PROLOGUE from Second Growth, Creekstone Press 2014 we came for wilderness, bounding trail, rinds of trail slumping into streambed, river mud hugging our shoes, pulling ourselves deeper into the forest by its trunks we came – for the twinge of rain-aged bark in our hands, sunshade of fir, dogwood, aspen, birch mycelia flexing whispers between roots, milk-warm mewling of chickadees, junco tweets kissing bluest bluest sky, woodland – sponge-deep, open-pored, moss soaking in all rough edges of sound, we came – for the coke-sour glint of strewn bottles, burnt-out cans, cigarettes for birdfeed, scream of slash piles, scream of skin’s slow scald by water, ubiquitous drone of the ant-trail highway, tires screaming in gridlock, scream of jackhammer, rock drill, screaming teeth of the tree buncher, forested escarpment crushed to pulp, slash piles incinerated to char in the snow – we came for boombox static, heartless rock, flatulence of spun-out tires, the shores of heart lake flanked by a deadlock armament of quads, we came for the quads belching like kid soldiers as they pass, forest floor churned to muck, for fish in the lake, reel’s plastic line and cancer, the body toxic, for the driver grinning at our tits, we came for the smack of muck in our faces, we came to see ourselves glistening from oil pools and mud. there has never been a time like this. we curl toward the remaining woods. it took millions of years for this world to adapt to the toxicity of oxygen, and above our heads, aspen clothed in mushroom shelves – caps soft as antler down, underside’s cream-bathed glow – pocket reservoirs of what’s left of the dawn. BEETLE KILL Change bloomed slowly – one small blush deep in a provincial park, the budding heart on skin. Back then I marched straight into the canopy’s rusted out-heart and never looked up. There were easy distractions – flycatcher’s drunken prattle, how light flits between trunk and shadow, purple columbine winking through deadfall. A pine beetle burrows below bark. Spores through sapwood fan like spilled ink. Not long ago, yearly cold snaps froze the suckers in their boots. Now winters sludge along, the beetle eats its heart out, and snap goes the timber of weak blue wood. From this hill where I stand, the red forest, a dead sea. One province’s hellfire. Glaring eternal sunset. Overnight, it bloomed all over me. I wake to openwork, heart’s shifting filigree, rust-read and sweeping eastward under a clear Chilcotin sky– SALMON GLACIER splay of her limbs, moose polished clean to bone by water so pure it squeaks. lower your cup to the stream, drop below the plume, below the feather spray of rapids. how the river breathes a white raven ghost, water exhaled by the lung of the world, north enough to drink. sing the glacial cave-call, peat and sinter, hollow echolalia: older than rock pestle on mortar stone, breast plate armouring the heart passed down the woman line down the valley. listen to the clatter – moose tibia at the bend, rocks at the upstream eddy, marked by one last glistening thrust, salmon scales slackened to let the soft bits through pulled home by the sound: ice knuckling its own knuckles shudders at the source, carols the long lament of calving off, of working itself free. _____ Fabienne Calvert Filteau grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Victoria in 2011. For a decade she worked as a tree planter throughout BC. She has been published in Paragon and Prairie Fire, among others. Currently she lives on Gitxsan territory in Hazelton, northwest BC. Northern BC folio curated by Gillian Wigmore.