Folded Field Notes is an interactive column that explores a new ecological topic each fortnight – part writing challenge, part citizen science project – led by alternating guides with assistance from editor & ecologist JS Graustein. Will you join us?
TODAY’S TOPIC : Imprint
As a verb, imprint consists of instinctual actions: the moment a drakeling hatches and latches onto mother, or the pressure a kindergartner applies with her wide-open hand into wave-licked sand. As a noun, imprint’s reach extends from the ephemeral (fox prints in snow) to the millennial (finger marks in Chauvet cave) to the geologic (fossilized outlines of Archæopteryx feathers). Whether verb or noun, temporary or permanent, genetic or environmental, imprint involves modes of communication among & between species across some measurement of time.
Barbara Flaherty is an artist and poet who lives on the north shore of Boston with two feline critics, Sylvester and Tashi. She works in the historic Manchester by the Sea Public Library. Barbara previously served as Folded’s acquisitions editor and has sponsored public readings for Folded authors.
Stepping over the threshold into October, there is a new dimension here to time and color. Summer’s memory still lingers, however less and less; the light’s balance and energy put different imprints on the measurements of sunrise and twilight
Notice the air sigh, finding its
way into cracks between driftwood and sand,
journey from sea to earth.
Listen to the stars hum as dusk
turns to an earlier dark, allowing their presence
to dance into view.
Watch the spider web’s fragile rhythm
an ecosystem with life
evolving once again, again.
©2018 by Barbara Flaherty
Your turn! In the comments section below, please let us know if you’ve observed any kind of transition recently — including general location and time of day. We’ll leave the comments open for the next two weeks in case you need a chance to go on a field trip first😊 And if your encounter inspires you to write a response (short poem, flash fiction, or mini essay), please come back and share that as well. In November, we’ll post a community poem based on all your observations. We’ll also select one of the response pieces to publish in our Written Word Wednesday column (revisions may be requested).
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