Lise Weil
Kristin Flyntz


Debra Magpie Earling

From The Lost Journals of Sacajewea

Melissa Kwasny

AfterWord from Ghost Dance: the Poetics of Loss (Debra Magpie Earling)

Naeemeh Naeemaei

Dreams before Extinction

Deena Metzger

Our Radiant Lives

Mary Sutton

Her Body is Burning

Naomi Shihab Nye

My Grandmother Said

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha


Sara Wright

Tree Holocaust

Beverly Naidus

Curtain Call: Portable Altars for Grief and Gratitude

Marilyn DuHamel

Turning Point

Susan Cerulean

Bear Requiem

Margo Berdeshevsky

Our Safe Word


Mei Mei Sanford

Serach Bat Asher Speaks

Lise Weil

First, a Mother: Interview with Megan Hollingsworth of
ex•tinc•tion wit•ness

Caroline Casey

Beauty from Brokenness: Interview with Lily Yeh

Sharon English

AfterWord Our Call to Indigenous Consciousness: Taiaiake Alfred’s Wasáse

Cynthia Anderson

From the Beginning

Anne Bergeron

Calling out the Names

Julie Gabrielli

Song of the Chesapeake

Nora Jamieson

I am Nothing without my Dead

Patricia Reis

AfterWord Nora Jamieson’s Deranged

Rebecca Brams

The Bone in My Yard: a Story-Carrier’s Path

Lise Weil

Listening to Natural Law: Interview with Ayya Santacitta

Courtney Cable

AfterWord Kenny Ausubel’s Dreaming the Future

Cynthia Travis


Want to comment on Issue #3 of Dark Matter, fill out the form here, or use the link at the bottom of each article.

Issue #3, December 2015

“from The Lost Journals of Sacajewea” by Debra Magpie Earling

I was introduced to Debra Magpie Earling’s work by Melissa Kwasny who writes brilliantly and eloquently about this piece — see her essay in this issue. Thank you, Melissa!

This is a great and terrible poem. Terrible in its power, probing and witnessing. So fierce it could blind us, if we look at it long enough, like gazing at snow and sun burning together. Or drive us mad, as it should for not knowing, for looking away, for failing to bear witness, for the fact that our NOs are not powerful enough.

A few lines from Earling's "shattered prose":

A woman hard-frozen in the field
Her trail marked by the blood of the hundred pounds of buffalo
she carried.
And the sleek footed wolves trailed her,
wove weaved* a tight trail around her sniffing
the bitter wind she carried.
The razor snarl of their teeth chewed the meat off her back
down to the column of her bones.

I am hoping that the entire poem will appear, excerpt by excerpt in Dark Matter. The entire poem must be in the world so that we can know what must be known.

I have never read a poem like this. It is a great poem. It has brought me to my knees.

~ Deena Metzger - CA

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After•Word “Ghost Dance: the poems of Debra Magpie Earling” by Melissa Kwasny

This astonishingly beautiful and compressed review teaches us how to read the excerpts from THE LOST JOURNALS OF SACAJEWEA-- thank you. Gorgeous writing.

~ Camille Norton - Stockton, CA

I love the writing of both these women, Melissa Kwasny and Debra Magpie Earling. After reading this essay, I long to see The Lost Journals of Sacajewea. Such an exciting and radical act to bring forth the lost experiences and voices of women who have been written out of the story. In the absence of the Journals, Kwasny brings it alive for us with depth and sorrow. Thank you.

~ Nora Jamieson - CT, USA

This is a beautiful review and so in-depth. I enjoyed reading it and will look at Earling's important work again. Thanks for writing this and making it available for others to read.

~ Susan Kay Anderson - Sutherlin, OR

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“Dreams before Extinction” by Naeemeh Naeemaei

Beautiful paintings! Totems for the modern world. Thank you so much.

~ Gayatri Devi - Lock Haven

Dear Naeemeh,
Thank you for your soulful paintings. I am very moved by how all is shared with the animals - love, blessings, suffering, and I love your retort to the gentleman who spoke of symbolism. We all stand together, large and small, symbol or no symbol. Gillian

~ Gillian Goslinga - Sedona, AZ

It is often said that the image precedes the word and these images evoke a story that runs too deep - is too terrible to tell.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

I keep returning to the painting Red Caspian Deer. Is there some way to get a print of this extraordinary painting? It says it all.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

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“Our Radiant Lives” by Deena Metzger

Deena - wise and piercingly true - as always. Here is an example of the need for a cultural awakening to the deep and profound understanding from our minds and hearts that beloved Gaia/Sophia, our Mother Earth, is a divine being as well as a supremely important location to us, and that we need to show our respect for Her Name in the English language where cities, states, nations, and the other planets orbiting around our Central Sun are given the formal dignity of being capitalized. Why not the Earth? “How you treat the earth is how you treat us.” With infinite love and gratitude for this ultra-important publication.

~ ShannYn Sollitt - Sante

I have the sense that I have been a Cassandra all my life - It is helpful to see a "we"- and yes, we "remain with Cassandra watching the ongoing carnage; against our will we become whores to it" - compelling words

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Her Body is Burning” by Mary Sutton

Thank you for a beautifully written, harrowing, true tale of disconnection, re connection, the power of dreaming and of animal lives.

~ Karen Malpede - Brooklyn, NY

Beautiful evidence of the mysterious and unknowable ways we are interlinked with the living earth, what we have lost during our time away and what we have to gain by coming home again.

"The real world wants us to remember how to live in a way that furthers life. It is willing to help us, if we listen for the ways in which we can ally with it and act accordingly."

To that I say - yes!! Thank you for sharing your story of wandering, of getting lost in the cultural story of "I," being found in the dreamworld by our kindred, and especially for listening and trusting. And sharing your story with us.

