Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

M: Message from the Trees

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A giant Tulip Poplar tree in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest


Tomorrow (Thursday July, 27th) an important event will be happening here in Durham.  Check out Stories Happen in Forests at Motorco at 6pm. (Scroll down for details or click here.)  In honor of this event and with apologies for the fact that I will not be able to attend, I am posting an excerpt from my forthcoming book M Archive: After the End of the World that is in the voice of the trees.

excerpt from M Archive: After the End of the World

(forthcoming from Duke University Press 2018)


when they cut us down they found our layers, obvious as orbit. there was the year with the blood in the groundwater. there was the year of the sulfur in the sky. there was the year of bark turned blue with freezing (in the middle) in the middle of july. there was the time we focused on waiting. there was the time we warned them with lines. there was the season of not enough ozone and way too much sunshine.

when they cut us down they found us open to what they easily could have known if they had paid attention to any one of those seasons through which we had grown. we offered ourselves to their breathing. we offered ourselves to their homes. we offered ourselves to their dull admiration, their need for protection, their forehead intuition, the walks they walked thinking they were alone.   we chipped into pieces to soften their playgrounds, we bent in strips to ferment their drink. we made every component of their housing except the kitchen sink.

we watched and grew thick with the knowing, we bent with the load of their love. it’s not easy to be resilient when you feel from below and you see from above. we broke in the middle so often we thought we’d evolve past hearts. and we’d offer ourselves for release (but we want to see the next part.)



[i]“Trees remember and will whisper remembrances in your ear if you stay still and listen.”  Jacqui Alexander in “Remembering This Bridge Called My Back, Remembering Ourselves” 



Stories Happen in Forests: A Live Storytelling Event

Join Dogwood Alliance at Motorco on July 27th, for an evening of storytelling and community-building in the spirit of forest protection and community justice. The night will feature 10 LIVE true, personal stories.

Our standing forests are awe-inspiring, critical for our well-being and survival, and hold an untold number of tales. Come listen to inspiring storytellers discuss forest protection, community action, and human connection to wild places.

For all you wanderers of the forests, stargazers, lovers of wild places, forest defenders, and folks that speak up for your community, this night is for you.

Tickets will be a suggested donation at the door for $10.
Donate $10/month for a special “Forest Defenders” t-shirt and membership.

Visionary storytellers include:
– Gary Phillips, poet laureate of Carrboro
– TC Muhammad, Hip Hop Caucus
– Dr. Thomas Easley, Forestry professor and Center for Diversity at NCSU
– Reverend Leo Woodberry
– Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance
– Jodi Lasseter, Climate Justice Program Director, NC LCV
– Cole Rasenberger, youth activist
– BJ McManama, the Indigenous Environmental Network
– Margaux Escutin, Bear Afficionado and Durham Activist


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