PROSTRATE by Brigitte Goetze


Finley Wildlife Refuge is lovely
in June. We shared the sun
with the golden crowns of Grant Lotus
and the lobed lips of Toothed Monkey Flowers,
the dappled shade of White Oaks
with the open faces of Showy Phlox,
growing prostrate along the path
leading to Cattail Pond,
its soft bottom clearly visible
through the restful surface.

An evening breeze ruffles
our thoughts, carries them to the agitated
waters of the Gulf poisoned
by an invasion of vicious viscosity,
spreading, like a silent shock wave,
suffocating destruction. We remember
images of dead birds, slimed
with reddish muck, and a face,
looking straight at the camera,
claiming: “We will make it right.”


What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. — Chief Seattle’s speech


Brigitte Goetze, biologist, goat farmer, and writer lives in the foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range. Her creative work has been published by Oregon Humanities, Thresholds, Outwardlink, Four and Twenty, Creative Highway, Calyx, Quiet Mountain Essays, and others.

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