Contributions by Eva Simms

The Spirit of the Other Landscape

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

When I was a young woman, I traveled with friends across the Southwest from Texas to California. My boyfriend at the time had dumped me the day before we left, and I struggled with heart-break and grief for the two days and nights it took us to drive through West Texas and New Mexico. After …

Genius Loci

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The bluff on which my neighborhood sits is surrounded and carved up by water: the great streams of Ohio and Monongahela Rivers, Saw Mill Run, and a multitude of creeks and runoffs. For eons they ate away at the rock. Water created passages through the wilderness, and when people settled here they used the watersheds …

Virgin territory

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

As soon as a path has been built, the natural landscape changes. The path creates the kind of forest that is accessible and friendly to humans. Someone prepared this landscape by choosing the easiest passage and by clearing and widening the walkable surfaces. No tangled roots or fallen trees impede our progress. The runnels and …

The Path — Animal and Human Bodies

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The paths that we walk or ride or drive have a history. They were made because someone found the easiest way to move human bodies through the landscape, and other bodies have followed and widened the path or built it into a road. A paper street, on the other hand, was designed in a completely …

The Path – History and Landscape

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

Since my harrowing experience in the “forest savage, rough and stern” a few weeks ago I have been wondering about the difference between built and natural landscape. Most of us humans take the paths and trails, the roads and highways for granted, and we usually do not think about them. But the landscape we experience …

The Path

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The new trail behind Olympia Park snakes through the wooded landscape in switchbacks, over suddenly erupting water runs, and along blackberry brambles and elderberry bushes which are seeing full sunlight for the first time ever. We take trails for granted, but I have walked the same landscape before and after the trail has been built, …

Paper Streets

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

Most streets in my neighborhood end either at the cliff with its spectacular view of the Ohio River valley or, at the other end of the mountain, in the woods. They peter out into crumbling asphalt and are choked down by Japanese knotweed before losing themselves – as what is called a “paper street” hereabouts …

2011 Autumn House Sentence of the Year Award

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Humor, Prose, Sentence of the Year Awards

submitted by Eva Simms “A Swedish moose that is believed to have become intoxicated from eating fermented apples was discovered entangled and hanging over the branches of a homeowner’s apple tree, oblivious to its fate.” from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette _____