Saturday, December 01, 2012

Urgent Call for Poems about Trees from Poets who Love Them

Call out from Susan McCaslin -

The Han Shan Project: An Urgent Call for Poems about Trees from Poets 
who Love Them
Han Shan was an ancient Chinese poet who posted his poems on the trees 
and rocks of Cold Mountain. In the spirit of Han Shan….

o Join our effort to speak for the trees of McLellan Forest East, an 
endangered rainforest in Glen Valley, Langley, BC. It could be sold for 
private development and logged after Dec. 17th.

o Send us a tree poem and we’ll post it on a tree in the forest. One poem 
per poet. Keep it to one page with your name at the bottom. Small photo 

of you is okay.

o This is the west coast, so poems about species such as fir, hemlock, 
cedar, hemlock, spruce, bigleaf maple, black cottonwoods are especially 

o Send your poem immediately to Susan McCaslin who can provide more 
information about the forest and the issue.

Background: This remarkable and ecologically important forest will be 
sold by the Township of Langley for private development after Dec. 17 of 
this year if something radical is not done immediately to keep Council from 

For further information:

McLellan Park Blog
McLellan Park Blog
This is my offering:

For the trees of McLellan Forest East:

making way

above the railway cut there stands
the gauzy remainder of our trees
city sliced down cottonwoods
bitter cherries alders
lest they stumble and slide downslope
to this new train

black tangles against evening mauve
quiet empty yard 
enclave in a loud
forgetful neighbourhood
juncoes still visit bushtits still visit
coyotes and raccoons gone
ravens saw those great silver-sided leaves
settled down in the midst of city racket
to make their nest

in those days
when the clawing began within
i stood at my window and watched the trees
breathed with them for them
with the hesitating breeze
how I sorrowed at being unable to save
even one

Casey Wolf
Grandview Cut, Vancouver

Story Sale: "Eating Our Young"

Happy news!

I've sold my story "Eating Our Young" to Chase Enterprises Publishing for publication in their new horror anthology, The Speed of Dark. There is still time to submit if you are interested--the deadline is 30 December 2012, at midnight.

"Eating Our Young" is a sad and grim allegory about the way families can unthinkingly consume their members, not out of hatred so much as out of an angry reflexiveness that, once settled into, seldom allows for compassion or heartfelt connection with those around us. It's told from the perspective of the youngest members of one particular family, Kenda and her brother Kenny.

I'll keep you posted as details arrive--publication date and all that jazz. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from the story:

Morning arrived with the shout of her biggest sister, Enid. “Up! School! Come make our lunch!”

Kenda tripped on tangling sheets as she leapt to the door. All seven kids would stampede to the washroom but she was closest and with luck might not have to wait.

Too late. Enid was mean again and wakened James before the rest. He was the biggest boy and Enid’s favourite and slower in the bathroom than anyone. Kenda faltered at the closing door. “Can I come in, Jamie?”

Wait your turn, Turd-Drop.”

She sighed and looked at the bristling line of bigger kids squeezing toward her, and remembered Kenny last night. It was not going to happen to her today. She ran back to her room and began to change clothes, then climbed out the window, down the rose trellis, to the dirt. No one guessed her use of the garden. Here behind the rose she yanked her shorts down, piddled, and covered the pee before climbing the trellis again. At the window she listened, peeking cautiously over the sill.

The door had drifted open. Children cried and shouted, doors slammed, water ran. Enid yelled orders. Kenda wanted to climb back in and burrow in the blank oasis of the laundry-room where she and Kenny slept. (Her idea. They’d been sneaking in to sleep together on piles of laundry for so long nobody thought about it anymore.)

No one was in the room.

 The Speed of Dark is being put out by the same folk who published Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road, in which I placed three stories (one co-authored with Paivi Kuosmanen -- the "a" should look like this: ä). 

The ebook version of WotWSotR is currently available for a mere $0.99.

P.S.! The gentleman in the photo above actually has nothing to do with the story. His was just the scariest face in my photo library when I stumbled there at 7 AM in search of an appropriate pic. Wouldn't want an actual pic of the content of this story. Although... I could make something...