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ideas for a new earth

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  • Abigail Wilson

Missives from the Earth: Matron of the Bogs

Part of a collection capturing the voices of the earth, and their response to the press of humanity. Written in conversation with Cranberry Glades, West Virginia.



My belly is a deep blackness. All that lives here, dies here - their bodies ever returning to and surfacing from my own.

What do I need? I need hands to scoop up the living muck and place it gingerly on a new space with cool air, rising water, and an embrace of clouds. But where are there hands big enough? Shovelful by shovelful I will die. The life of this place is not in the dirt and the plant roots - it is between them. The bog exists because its inhabitants exist within it. By living out their own glorious, unnoticed lives, they build the land for those to come.

This is a place that welcomes death. Trees tentatively put down roots, roots that rot, roots that bring in too much acid for the heart of the tree. The tree falls, and lives again through the creatures that consume.


Plants quietly wait for insects to land, to follow desire and curiosity to their doom. All beautiful flowers sink into the muck and are consumed. O sweet virtuous end!


Life is consumption. We feed ourselves until we feed another.

I exist only through the accumulation of death. My soil is not made of rocks and sand, but of the bodies of my brethren.

If warm dry winds are coming, let me die. Let me follow the path of those I have nurtured, giving up this folded body to new life. I have collected the gold of ages here - how will you honor my passing?

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