Welcome to the first volume of Earthshine

From SMZ: One should always suspect ideas that come quickly and unannounced; they usually have a mind of their own. But one should not deny them, either; they come from a deeper place, from the part of ourselves which knows more than we know we know. Such was the idea of starting Earthshine, born on an Earthshine-moon-lit night.

The more I thought about it the better an idea it seemed. Loving poetry as I do, but being opinionated as I am, I expected to sit comfortably, and thoughtfully to do what I love: read words, capture, choose, as with a photo, the pleasing ones, collect them--memories in an album, dead butterflies in a case––and hold them to a page. How foolish. Of course they were all alive. They fluttered under my hand, which I had to hurriedly lift, and then stand back to give them room. What came over the lines, cables and by truck were live things, pieces of souls, bits of thought, scraps of secrets, bent on freedom. Who was I to be so privileged to see into the hearts of poets? But they came. Despair so complete I could hardly breathe. Pain so raw I had to stand and walk in circles around it. Understanding. Wonder and witness. Words that flowed as smoothly as the water and stones they described.

So it is with humble gratitude that this first volume of Earthshine is offered. The poems inside it have not been confined; they speak of their makers and they have lives of their own. I’d like to think of the journal as the place where they were released into a realm where they are welcome, and a place where it is recognized that individuality and harmony are one. I like to think I knew more than I knew I knew; it was for this that Earthshine was created.

Sally Zaino

From JMM: Creating poetry, or any art, is often a lonely and thankless endeavor. In some ways it is appealing, because some of us mistakenly believe that we can live separately from others, and art allows us, just for a time, to live only with the voices in our heads. It is often a frightening place, but it is safe, because we know all the inhabitants. Then, too, for many of us, there are few things in life as satisfying as forming our thoughts into poetry. Shaping inner ruminations into tangible art provides a sense of completion, that we have somehow made thoughts solid. When I have a thought, a belief, an anger – any emotion that is so strong it cannot be contained – the only way to feel complete is to create a poem, a song, or a story from it. Once that is done, there is a sense of relief, an "ahhhh" that doesn’t take the emotion away, but makes it bearable. This is an intensely personal act, and no doubt the reason poets and songwriters are so bad at taking criticism about their work; you are maligning their naked egos.

The beauty of reading the poetry of others is that it gives one the privilege of meeting the inhabitants of other people’s minds, and the things they could not keep contained. It is a reminder that we are not so different after all. I believe a person’s true self shines through a poem. The poems do not lie. Poetry is sometimes as close as we can come to telepathy. We hope you enjoy the journey.

Julie Moffitt