KCMO Series #4 // Edited by Jordan Stempleman
who we leave behind
Our ecological connectivity with plants can provide a wellspring of knowledge and inspiration, enabling us to (re)discover strategies for living in the world, to grieve and heal after loss, and to re-align our thinking toward rootedness, kinship, and community. This poem is part of a larger project based in being with plants as a way to enter into a world co-present with but other than our own and to see vegetal inhabitance as a model of unconditional generosity in the face of vulnerability. Specifically, this poem is written with a green ash tree in my backyard (behind me in the recording), who is afflicted by the emerald ash bore. With the ash, I’ve been thinking a lot about love and the passage of time, how it moves differently based on our lifespans and cycles.
Megan Kaminski is a poet and essayist—and the author of three books of poetry, most recently Gentlewomen (Noemi, 2020). Prairie Divination, her forthcoming illustrated collection of essays + oracle deck with artist L. Ann Wheeler, turns to the plants, animals, and geological features of the prairie ecosystem as guides for living in good relation to each other. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with her cat Brenda, teaches poetry at the University of Kansas, and curates the Ad Astra Community Writing Project.