Two Poems by Becky Herbig ’74


Becky Herbig has a lifelong interest in the relationship of the arts to the sciences. She began MHC life as an English major, but added Biology to design an interdisciplinary major focused on environmental writing. During an interdisciplinary environmental science career, Becky rediscovered an early interest in poetry. Since then she’s shared in and learned much from writing classes and writers’ groups. Becky published 2 poems in a cooperatively published chapbook, Bringing Poetry to Life and Life to Poetry: New Voices (2000) and a personal essay in The NF Journal (March/April 2000). Since attending the intensive Colrain Poetry Conference in 2009, she is currently developing a chapbook manuscript from 20 years of writing poetry.

Sugaring, 1961
After nightfall of frozen stars,
sap drips, uncongealing
from many spigots
hammered into heartwood.

The clear sap oozes
into pewter pails under tin roofs.
We dip finger to mouth,
sugar on scooped snow amid
sticky-sweet smoke curled in March air,
up from the evaporator
boiling over the firepit.
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“Fembots Have More Fun” by Sandi Sonnenfeld ’85

Sandi Sonnenfeld ’85 is a fiction writer and essayist. Sandi authored the memoir, This is How I Speak (2002: Impassio Press), for which she was named a 2002 Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. The Managing Editor of The Lyon Review, Sandi holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington, where she studied under National Book Award Winner Charles Johnson. Her work has appeared in more than 30 literary magazines and anthologies, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sojourner, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Mr. Bellers Neighborhood, The Raven Chronicles, and Perigee among others. “Fembots Have More Fun” originally appeared in the October 30, 2012 issue of the Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review.

It all started 18 months ago when I saw a new ad from a national anti-abortion group being promoted on the subway. The ad featured a sad-looking woman hugging herself for comfort and a single sentence, “Abortion changes you forever.”

It was so simplistic a slogan, an affront to every woman who has ever agonized over her choices. It meanly implied that women who unexpectedly find themselves pregnant blithely rush out to get an abortion without giving any thought to the consequences, which directly contradicts my own personal experience and the other women I know who faced such a decision. What made the ad particularly galling, however, was that it was sponsored by the same group that was egging on former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and others in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the few affordable places left for women to obtain reliable birth control that would help prevent the need for an abortion in the first place.

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The Glass House by Becca Tarnas ’10

Becca Tarnas ’10 is an artist, writer, and doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program in San Francisco. She uses art and storytelling as a means to reconnect with our planet Earth in this critical time of ecological crisis. Becca attended the San Francisco Waldorf School for 13 years before pursuing Environmental Studies and Theater Arts at Mount Holyoke. She also holds a master’s degree from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Becca has been published in Archai: the Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, where she is currently an assistant editor.

The Glass House

Lemon-sugar gingko leaves
Litter the hardening ground
Lingering remnants of autumn past
Line the path inside.

Liminal land set in glass
Luscious blooms and humid leaves
A world within, a world without
Lapping waters, warm air
Water lilies, lily pads,
Epiphytes and orchids.

Remove the glass
Ruin the leaves
Reds, golds and vermillion
Would not bloom here.

Withered by wind
Wrecked by rain
Rattled by winter
Without remains.

No. Let the leaves live on In their womb
A lurid womb of glass.

Let the lilies bloom
Without lapse of season
Moist moss meander
Slowly over slippery stones.