Melissa Kwasny and Debra Magpie Earling. After reading this essay, I long to see The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. Such an exciting and radical act to bring forth the lost experiences and voices of women who have been written out of the story. In the absence of the Journals, Kwasny brings it alive for us with depth and sorrow. Thank you.

~ Nora Jamieson – CT, USA

This is a beautiful review and so in-depth. I enjoyed reading it and will look at Earling’s important work again. Thanks for writing this and making it available for others to read.

~ Susan Kay Anderson – Sutherlin, OR

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“Dreams before Extinction” by Naeemeh Naeemaei

Beautiful paintings! Totems for the modern world. Thank you so much.

~ Gayatri Devi – Lock Haven

Dear Naeemeh,
Thank you for your soulful paintings. I am very moved by how all is shared with the animals – love, blessings, suffering, and I love your retort to the gentleman who spoke of symbolism. We all stand together, large and small, symbol or no symbol. Gillian

~ Gillian Goslinga – Sedona, AZ

It is often said that the image precedes the word and these images evoke a story that runs too deep – is too terrible to tell.

~ Sara Wright – Bryant Pond ME

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“Our Radiant Lives” by Deena Metzger

Deena – wise and piercingly true – as always. Here is an example of the need for a cultural awakening to the deep and profound understanding from our minds and hearts that beloved Gaia/Sophia, our Mother Earth, is a divine being as well as a supremely important location to us, and that we need to show our respect for Her Name in the English language where cities, states, nations, and the other planets orbiting around our Central Sun are given the formal dignity of being capitalized. Why not the Earth? “How you treat the earth is how you treat us.” With infinite love and gratitude for this ultra-important publication.

~ ShannYn Sollitt – Sante

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“Her Body is Burning” by Mary Sutton

Thank you for a beautifully written, harrowing, true tale of disconnection, re connection, the power of dreaming and of animal lives.

~ Karen Malpede – Brooklyn, NY

Beautiful evidence of the mysterious and unknowable ways we are interlinked with the living earth, what we have lost during our time away and what we have to gain by coming home again.

“The real world wants us to remember how to live in a way that furthers life. It is willing to help us, if we listen for the ways in which we can ally with it and act accordingly.”

To that I say – yes!! Thank you for sharing your story of wandering, of getting lost in the cultural story of “I,” being found in the dreamworld by our kindred, and especially for listening and trusting. And sharing your story with us.

~ Julie Gabrielli – Baltimore, MD, USA

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“My Grandmother Said, Netanyahu” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Powerful poems, and powerful commentary as well. Violence is lack of imagination. Your question — “what does it mean when one person thinks that others deserve nothing”? — defines the conversation that the world hesitates to have. As a collective, we should invite all thinking and alert human beings to propose one word as an answer to your question. What is it called when one person thinks that others deserve nothing? We, humanity, should be able to name this in all major languages of the world. Thank you.

~ Gayatri Devi – Lock Haven

I read Naomi’s work first, but want to read on. This is a truthful magazine. Thanks so much.

~ Robert Bonazzi, San Antonio, TX

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“Tree Holocaust” by Sara Wright

This is the depth of pain beyond measure. It expresses the pain of watching helpless in the face of “development” in my beloved homeland. The trees, the bogs, the swamps, and rivers. Heedless of the damage, we continue to believe we “need” more and the planet can do with far less. Thank you.

~ Pearl Gregor – Leduc County, AB, Canada

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“Turning Point” by Marilyn DuHamel

A sensitive, compelling piece. Almost everywhere people live, many birds do, too, but we take them for granted. My mom was a bird person since her childhood near the hills in Anaheim, where she delighted in the mother quail and the chicks that ran bay by in the early morning. I hope some of your birds survive and come back with friends, Marilyn.

~ Paul Saevig – Tustin, CA

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“Beauty from Brokenness: Interview with Lily Yeh” by Caroline Casey

I was moved to tears of pain and joy! This opened my heart and let the sunshine in. Blessings to the Art that Lily has brought to the world. Peace, Love, and Art.

