All the Words for Blue and At the Tree Zoo

All the Words for Blue

                                                                   One astronaut returned
   held
the moon   and   the unknown                                        wanting
      one small safe place in space
         Earth        perfect                                       oceans
                     conditions 
                   for human living

Earth will survive, the astronauts say. 
                                                                   to tell us
It’s us. We are
flimsy, fragile, perhaps too soon
                           gone                                   every word
                       from this                                 for
                                                                beauty         
                    our only home.
                                                             all  the    words   for   blue.
Textile art by Rachel Ryan showing trees surrounded by blue.

Morning Moon by Rachel Ryan (fabric collage)

At the Tree Zoo, Mesachie Lake, British Columbia

Big numbers                spray painted             eye level blue
                       across their horned bark
tall trees

I lean
all my weight        slight        close to earth
into

a vast living wall          long drips fall slow
                              in      my mouth        open      raised

green cloud of needle and branch

Grow feathers        spread wings           be eagle
             see mountains        snow in high reaches
                      these giant firs        numbered
                                   tree zoo 

It is late, I am tired, the motel bed will do. Under car wheels,
the road whines slick, nearly frozen. The radio, CBC.
“Can you use different words?” asks the host. Snow slides in clots
down the windshield, car fan on defrost set high, wiper blades
can’t do enough. 

The guest is a lawyer,  a woman,  Indigenous
                  even-voiced, firm, implacable         

in my ears, in the storm, she repeats

Apocalypse           Water              Hypoxia               Trees.
Susan Wismer

About Susan Wismer

Susan Wismer is a poet who is grateful to live on the southern shore of Georgian Bay in Ontario, on Anishinaabe and Wendat traditional territories.

About Rachel Ryan

Rachel Ryan works primarily in textiles (having been taught how to sew by her mother and grandmothers from a very young age) but enjoys blurring the boundaries between artistic genres, often painting on fabrics and using the painted image as a surface on which to sew. She likes to question whether a piece is "Art" or "Craft," a painting or a quilt. This serves to disrupt patterns, and signals quiet resistance to consumer/misogynist culture. Rachel studied at Memorial University; College of the North Atlantic; Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art & Design; and the Alberta College of Art & Design. She is from the Green Bay/ Notre Dame Bay area of Central Newfoundland, but now lives and works in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, with her family. She can be found at GreenwoodHouseStudio on Facebook & Instagram.

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