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Nature

Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro

Mysterious American Cat

Due to their increasingly isolated habitats, the native mountain lion population of Los Angeles is under threat of extinction. Ryan Bradley discusses one solution under consideration, as well as the surprising relationship between big cats and one of the most populated cities in the country

Wild vs. Natural

Ah, wilderness. The very word means“the place of wild animals.” It’s a place where, by definition, as my friend the grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock says, something in it can kill you and eat you. Absent that danger, it’s something other than wild.

Wilderness is the stuff of a structuralist’s binary dreams, opposed to civilization, its antithesis and enemy. But, in truth, the wild is an invention of civilization: We recognize that the wild is wild only because we know what houses, fields, orchards, and gardens look like, the one part of our world behaving by its own rules, the other ordered by the hard work of human hands.

Bower

Consider the bowerbird and his obsession
of blue, and then the island light, the acacia,
the grounded beasts. Here, the iron smell of blood,
the sweet marrow, fields of grass and bone.

Impossible Bottle. By Claudia Emerson. LSU, 2015. 65p. PB, $17.95.

Ecstatic Sorrow

Claudia Emerson, who died in December 2014, had come to be known as a poet capable of revealing startling discoveries inside quiet, quotidian circumstances. Her poems are set mostly in Southern rural and small-town scenes, moments in ordinary lives that would normally elude anyone else’s attention.

The Cycle

Dark water, underground, Beneath the rock and clay, Beneath the roots of trees, Moved into common day, Rose from a mossy mound In mist that sun could seize. The fine rain coiled in a cloud Turned by revolving air Far from that colder source Where el [...]

None Shall Sleep

The pang and clangor of pitch-dense wood
in the stove and the odd, almost syncopated
pops of studs, joists, and rafters as they warm [...]

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