~ Susan Hovey Cohen – Piermont, NY, Rockland County

Wonderful article with Lily Yeh! Made my heart sing. Peace & Love, Lina

~ Lina Braunstein – USA

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After•Word “Our Call to Indigenous Consciousness: Taiaiake Alfred’s Wasáse” by Sharon English

As a woman with Native American roots brought up in the Western world I was lost to myself until I recovered my native roots and allowed Nature to become my compass.It is this latter quality of Indigenous existence that will foster a renewed relationship between the people and the land regardless of whether or not one has Indigenous roots, I believe.

~ Sara Wright – Bryant Pond ME

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“From the Beginning, Nova” by Cynthia Anderson

The two poems were stunning. Whenever I fall in love with a poem I put it up on my bathroom wall and both of these poems will make their home there.

~ Sara Wright – Bryant Pond ME

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“Calling out the Names” by Anne Bergeron

The names are ‘good to say.’ I love your story of coming to this simple practice, with its profound effects. In saying the names we have conversation. I think a lot too about the need to create/recover names of places that have been erased in their particularity through the imposition of imported, irrelevant names. Thanks for writing this beautiful article and sharing your discovery!

~ Sharon English – Toronto, ON, Canada

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“Song of the Chesapeake; by Julie Gabrielli

Beautiful honoring of a mighty body right in my own backyard. Thanks for the reminder, Julie. I’m joining the walk!

~ Anne Pellicciotto – Washington, DC

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Rebecca Brams’ “The Bone in My Yard” (by Gretchen Beaubier and Teresa Gunther)

I’m touched by this piece. It takes me into the heart of Village Spirit, where the webs that connect us are visible and lived. Rebecca paints a gorgeous picture of a receptive, open- souled way to receive and give back. It’s like a rainbow-striped hand-woven shawl has just been placed around my neck and I’m on board to make sure “her” story gets told, too. Thank you for writing this piece, Rebecca.

~ Jessica Rios – Petaluma, CA


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Issue #2, April 2015 – FRAGILE ONGOING

Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: When Issue #2 came out I hungrily read 8 pieces in a row and was stunned by the powerful combination of beauty and grief. The writers were able to do what is almost impossible – to speak of the horrifying truth of what is happening to the more than human world (as well as to us humans), to evoke the heartbreak AND also to have it all held in such shimmering beauty that I am drawn to come back to it again and again.

Thank you for creating a place where such incredible voices can be heard. It is so important.

~ Marilyn DuHamel, Ben Lomond, California, USA

“Homage to Bees” by Alexandra Merrill – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: Alexandra Merrill’s “Homage to Bees” is the voice of a queen spoken from the depths of the hive. Ms. Merrill has set a high bar for leadership. With the universe of the bees as a model and the hive as their university, she has passed along the salvation of their sting to all of us.

~ Bryant Rollins, Jacksonville, FL

Feedback: Leadership landmine lessons
Stung with shame to attend
Images heard inside of sound
Words dripping royal nectar
Wisdom healing hidden in venom
Lead Her Ship:
Step Into the Buzz

Thank you for Bee-ing!

~ Shirley Stetson, Jacksonville, FL, USA

“Cascading Memorials” by Ruth Wallen – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: I’m so grateful for Ruth’s pointing out, so beautifully, how we need to support eachother in publicly grieving the mounting losses in our eco home, earth! I had a favorite hiking trail near our cabin in Kernville, CA. The beauty there filled my heart with joy. One of the too many, too big, too often forest fires in our parched So CA land decimated this trail…the trees will never recover. Now when I hike there, I cry and try to remember that natural fire is good for terrain…and imagine the new landscape arising…even as smoke from the next fire arises in my mind’s eye.

~ Penelope Andrade, San Diego

“Letter to a Yellowstone Wolf” by Joan Kresich – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: Thank you, Joan Kresich, for finding such heart-stirring words and images to remind us of our deep connection with all of life. What a wonderful practice–writing letters of acknowledgement (“You are seen and appreciated”) to our fellow beings, to our sisters in the plant world, and to the earth itself. I think I’ll try it!

