Book of Nature Forward by Virginia Schultz

Jack Collom’s Eco-Poetics Class, Boulder Writer’s Warehouse, February 2017

Hey-ho, Reader ofBook of Nature!

“Ah, the thrill of spectatorship!”1– Jack Collom

Jonathan Bluebird Montgomery, like his mentor Jack Collom in Jack’s book Second Nature,favors the “nuanced context-responsive constructs [over] the decisive snap!”2His flurries into cynicism, surrealism, sarcasm, simplicity, contradiction, and eulogy provide both amusement and revelation to the reader, and ask us to play physically and emotionally inside the narrative,               inside Nature.

Book of Natureexpands paradigms as it explores Nature’s quotidian spaces with personal vulnerability, craftiness, and a “true variety [that] includes its oppositeopposite.”3Eschewing what Jack calls the formal concerns of creative writing, Jonathan’s writings are “intimately, casually, viscerally connected”4with his content. “…millions of razor-sharp teeth that can overpower mammals and guns and ridicule and authority and dream-obstacles and its own mortality and the destruction of planet Earth…”5

As part of the lineage of Eco-Poetics, his descriptions draw the reader in and point out our human impact, the “…bloody footprints…”6of neglect, our disregard/regard for the Earth that sustains us. Asking: What am I missing? Is there hope? Am I worthy enough? “/they just know who’s worthy and who’s not//if they sense you have the dignity of the milkweed/” 7

Alas, over time and still today, we can observe that “nature writings usually bespeak the assumption that nature is secondary.”8Not here, not this!  Jonathan propels us along the trail of “Me&You, both!”9through  

–  me to you to you to them to it to him to they to her to me to us to it to me to you  –  connections that loudly proclaim              Nature is indeed primary!

As good wine expresses the terroir of its soils, so do Book of Nature’s musings taste like the gentle everyday soul of their masterful writer.

In solidarity and on wing,

Virginia Schultz

Word By Word Journeys

July 2020

Gold Hill, CO

  1. Jack Collom, Second Nature, Preface
  2. ibid.,Introduction
  3. ibid.,Preface
  4. ibid.
  5. Jonathan Bluebird Montgomery, Book of Nature, “Dyin’ Lion”
  6. ibid.
  7. ibid., “If a Butterfly Lands on You That Means You’re Alright”
  8. Jack Collom, Second Nature, Preface
  9. Jonathan Bluebird Montgomery, Book of Nature, Author’s Notes 
%d bloggers like this: