Mourning Song for the Earth — Marjorie Maddox and Karen Elias

Here the stone heart 
waits for the tug of tide, 

the undertow of pull,
the grainy tabula rasa of mind

lapped clean of conscience.  
Or not. Even now, 

seaweeds entwine; brittle 
entanglements rot in the sun.

The dying snare the dead. 
Such rocky shores

Each dawn, the gulls caw
their crescendo of shriek,

capsized days breaking
into dirge, the cracked

and soulful as lonely
as this sad ballad of loss,

swooping low then rising
in morning’s daily aubade of hope.

Such deceptive beauty:
elegy for the earth.

Marjorie Maddox (poet), winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); children’s books; Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies.

Dr. Karen Elias (photographer) taught college English for 40 years and is now an artist/activist, using photography to record the fragility of the natural world and raise awareness about climate change. Her work is in private collections, has been exhibited in several galleries, and has won numerous awards. She is a board member of the Clinton County Arts Council where she serves as membership chair and curator of the annual juried photography exhibit.