~ Anita Kline, San Francisco

“Dragonfly Dances” by Judy Grahn

Feedback: I read this beautiful and moving testament to the way Nature communicates with us with a joyful heart. As Judy demonstrates so vividly Nature WANTS to communicate with us and gratitude for help is always appreciated.

~ Sara Wright, Bryant Pond, ME

“To Witness” Gillian Goslinga’s response

Feedback: “Love is what awakens us to the life worthiness of others in death and life and calls us into right relationship with them. This kind of love is rooted in knowing how to keep company with.”

I lived these words without understanding when I first came to this (once) wilderness area 30 years ago.

Driving down a straight scar of a road that cut through wilderness I was stunned by the massive amount of road kill. Compelled against my will to get out of the car to witness each death was just the beginning. In time I learned how to honor the dead by burning the remains of whatever creature or bird I found. Still later, before burning I learned to honor the life of each animal by taking a wing or some fur, perhaps a quill… In retrospect I wonder if these acts helped the animals and birds become “kin”…Your beautiful essay is one I shall read again and again.

I want to acknowledge Sara Wright’s response to my essay. Thank you for sharing with us how you honor the animals who lose their lives on roads you travel. You ask if you made them kin by observing funerary rites and keeping relics from their mangled bodies? My answer is yes, you have. You made them spirit kin by freeing their souls in your gestures of respect and love. I honor you for witnessing their deaths so. I am glad you wrote in. You show me how it can be done. Blessings! ~ Gillian Goslinga

“Elegy for the Cranes” by Susan Marsh

Feedback: I have returned to read this poem many times and each time it seems more beautiful and more mysterious.

~ Sara Wright, Bryant Pond, ME

“The Music of Grief” by Cynthia Travis

Feedback: This is the most compelling article I have ever read on the necessity of grieving.

~ Sara Wright, Bryant Pond, ME

“When Earth Becomes an ‘It’” by Robin W. Kimmerer Flynn – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: Last night, my partner and I attended a documentary film screening about the Russian River in Northern California. A questionnaire asked what our greatest concern about water was. We wrote: “Our relationship with ki.” We were hoping for an inspiring film to help us further meet our kin – the streams, rivers, and lakes around us.

The opening lines of the film stated that animals have long TAKEN from the river. What!? No! My friend! The animals have long RECEIVED! Here, Robin, I see the way that language is subtle and dangerous.

Included in the history of the river was information about the Native people’s practices and relationship to it – all using past-tense verbs as if they don’t exist anymore.

AH! From that point on, I knew that these filmmakers were not discussing the river from a relational point of view – but rather the liberal, environmental perspective that promotes a separation from nature. A We–can–only–protect–nature–by–removing–ourselves mentality.

How do I bring the message to these leftists that nature is waiting for us – waiting for us to fulfill our roles tending and caring for it? We need to eat from her, sit with her, commune with her, and know her – as well as craft policy, regulation, and limits with how we receive her gifts. What sort of patriarchical, obsequious spirit has motivated us to protect a land we don’t even know?

I want to know my kin, and to serve kin with my gifts – but how do I bring others into this practice as well?

~ Ellen Pearson, Larkspur, CA

“Grandmother Squirrel” by Carolyn Brigit Flynn – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: What a shimmering piece. I was drawn in by your story and deeply moved. Weeping in awe, grief, and thanks. For you, your story, and the wonder of the living world that holds us all. I have new eyes.

~ Julie Gabrielli, Baltimore, Maryland

“Editorial” by Lise Weil – Issue #2 – April 2015

Five Haiku to Lise Weil in Montréal

To Cetus I pray:
Grant me the gene memories
of Earth’s singing whales.

The Pleiades yield
magical capacity
to ancient wishes.

Orion eases
modern insecurities;
I grow more primal.

Ursa roars wildest
grammars of animacy
that I may bear grief.

From Virgo’s house
cmes the polemical fist
of stars, of stardust.

~ Karla Linn Merrifield, North Fort Myers

“The Music of Grief” by Cynthia Travis – Issue #2 – April 2015

Feedback: This writer has an amazing connection to humanity’s primal collective consciousness and it seems the archetypes of life, death and transformation speak to her personally in her dreams.

