Introduction: Issue 22.4 Rooted

This issue of The Beltway Poetry Quarterly is a tree shaking off her leaves, brilliant in fading greens, resplendent in amber, gold, crimson. There is a mycorrhizal network between the poets, not all write of ecology, but the palm tree spreading her branches skyward from one poem reaches towards the next, praying—what we hang from the trees, the lynched, colored lights, stark naked birch on fields of whiteness—that we pause quietly in the middle, disheveled explorers shaking off dusty memories, our quips with the shortness of human life. These poets sow, seed by seed, a forest pulsing with decayed ghosts of war, peace, home-cooked meals, accents, and scents melding together on a cemetery wind. They host owls peering into brightly lit kitchens, El ave que veo desde la ventana nos llama” (the bird I see from the window, Luis Manuel Pimenetel), looks across seas towards France, eyeing Barcelona, aiming for new adventure, tastes of bread on the tongue, imagined or remembered. Wave upon wave of light or oceans, mitochondrial genes unspooling themselves to sing symphonies together, a lattice-work of ecological connections while the “ash trees still stand bleak in their nakedness” (Lisken Van Pelt Dus).

Rooted, this issue holds ancient secrets, deep rings of sadness, strength, and song. Take a rest in the branches, but take flight in the canopy—

Hay que migrar Migrar hacia el misterio. One has to migrate. Migrate towards the mystery.

Valentina Rojas


Ultimately, we only fail ourselves/ like the tree that promised to lift the sky/on its fragile branches,

Abhimanyu Kumar


Too faint for you the face-print on the glass/left by the owl that thought your kitchen light/ was moonshine.

Andrew Motion


Carry me away! For a little nothing suffices so that I might articulate the sap that circulates in the marrow of these cosmic joints



To all the poets gathered under the shade of this grand tree, welcome. To all readers, enjoy their lyric flights, their resolutions in sound and meter, their poems.

Sara Cahill Marron
Indran Amirthanayagam