AWAKE @ Roots - Poetry by Andrea Dow
Set against the backdrop of uncertainty and climatic instability, “Understories” enacts a descent into the underworld – inevitably a place of darkness and fear yet also of connectivity, revelation and regeneration threaded through by the light that is the enduring beauty of the natural world.
Forests are political zones as well as ‘natural’ places and the Forest of the poems is both a real locale filled with specific flora and fauna and the site of human history, legend and myth – a place of tangled roots and endlessly branching paths where dream and reality intersect.
In the poems I have tried to reflect as many different facets of the Forest as possible, but taken as a whole, the work is an attempt to both celebrate and mourn the possible passing of the natural world as we know it. Though much attention is given to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest few people are aware that this small island boasts its own fragment of fragile Atlantic Rainforest. And whilst we rightly decry vast scale deforestation, we must also remain alert to the less visible loss of single species – a tree here, a butterfly or wildflower there – that are slipping from our lives largely unnoticed.
Finally, it is the fear of this quiet erasure that informs this work. That and the belief that it is diversity, community and careful attention to the often marginalised and overlooked that will (if anything will) guide us through
whatever is to come.
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