More Poets, Fewer Lawyers…Poems by Amy Brunvard

Existential Roads

The right-of-way for the construction of highways across public lands not otherwise reserved for
public purposes is hereby granted — Revised Statute 2477, 1866 Mining Act.

When you construct a road
does it have to go anywhere?
Is every road a tautology
since everyplace is somewhere?

Does a road require intention?
Can a road happen by accident
just by driving a machine
where there were only deer tracks?

If you drive in sand
does a sand dune become a road?
If you drive in a creek,
does water become a road?

If you draw a line on a map
can you drive there?
Is a road still a road still a road
if nobody drives there?

Is a road constructed
to keep machines
confined to the pavement
or to keep people off?

Is a pick-up truck
a kind of wheelchair
that compensates
for the slow and frail
inadequate human body?

If you draw a line in the sand
that people may cross
only if they agree
to leave their trucks behind
what is there on the other side?

"Siege" by Kit Osborn. See this piece and more at: merwolf syndiKit

“Siege” by Kit Osborn. See this piece and more at: merwolf syndiKit

Nuclear Jump Rope Rhyme

Patty cake, yellow cake,
Uranium, vanadium
Geiger counter, Oppenheimer,
Fat Man, Little Boy
Moss Back, Chinle,
Government subsidy
Build a road to Hidden Splendor
Dump the tailings by the river,
Fallout, fall in
Downstream, downwind,
Mushroom cloud, Shoshone Nation
Rocky Flats and Yucca Mountain,
Hell no, we won’t glow
Go and ask the Navajo.

An Update on Progress in Utah

Utah’s steady economic progress
is evident on several fronts.
Strong infrastructure and low-cost energy
have been significant factors
in helping Utah progress.
though many now wonder whether this progress
has come at too steep a cost to the land
and public interest.
House Republicans should get credit for making progress.
“We could bring resolution to many of the public land management issues
that have stymied progress for decades,”
he said as he traced the fire’s progress in the air with his finger.
“I want to tear apart the EPA and roll back scientific progress,”
The agency agreed to give lawmakers a progress report.
We have been guilty of equating progress
with busyness.
Many groups have worked tirelessly,
and some progress has been made.
Now the general public will also have the ability
to track cleanup progress
until progress is made toward resolving
what tribal leaders see as “ongoing violations.”
Let’s hope that the nature of the world’s reaction to Mormons
progresses on a similar trajectory

"Sheepman Flag" by Stefanie Dykes. Read more about Stefanie here.

“Sheepman Flag” by Stefanie Dykes. Read more about Stefanie here.

as a means to tell the world
about the rise and progress of the Church.
Change is inevitable,
but progress is optional.
Let the next surge of progress begin!


According to biologists
A parking lot is actually an ecosystem
With extremely low species diversity
Which is the reason why parking
Makes such an inadequate substitute
For rain forests and wetlands
And other such biological hotspots.
Oh, the occasional seagull
Will swoop down to scavenge for French fries
Scattered by juvenile Homo sapiens
That travel through with their family groups
On the way back from foraging
At the far distant mall
Which is named, according to custom,
For whatever was destroyed to build
The Meadows or The Shops at River Woods
Or what have you,
But the gulls never stay for long
And neither do the hovering yellow jackets
Seeking sugary deposits of spilled soda.
You have to lie down on your belly
To even see tiny, black seedlike ants
Excavating tunnels in the cracks
One grain of sand at a time
Or to notice creeping plants
With butter-yellow flowers
That already know how to grow
A fiercely spiked seed pod
To puncture bicycle tires
And are pondering
In that slow, dreamy way of plants
How to improve their reproductive success
By hitching a ride on automobiles.


Amy Brunvand is a librarian, writer, and part-time nature mystic from Salt Lake City, Utah.  She agrees with Edward Abbey that the environmental movement needs more poets and fewer lawyers (even though some of her best friends are lawyers).





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3 comments for “More Poets, Fewer Lawyers…Poems by Amy Brunvard

  1. Mike in SF
    August 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I love Amy’s poetry.

    I’m one of her lawyer friends, too.

  2. Brandon
    August 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I really enjoyed these, especially the first two and the last one.

  3. Brandon
    August 25, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I really enjoyed these.

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