TIC Reading August 4, 2007
“Dreamcasting: A Response to Forest Walk"

To see the artwork featured at this event, please visit Mary Ellen Long online.

“Detritus: Two Books:” poem
Sandy Beach

The ritual laying out of the work
is integral to the
according to the maker

the handmade washi paper

Absorbs and records
the memory of summer

as it lies in situ on the forest floor

Not only aspen and oak
leaves are leavened into
this book (an offering)
but others I do not know

This artifact is remade each time
it moves to a new location

then leaves
leaves twigs moss
leave room for improvisation
the work is no more
static than nature itself
ever changing
with glacial stealth
or flash flood suddenness

the planet is alive
and breathing
an entity upon which we
must tread lightly

Strata of Ponderosa pine
needles inside
Pages are the color of leaves
after a hard winter
flat mulch–tinged gray

My foot has trod over layers
of leaf mulch much like this
I did not think “book!”
did not think “art!”
instead fretted
“centipede spider snake”

Or did not notice at all
as my eyes were raised to sky
Look out a bird

I did not go to the forest
to commune with nature
but rather to avoid
human company
I confess an unease
with forest habitat

cell memory
harkening back to
a time when we
       were prey
not marauders

Poet Sandy Beach has been considering the synchronicity between words and images for longer than she has been calling herself a poet.
Her awards include: a month's graduate level poetry residency at The Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy with University of New Orleans, 2005; The Loft Poetry Mentorship: A year's intensive study with six mentors in three genres, 2004-05; and Norcroft: A Writing Retreat for Women in 1999 and 1994. Her publications include: mentalcontagion.com, Perigee, Water~Stone Review, an anthology: To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, Sojourn Journal of the Arts, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts Archives, Washington D.C.

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