Amelia L. Williams


Amelia L. Williams lives in intentional community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, in the Middle James-Buffalo watershed. She is a medical writer, poet, hiker, and ecoactivist. Her book Walking Wildwood Trail: Poems and Photographs, features a 3-mile trail of eco-poetry art installations that celebrate the landscapes threatened by the proposed fracked-gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline. She earned her doctorate in English Literature at the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, 3Elements, Shot Glass Journal,  AJN: American Journal of NursingJournal of Wild Culture, and elsewhere. She is a fellow of the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. Her website is

Into the Tangle

ii) Blast Radius

The company calls it the blast radius;
technical literature refers to the incineration zone.
Annihilate, blacken, burn, combust, cremate,
decimate, demolish, denude,
depopulate, despoil,
detonate, devour, engulf, entomb,
exterminate, extinguish,
immolate, obliterate, perish,
ravage, raze, scorch, vaporize.

iii) Spur










network of pale running ridges on maple bark
white, bony, striving sycamore
may plants, animals, fungi, and all whose names I harvest,
sense my respect and gather me up into the tangle
you could think of naming as an effort to control, but I see it as
acknowledgement of kinship
homely or ordinary; I feel at home when I can walk in the woods and
meadows and call out the beings I see, greet Great Spangled Fritillary,
Beardtongue, Venus’ Looking-glass
wild blackberry and elderberry profusion, a semi-permeable membrane, a
thorny flow; can I peek through the hedgerows and wild edges to see and
acknowledge what frightens me about our climate, what we have done, let
it trickle in, as fox and turkey and bear thread their paths
under the nettle bank a seep spring oozes; bare calves will sting; the
hawthorn on Fern Gully Lane is another reminder: pain is part of it
like the indigo bunting threading in and out, birdsongs braiding us,
towhee calling, redstart, warbler on the move
bees tousle the blossoms; butterflies dart and tease, and the trundling
beetle leaves a track in the dust; let it all sift down, gather here in season:
Spring Azure, Cabbage White, flitting up along the ridges
narrow, bony spurs run down from the spine that is Jack Mountain, ribs
picked clean in the winter air; there is no insignificant loss, no taking that
does not violate the limbs of ironwood

Posted on April 17, 2018 .