Collage Poem

Collage Poem

A Poem by Annie LaHue

An experimental piece. The writing is 1/3rd my own, 1/3rd from new's articles, and 1/3rd borrowed experiences.



                My feet found their way as I stumbled, lost in the shadows of towering giants�"One foot after the other; a monotonous tune. Shff shff shff. I craned my head upwards, searching for a break in the foliage high above.  I was met with indifferent disappointment.  Shifting my gaze, indistinct bundles of shapes swaying in the breeze caught my eye.  I blinked, once, twice, rapidly as my world came into focus.  They were separated into parts, like a child organizing the pieces to a puzzle.  A cluster of feet dangled above, nails yellowed and cracked�" a nest of eyes had fallen at my feet, still wet�"a pile of bodies could be seen off in the distance, limbless, faceless�"simplified forms that played camouflage with the forest’s puce and muted blues.  I felt the dark veil that could not be lifted.

There was a mustiness that permeated the air.  It clung to my lungs, making each breath a task which was completed with much distaste.  And yet the morbid lifelessness of the forest did not disturb me. 

I picked up the nest of eyes and brushed my hand against the sloughing skin of a left foot; that’s the lucky one, or so I’ve been told.  Step by step, I found myself passing the pile of torsos, haphazardly piled on top of one another.  They were shirtless and bare, only dirt and rot as decoration. 

I looked down at the eyes as they glistened at me.  A wave of nausea rolled upon me.  They looked at me and I could no longer ignore my reality.  Reeling, I stumbled beyond the grotesque pile; the massacred masses.  Missing a step, the ground gave way before me.  The eyes tumbled from my hand as I tumbled down, and together we tumbled out from the dense brush of our folly. 

A flash of ground, of the eyes, the bodies, the murdered trees through which I’d stumbled. 

I shut my eyes against the tide, wishing for the veil of darkness�" no, ignorance, to reappear.  But it was too late. The rolling ended abruptly, the air emptied from my lungs, and sight faded to black.  A faint hum of life.


Modern-Day Plague

Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and every year.  The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation.  Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.


The world's largest tropical rainforest, Amazonia covers more than half of Brazil. The canopy of Amazonia is less studied than the ocean floor. Scientists believe that the canopy may contain half of the world's species. Over 500 mammals, 175 lizards and over 300 other reptiles species, and one third of the world's birds live in Amazonia. It is estimated that about 30 million insect types can be found here.


I pushed myself up onto my elbows, spitting up blood and dirt.  The nest lay broken beneath me.  My breath caught.  Compulsively I began brushing myself off, feeling the eyes still upon me.  Shoving myself up, I disentangled myself from the waist high ivy and the leaves that clawed at my hair.  A pause.  I breathed in.  A zephyr caressed my face as I stood at the precipice of the world, soothing me as the forest burst into life.  A muted thrum filled my lungs. The sunlight filtered in from above; a net of warmth enveloped me.  I am finally woken.


The quickest solution to deforestation would be to simply stop cutting down trees. Though deforestation rates have slowed a bit in recent years, financial realities make this unlikely to occur.  A more workable solution is to carefully manage forest resources by eliminating clear-cutting to make sure that forest environments remain intact. The cutting that does occur should be balanced by the planting of enough young trees to replace the older ones felled in any given forest. The number of new tree plantations is growing each year, but their total still equals a tiny fraction of the Earth’s forested land.


The first thing that hits you when you step into the rainforest is the air. It's so heavy with oxygen and humidity that it is almost a tangible thing which just kind of envelops you. There is a heavy, rich stillness to it... because in the heart of a primary rainforest little to no wind really makes in down below the unbroken green canopy of trees above you. The clean oxygen-filled air and the sheer magnitude of living things all around you sort of energizes you somehow. The vibrancy of life you feel flowing around you and through you resonates. It's really hard to describe... but its like all of earth's core elements are there in an abundance that you've never experienced before that it can excite, overwhelm and energize you all at once. In some places, the air stays so heavy with moisture that there is an almost perpetual cloudy fog which envelopes and muffles everything around you and earns the name as a "Cloud Forest."



© 2014 Annie LaHue

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Added on February 4, 2014
Last Updated on February 4, 2014
Tags: deforestation, experimental, amazon forest, rainforest, rain forest


Annie LaHue
Annie LaHue


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