Felis Ellipses by Jack Phillips

Felis Ellipses | Jack Phillips

Cat tracks make ellipses on snow like a poem when they stop the silence goes deeper. Funny that Felis Rufus slinks up frozen creek beds passing unseen and that our un-bobcat-like stomp and skitter finds around each bend her spoor. We take our prompts from native snow-poems seeking to or wanting to believe that we can move trackless make art that begins to vanish on the making; write inside-out verses deeply arising from this place that stiffly takes our feet. We will never become native here, never bones and blood by this land woven and flow. Only by longing do we belong by wildnesses here our souls awakened become the creatures that once we were by the ephemeral traces we make.


About the Author:

Jack Phillips is a naturalist, poet, nature writer, and founder of The Naturalist School, a nonprofit organization devoted to poetic wildness and the consilience of creativity and ecology.  He is author of The Bur Oak Manifesto: Seeking Nature and Planting Trees in the Great Plains and co-editor of Natural Treasures of the Great Plains: an Ecological Perspective (with Paul Johnsgard and Tom Lynch). His poetry has appeared in Wild Roof, Flora Fiction, EcoTheo, The Closed Eye Open, Canary: a Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis, and THE POET.  He lives in the Missouri River watershed of eastern Nebraska.