Creekstone Press

Northern BC's publisher

Creekstone Press Publications

Excerpts from Second Growth



We came for wilderness, bounding trail, rinds of trail

slumping into streambed, river mud hugging our shoes, pulling

 ourselves deeper into the forest by its trunks we came—


for the twinge of rain-aged bark in our hands, sunshade

of fir, dogwood, aspen, birch, mycelia

flexing whispers between roots, milk-warm

mewling of chickadees, junco tweets kissing bluest

bluest sky, woodland—sponge-deep, open-pored, moss

soaking in all rough edges of sound, we came—


for the coke-sour glint of strewn bottles, burnt-out cans,

cigarettes for birdfeed, scream of slash piles, scream of skin’s

slow scald by water, ubiquitous drone of the ant-trail highway,

tires screaming in gridlock,

scream of jackhammer, rock drill,

screaming teeth of the tree buncher, forested escarpment

crushed to pulp, slash piles incinerated to char in snow—


we came for boombox static, heartless rock, flatulence

of spun-out tires, the shores of Heart Lake flanked

by a deadlock armament of quads, we came for the quads


belching like kid soldiers as they pass, forest floor

churned to muck, for fish in the lake, reel’s plastic line

and cancer, the body toxic, for the driver

grinning at our tits, we came for the smack

of muck in our faces, we came to see ourselves


glistening from oil pools and mud. There has never been

a time like this. We curl toward the remaining woods.  

It took millions of years for this world to adapt

to the toxicity

of oxygen,

and above our heads, aspen

clothed in mushroom shelves—

caps soft as antler down, underside’s

cream-bathed glow—pocket reservoirs

of what’s left of the dawn.

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