Sunday, 21 of January of 2018

Category » Susan McCampbell Ring

Susan McCampbell Ring – Cove/Mallard

Mallard-Larkin Roadless Area


Yesterday these forests were crimson pink
through the smoke of summer fires
(as if the very air were bleeding here);
today i stand soaking wet
looking thru rain-smeared glasses
sweaty from dancing with thunder;

Drumming tumbles with guitar, banjo & oboe
between Grand fir, bear grass
& sweet purpling huckleberries.
The tapping of the rain
comforts me. Reminds me of earlier,
down the hill where they’re cutting

when i wrapped my arms halfway ’round
a doomed grandmother pine at dawn
–and, crying, i prayed for her deliverance.

14 VIII 94

Susan McCampbell Ring
June-July 1998 Earth First!


Now, the woods are quiet – no chainsaws, no arrests. Cutting has stopped in the two Nez Perce National Forest roadless areas. It stopped when Bruce Bernhardt, a stocky man with a New York accent, became forest supervisor early last year. He announced that six unsold timber sales planned for Cove-Mallard would remain unsold. The forest, he said, has other priorities. “It’s an intact ecosystem and in terms of ecosystem restoration there are so many other places that need to be restored,” he said. Bernhardt made his announcement to halt cutting in Cove-Mallard even before President Clinton unveiled his plan to permanently protect roadless areas in national forests. As an inventoried roadless area, Cove-Mallard’s 77,000 acres are included in 40 million acres up for a fresh look by the public. Although local sawmills facing big income cuts were disappointed, activists were thrilled. –from High Country News

Susan McCampbell Ring – Chipmunks Of Trial Lake

Chipmunk PoetryEver since I was a little girl I fantasized
about little wild animals running up to touch me.

A steely-cold High Uintah morning:
and I’m twenty-six, sitting on pine duff waiting

for the sun. When finally it peeks
over the far mountain and through

the canopy of tremendous old firs dripping lichen
it wakes an excited tribe of chipmunks.

I decide that if I can sit still
enough–and THINK like

a boulder–they won’t mind me and they’ll
just go about their October morning

rituals. I am stone, I say to myself,
over and over, clearing my head

of artificial chatter and the “civilized”
things upon which I dwell. I am stone.

I keep my eyes lowered, trying not
to watch their striped antics and

velvet acrobatics, trying not
to smile when one is chased into my leg,

and trying not to laugh out loud when one
hops to my Levi-clad knee, jumps to my

sweatered arm, scurries up to my
neck and tickles me with tiny

flicking hands. Soon the others
catch on: a grand idea! Running

laps on my shoulders and back,
across my elbows and cross-legged

lap, and once or twice even perching
high on my winter wool cap.

I don’t dare blink. I try to breathe
slower than the trees and I try to stay

as still as granite. The chipmunks frolic like
tiny clowns–testing me, mocking me?–

and then chase each other away. Now I feel
lonelier than rock and I think

I understand how the Earth must be taking
the news of mass extinction.

15 VII 94
Susan McCampbell Ring

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