Poems re: Biophobia & Biophilia from Viral Suite (Anvil Press 2004) by Mari-Lou Rowley

[for discussion with J. Blaikie’s class]

Boreal Surreal IX

Sighing exhalation of wind through the tresses of trees. Reverberating crack of a dead branch. Persistent woody pegs of spruce. Pierce like gunshot. Limbs no longer malleable. Wolf-willow blooms in the open meadow. Silver grey leaves, low and perennial. The muted hush of inhalation. The wind’s symphony becoming adagio. Calypso bulbosa sways in rhythm. Atlas’ dancing daughter, seducer of heroes. Full pink lips lined with purple. Typical arrangement of sepals and petals. Venus slippers sway under the shade of conifers. She slips them off. Tender shoots caress delicate flesh under the arch of Astragalus.  The heavy breath of wind through trees. Another breath, steaming, silent. She lies down on a bed of orchids. Greenish-orange eyeshine in the distance. Watching. Carnivorous annubis. The smell of nectar and flesh. Golden hair twining in the verdant bliss. A low guttural inhalation. Sharp yellow grin of gaping mandibles. Lungs of wind lull her to sleep. A dream of falling. The hushed prayer of the dark wood, his long quavering howl. Torrid breath on the contour of cheek. Polex high on the inside of foreleg. Stiff guard hairs oily to the touch. Smothering in the soft fur of underbelly, the weight of embrace. Aching trees groan in the wind, absorbing her moans. Bare feet stumble over coiling rhizomes. Panic slowed to perpendicular. Timberwolves are reported to mate for life. Amber eyes savour her last frantic dance.

Boreal Surreal X

Sunlight glints off filaments of web. Thread carried on currents of air spins a viscid orb from periphery to centre. Silvery fibres entrap a cluster of tart purple berries. Silky radii star from the hub. Spiral zone of primary snaring region. The sound of chokecherries hitting the bucket. Small fruity echoes quell a crunch of leaves. Ursus americanus six feet upright. Fur varying from cinnamon to black. Omnivorous opportunists. The blood of berries stains her fingers. The young cry when afraid and hum when content. A shaved cadaver looks almost human. Except for the head. Massive cranium with strong sagittal crest, zygomatic arches. She doesn’t hear the rustling whimper. Territorial claw marks high on the bark. Turquoise wings quiver in the sticky tapestry, trap her gaze. Araneus marmoreus straddling the torso, feasting on underbelly. Digestion by regurgitating enzymes. She watches, mesmerized by the slow tango of death. The dragonfly’s glassy-eyed agony. Suddenly the shake of leaves, a lumbering quake beneath her feet. Scythe-like claws tap on her shoulder.


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