~ Stephanie Jourdan, Woodland Hills

Comments by Patricia Reis

“Homage to Bees” by Alexandra Merrill

Feedback: I read this article last night. The bees swarmed my sleep – they buzzed my bed –

I became beeness with them. What Alexandra Merrill brings back from her deep encounter is beeyond… beelief. It takes an enormous amount of wisdom and courage to make honey from this experience, and to bring such sweet knowledge of bee living into the woman hive, so we, too, may learn their lessons. The art adds another glowing dimension to her Homage.

“Fleshing the Hide” by Nora Jamieson

Feedback: I read Fleshing the Hide not knowing where I was in time and space. For a few blessed moments, Nora Jamieson’s work allowed me to enter another unbounded realm – where separations between living and dead, animal and human, sleeping dream and waking dream are seamlessly and delicately woven.

~ Patricia Reis, Portland, Maine


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Issue #1, November 2014 – SEEING IN THE DARK

“Living By Dream” by Deena Metzger – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: Deena, how strongly and truly you articulate the rhythmic thread running through so many of the gorgeous and powerful pieces offered here: answering the call of Dreaming. She is calling us! How will we respond? Deena, you make the questions so clear, the urgent shimmering terrible questions. We must all become indigenous, we must all listen with ever more devotion to the natural world and all her beings, to dreams, and to each other. All the voices here are passing on the call from wild iris and meadow lark and yes, the dark face of the moon turned away from earth… I dreamed the other night this dark face is turning toward us, and I connect this dream now with Dark Matter, all the brilliant and deep black rainbow songs and dances here!

~ Maia, Isla Vista, CA

“Broken Open” by Marilyn DuHamel – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: I, too, have burst into tears in the middle of a nature documentary or even a National Geographic photo. What a comfort your poem gives in letting us know that we are not grieving alone. I heard environmental poet Brenda Hillman say that the work of poets in these times is to carry this grief, and your poem does so with directness and honesty. Thank you!

~ Erin Redfern, San Jose, CA

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: I’m in the middle of reading Dark Matter: Women Witnessing Issue #1 and I’m blown away. The name, graphics, tone — all of it is exquisite. Thank you for creating a container for the heart-soul-voice of women — for our grief and sorrow — for our love of the Earth — for our vision of what is and what could be.

~ Frances Bacon, near Zurich, Switzerland

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: Dark Matter: Women Witnessing is a magnificent presence on the web. I started off with Sara Wright’s “My Lovely Yellow-Spotted Lady,” which I loved and learned from, and then went on to read everything else. l learned something new and valuable from each writer.
Beautiful work.

~ Harriet Ann Ellenberger, rural New Brunswick, Canada

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: Your work shines in the dark…
Like those stars on the ceiling in a child’s dark bedroom.

~ Alexandra Merrill, St George, Maine

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: What a fantastic, intelligent, conscious website of art and imagery. It speaks so directly to where we are in the world. I had tears moving through different articles, feeling less alone, more comforted, yet more vigilant by how inspiring these articles and imagery are. Thank you for putting together a website of awake conversation and awareness of where we are, and ideas of how to move forward. I’m an ‘artist’, and ordained minister of walking prayer (indigenous ways of prayer and ceremony) who deeply appreciates your website and initiative.

~ Caitlin Elena, Sedona, AZ

“Dreamkeeper,” and “Seeing in the Dark,” by Miriam Greenspan – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: Just read the poem and notes. When I finished, for a moment I felt truly sane. This is the kind of dreamkeeping that I understand, because it is mine too. No one would choose this way of knowing — Cassandra suffers. I know there must be a reason some of us have to carry this kind of pain, and part of the answer is that so many don’t, as she says. Incredibly beautiful powerful writing… such a relief to read something written without a filter.

~ Sara Wright, Greenwood, ME

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: I have just emerged from reading it in its entirety. Breathless! And my headache is gone. There is magic to be found there…

I have a dying grandmother tree I must go visit after work tonight.

