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Sunday Brunch

Poetic Micro Essays

Look for a new post of Sunday Brunch every month on the first Sunday. This column features Tripod Poems, poetic micro essays inspired by three randomly chosen words. These words become the title of the piece, are contained within the piece and are developed into observations on life in the Southwest and beyond.

Forestry – Receive – Cast

The art of planting and caring
for a forest, is the mission of forestry.

The Mescalero Apache
are masters of this noble task.

They do not leave all dead wood
standing, only some for habitat.

The rest they clear using their horses,
debris being carefully gathered
in managed piles, and repurposed.

This gives the lofty ponderosa room
to breathe and sway, free from threat
of too easily ignited dry tinder.

In the Mescalero Apache forests
you can see the open sky and
watch golden eagles fly overhead.

Ground cover too is managed,
not overgrown, or invasive.

We in the west fell living trees
without first asking to receive
their ancient blessings.

We cast aside the ideal
of the honorable harvest.

We sell off wild land
for timber and development.

Our Forest Service often sets fires
on especially windy days in spring,
and calls them, controlled burns.

In these past few years, many
have gone woefully out of control.

Why not remove the dead timber,
much of which is bark beetle infested
and create pellets for fuel, rather
than leaving fuel for disaster?

Fires in the forest are natural,
a needed ritual of the sacred cycles,
but we create unnaturally dense
vegetation, and the resulting fires
are no longer regenerative,
they are devastatingly destructive,
taking everything.

We have a lot to learn
from the Mescalero Apache,
why not allow them to teach us?

Why not invite them as leaders
to be part of our forestry team?

Photo credit: “In the Ponderosas,” Eve West Bessier

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

Eve West Bessier

Eve is a poet laureate emerita of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico; and of Davis and Yolo County, California. She has served on the steering committee for the Southwest Word Fiesta, and was a presenter during two festivals. Eve is a retired social scientist, voice and life coach. She is a writer, jazz vocalist, photographer and nature enthusiast living in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Enriching Life Through Learning in Community

We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.