David Memmott is the author of The Larger Earth and Lost Transmissions. His poetry collection, Small Matters Mean the World, is forthcoming from Red Bat Books in 2022. Poems recently appeared in basalt, Gargoyle, Triggerfish and Weber: The Contemporary West. Memmott founded Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism and is the editor/publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon. His digital art can be viewed in the Midnight Garden on his author site: davidmemmott.com
Going South through Ochoco, charred spindles of ponderosa with black roots
splayed over fire-washed ground lean into apocalypse with the first hard rain.
My parents raised me to see the forest. Whenever a jack pine fails, dead on its
feet, too dry from drought in a wood-stoked firebox metastasized by lightning a
new one can rise from the hot wind that pops the serotinous seed.
We have not ended the genocide yet, our hunger pitched forward like so much
timber falling into board feet.
We have dropped the reins of Plato’s chariot. The planet heats up and cooks our
crab, the jet stream whips up tortured spasms that flatten cities as oceans rise and
Our highways fill up with refugees.
The only invasion that matters here is tumbleweed and ragwort, stubborn thistle
taking a run at our sacred temples.