~ Kristine Hege, Brattleboro, VT

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: I am reminded of different literary moments in my life. Cal Arts at the time when Alcherunga, Technicians of the Sacred, a new poetry was alive in the field. Then when the Woman’s Building and the Feminist Studio Workshop were born and we knew we were part of remembering and recreating Woman’s Culture. Now this moment. The issue is beautiful. The writing is extraordinary, revolutionary in the best ways, tough and honest in the way Beauty is adamant and itself. It will make a difference. It will create a dialogue. It will insert this consciousness into the global conversation.

~ Deena Metzger, Topanga, CA

“Over the Edge” by Patricia Reis – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: I have found myself returning again and again to read and reflect upon Patricia Reis’s haunting piece. This graphic and wrenching cascade of reality about “one of the biggest environmental re-arrangements of land and water undertaken on this planet” has entered my consciousness and taken me over the edge. The result? An upending of a long-held and conscious facile, surface, mostly intellectual knowledge of the wreckage we humans have brought upon this earth.

What I had not felt or understood so thoroughly, soul to mind to body to spirit, was the consciousness of the river or the heart and mind of the caribou and their grief and bewilderment — the river’s voice lost to itself and “the caribou’s great collective intelligence [unable] to decipher the mortal danger” due to the human-made changes to the land and river. I was brought to tears. It was as if boundaries between species, land and human were penetrable and palpable…

I am living now, daily, with an immense sense of loss of those 10,000 caribou who seeking their winter habitat threw themselves into the raging, distorted river waters and perished. And, I am living with the loss of the riverbed — shaken that she may have forgotten her contours, her life. These realities broke my heart. My heart had not been broken in this way before going over this edge. I have not stopped feeling the grief and more, the love for the river and the lost herd of caribou.

Thank you, Lise Weil, for giving birth to Dark. Matter: Women Witnessing and to all the women who have written so rivetingly — stories and poems — and for the images photographic and painted that also have taken me beneath the surface to where there is the possibility of restoration of all.

~ Sharon Rogers Simone, Los Angeles, CA

“The Original World” by Cynthia Travis – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: “The Original World” is one of the most spectacular pieces that I have read… I don’t know how it’s possible that there are REAL women out there that write like this… I thought I only conjured them up in my imagination…

To me these writings are are about finding sanity in an insane world. Thank you all.

~ Sara Wright, Greenwood, ME

“Corydalidae cornutus” by Regina O’Melveny – Issue #1, Nov 2014

Feedback: I have devoured the first issue and read one of the poems at a poet friend’s retirement party – the one about the Dobson Fly.

Hallelujah, and thank goodness you and others are out there fighting the good fight with your wisdom, words, and visions.

~ Jenny Gundy, Marshfield, VT

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: What I love so much about this work is the challenge it presents to a world that has spun out of control with its obsession with the measurable and Progress, and how it gives a clear and resonant voice to the immeasurable. That seems to me incredibly timely. In the documentary Citizenfour — which could only have been made by a woman, though there are no women in it — we can see how the (patriarchal) obsession with measurable Progress has taken us “over the edge.” And Dark Matter feels like a truly valuable corrective for that.

~ Cynthia Rich, San Diego, CA

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: A friend of a friend wrote me this after being forwarded Dark Matter:

The Physics of the known universe
Light and measurable matter – that which we can see touch measure 7%
Dark Matter is the part of the universe that provides coherence, scaffolding, stability – for LIFE to have hold 25%
Dark Energy – MOVEMENT – expansion, 73%
I take the title of this magazine as a manifestation of our connection with dark matter that provides the source of life

~ Dyana Basist, Santa Cruz, NM

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: You have blown me away with this issue. So powerful I must read it in peeks… it hits so true… a stunning compendium.

Not through all of it yet, but Kristin Flyntz has made me cry. I’ve seen elephants in Kenya and Tanzania, years ago, when they and we were safer.

~ R.P. Dennis, NYC

Issue #1 – Nov 2014

Feedback: Thank you so much for founding and editing this new journal — I love it, beautiful site, timely focus, some wonderful writings.

~ Judy Grahn, Oakland, CA

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