~ Julie Gabrielli - Baltimore, MD, USA

"go back to the woods, go back to the water" - so much wisdom here.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“My Grandmother Said, Netanyahu” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Powerful poems, and powerful commentary as well. Violence is lack of imagination. Your question -- "what does it mean when one person thinks that others deserve nothing"? -- defines the conversation that the world hesitates to have. As a collective, we should invite all thinking and alert human beings to propose one word as an answer to your question. What is it called when one person thinks that others deserve nothing? We, humanity, should be able to name this in all major languages of the world. Thank you.

~ Gayatri Devi - Lock Haven

I read Naomi's work first, but want to read on. This is a truthful magazine. Thanks so much.

~ Robert Bonazzi, San Antonio, TX

Thank you for this and your story as told here.

~ Tricia Knoll - Portland, OR

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“Tree Holocaust” by Sara Wright

This is the depth of pain beyond measure. It expresses the pain of watching helpless in the face of "development" in my beloved homeland. The trees, the bogs, the swamps, and rivers. Heedless of the damage, we continue to believe we "need" more and the planet can do with far less. Thank you.

~ Pearl Gregor - Leduc County, AB, Canada

I understand why you would leave. I know what it is to commune with trees and feel their slow wisdom. Thank you for this article.

~ Tricia Knoll - Portland, OR

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Turning Point” by Marilyn DuHamel

As a dedicated bird person I have mourned the loss of so many of my bird friends, but others come and something in me stirs in wonder of the birds' will to survive and even thrive with simple caring… who knows how many birds you might save with this article. The birds thank you for writing it and so do I.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Serach bat Asher speaks” by Mei Mei Sanford

Beautiful and so moving.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Beauty from Brokenness: Interview with Lily Yeh” by Caroline Casey

I was moved to tears of pain and joy! This opened my heart and let the sunshine in. Blessings to the Art that Lily has brought to the world. Peace, Love, and Art.

~ Susan Hovey Cohen - Piermont, NY, Rockland County

Wonderful article with Lily Yeh! Made my heart sing. Peace & Love, Lina

~ Lina Braunstein - USA

*   *   *   *   *   *

After•Word “Our Call to Indigenous Consciousness: Taiaiake Alfred’s Wasáse” by Sharon English

As a woman with Native American roots brought up in the Western world I was lost to myself until I recovered my native roots and allowed Nature to become my compass.It is this latter quality of Indigenous existence that will foster a renewed relationship between the people and the land regardless of whether or not one has Indigenous roots, I believe.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“From the Beginning, Nova” by Cynthia Anderson

The two poems were stunning. Whenever I fall in love with a poem I put it up on my bathroom wall and both of these poems will make their home there. I am so glad to read about the sanctity of the desert because it’s a very rich and mysterious place.

Interspecies communication is the norm if Nature becomes our compass. Animals,trees,rabbit brush,roadrunners and lizards guide us. All we have to do is to open our hearts minds and body...Nature does the rest

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

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“Calling out the Names” by Anne Bergeron

The names are 'good to say.' I love your story of coming to this simple practice, with its profound effects. In saying the names we have conversation. I think a lot too about the need to create/recover names of places that have been erased in their particularity through the imposition of imported, irrelevant names. Thanks for writing this beautiful article and sharing your discovery!

~ Sharon English - Toronto, ON, Canada

Beautiful honoring of a mighty body right in my own backyard. Thanks for the reminder, Julie. I'm joining the walk!

~ Anne Pellicciotto - Washington, DC

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After•Word “Nora Jamieson’s Deranged” by Patricia Reis

When I read "deranged" I identified with all the women -"wildish, slightly suspect, a bit undomesticated." The women of "deranged" felt like my sisters. This beautifully written review does this extraordinary book justice and has been a pleasure to read.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

*   *   *   *   *   *

“The Bone in My Yard” Rebecca Brams

I'm touched by this piece. It takes me into the heart of Village Spirit, where the webs that connect us are visible and lived. Rebecca paints a gorgeous picture of a receptive, open- souled way to receive and give back. It's like a rainbow-striped hand-woven shawl has just been placed around my neck and I'm on board to make sure “her” story gets told, too. Thank you for writing this piece, Rebecca.

~ Jessica Rios - Petaluma, CA

Oh, I did so appreciate and enjoy this piece, and the pictures were a fabulous addition. The article brought back many memories of my travel to Peru in the 1970s, and this was delightful enough ~ but then the discussion of the pago helped me put words to that thing I am trying to explain to my friend the atheist, and now I can better describe my deep gratitude for my current earthly experience, and what it means to me to ritualistically lay an altar and "give back." Beautifully written ~ thank you so much! Many blessings ~

~ Gretchen Beaubier - Albuquerque, NM

I loved Ms. Brams' essay. How delightful and refreshing to hear a writer's journey to tell a particular story and its importance to her. She creates a picture of the world of story she resides in, one that is essential, primal and timeless, and antithetical to the "plugged-in" world we live in. I'm captivated. Can't wait to read the novel!

~ Teresa Burns Gunther - Oakland, CA

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“Listening to Natural Law: Interview with Ayya Santacitta” by Lise Weil

Fascinating interview - My question: How can we talk about natural laws in an evolving universe? I see natural law much like Rupert Sheldrake does. What we perceive as natural law is more like nature's habits that are built up over time.

One more thought. At some point I gave up trying to separate my spiritual/bodily self from the earth's spiritual/bodily self because the boundary just wasn't there... one flowed into the other and back again, or that is how I experience it anyway.

~ Sara Wright - Bryant Pond ME

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“Offerings” by Cynthia Travis

Cynthia, so nice to read your writing, and so sweet to think more about the concept of making offerings each day.....Thank you for sharing and for your honesty.

~ David Hills - Durham, NH