In this week’s poem, Erin Covey-Smith considers one of the difficult questions in the age of climate change: How do we reconcile the solace we find in nature with our awareness of its crisis?

Covey-Smith’s poem is an excerpt from the new Littoral Books anthology “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis,” edited by Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan. The collection launches this month with a release party at Space in Portland, at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8.

Covey-Smith earned her MFA in printmaking from Concordia University and found her way to poetry through her work in letterpress and book arts. She lives in Freeport.

 Night Walk, February

By Erin Covey-Smith

The air still and smooth and supple

as I walk, embracing when I expect

to brace. The stars exacting, the

ocean, contemplative. All singing

a sideways beauty.

 

This world, which I had once again

edged into taking for granted, thaws,

slips, reminds me it is mutable,

disappearing and temporal as anything.

 

It’s the damn spirit of the thing—

clinging steadfastly to the bright stars,

to the light reflecting on stolid water—

which makes me lean in, rely on presence.

 

So that I forget, again and again, and

love wholly and without pain. And so

even when I remember, brought up

short by all that aches and melts

around me, I love more wholly still,

with pain.

Megan Grumbling is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Night Walk, February” copyright © 2018 by Erin Covey-Smith. Reprinted from “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis,” edited by Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan. It appears by permission of the author.

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