Deep Forest / by Leah Clancy


The most extensive organism
carnivorous, deciduous
This is the first place in the world
where trees can grow
if you’re starting at the top
and heading down

Circling the globe
is a big ring
of green oxygen

And if a flake of snow catches
the light in right way
you can see signs of life
from space

Some animals, like spirits,
glimpse each other once, 
and keep moving

Hunting and praying
apply resin to the site
of the wound

Running though pinecones,
looking through file cabinets

A caribou raises its white arm
signaling a white defeat

Mirror images fight and bump
and sheer and freezing frustration

The injured loser
may not survive


Such a giant green group
gathers together
as the camera pans out

Rest me beneath
a giant redwood
and roll me in 
with the fog from the sea

My growing time lasts half a year
my growing time
long live, my living
lifeless or not



Raise the mountains, raze the trees
birds eggs, or squirrels’ eyes
and babies busy with nothing
families chirp for help 
as a thief traipses on

There is a definite number
of mice captured by owls
and no one will ever know
its full sum

First stage of flight
and the ground is no place

General Sherman is as heavy 
as ten blue whales
You would be too
if you were the oldest living thing on earth

Great white guards 
watch miniatures, creatures
feed them, shield them
some infants
hardly bigger than kittens

Thin antlers, good dads
Moths hatch 
at the last of the summer

In the deciduous transformations
we’ll never be
in the same, dream-like state
which is sad;
the world is round but uneven

The hungriest leaf-eaters
get eaten
and so on

Paradise, the area
of no information

Now here is a big leap




But what’s the worse—
all of the cicadas
could disappear

We never will grow 
wings, but we have
further than dawn
to complete the change

Go for it Got for it
gorge yourselves
just this once 
in your lifetime

Every 17 years 
what is the purpose
fertilizer and fornication 
not necessarily 
in that order
in the Northern Hemisphere
primordial thrashing 
and they’re standing apart
and they’re starting their rut

There is a doe
and the male mounts her

I didn’t know this
but the rarest cats on earth
are living in Russia

Cue the time lapse from the frozen
there’s a flash in forward motion
into the biggest time
of the ground leaves

Fern leaves unfurl like
the oceanic
the octopus
the tentacles
driving small fish 
and other creatures
closer to shore

The earth’s whole face
can start blushing
and changing color