Julie L. Moore
Having grown up in south Jersey, I came to Ohio for college and never left. I've now lived in the rural village of Cedarville in the southwest quadrant of the state for twenty-five years. Living rurally suits me and inspires much of my poetry. I am the author of three books of poetry: Particular Scandals, Slipping Out of Bloom, and Election Day. A Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, I've had my poetry published in many print and online publications, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry Daily, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily as well as several anthologies. You can learn more about my work at www.julielmoore.com.
There Is No Violence Here
What do birches teach us,
their yellow leaves long ago
having tumbled to the ground,
exposing limbs to whatever raw
and consequential wind
may come? Trunks stippled
with dark eyes. Branches now
boasting only the robust breasts
of crows. I will not mention roots.
This is not about them,
those long siphons stretching
toward water’s deep horizon.
Look closer. See the lenticels
scattered across the white bark.
They look like scars, as if a cold
blade striated the surface. But no,
they are not slits in the trees’ bloodless
throats. (There is no violence here.)
They are pores oxygen pours through
as simply and surely as sunlight
slips through a spider’s silk net.
Lean in. Listen to the soft
cellular breath tell you what it can.
-first appeared in Freshwater
My New Jersey cousin says it’s boring
to run here in the rural area where I live,
past acres of corn and soybean and canola,
unyielding to variation,
landmarking nothing other than one full sweep
of green. I note each row as I go by,
listen to the prayers whispered by the leaves,
long and short,
which bow when summer heaps on heat
or rustle in praise after fresh fallen rain.
I am not the farmer who’s planted the seeds
or moved among the stalks to measure
the wealth of his work or the ruins of deer.
I know that. I know I haven’t really earned
what blessing this land gives.
But still, it’s not boredom I feel
as I walk the dog along the road
for the umpteenth time,
sun sinking, lavender light spreading its wings,
gliding over these unflinching fields.
-from Particular Scandals by Julie L. Moore. Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.wipfandstock.com.
©2015 Julie L. Moore