Thanksgiving II

Maple leaf study water color pencil on bristol board
By Leah Graham

Leaves fall at the speed of light
And the creek runs orange.
Thanksgiving.

Unearthed coal is slag-heaped;
It’s sulfur diluted from it by rain
Running orange into the creek.

From a tree left standing amidst pits of clay
A death stick is drawn and missiles its way
Through skin, ribcage, heart, ribcage, and skin again.

The pulse of the earth flowed upward
Into the big doe for an instant
And, then, brought her, crumpled, down to it.

That lone tree amidst unearthed mud and rock
Drew the deer in for a final reunion of plant and animal
Thanksgiving.

Her orange-mudded feet are cord-tied together,
And she sways to and fro,
Suspended from a horizontal tree-pole.

Feathers from an arrow protrude from her side.
Her head hangs cold and lifeless.
Her eyes bulge; her tongue drips blood.

Two massive human frames carry her
from the orange, man-made mud desert.
Her dripped blood mingles with the unearthed coal and sulfur.

Tracks that she made coming in are walked-over and obliterated.
A cigarette smolders in a hoof print.
Thanksgiving.

By J.D. Graham
1991

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3 Responses to Thanksgiving II

  1. Margaret McClay says:

    Good God, Jon, lighten up!!

  2. h. gillespie says:

    I love your leaf drawing! May I mention it in my upcoming post about my trip to the Smokies? There’s a preview available here: http://biocreativity.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/an-ode-to-andy-goldsworthy/

    • Hi! Thank you glad you like it! Wow- of course you can use it for your post!! (It was actually a class assignment from University of Washington’s scientific illustration program.) If you want more leaves, I can have some of my classmates send you their work. I love your blog and saw you advertise it on EcoLog back in the summer–! 🙂 I’m a biologist (MS env studies) I can put you in touch with some scientific illustrators and students from the university of washington if you’d like!:)

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