Rose Alley Press has done it again! This bold collection of contemporary Pacific Northwest poetry holds a clear sense of voice. The reader is constantly reminded of how the sound of a poem informs the meaning. Alliteration, assonance, rhythm and rhyme, in new forms and old, help to express wisdom and wonder. —Griffith Williams, publisher, East Point West Press
Ranging from introspective to political, from philosophical to ecological, these poems delight the ear and mind. Formal, or formally informed, they comprise both “brief cameos” that “Memory makes of us” (Sharon Hashimoto) and “hazard lights/pulsing like a cornered heart” (Derek Sheffield). Enjoy these lyrical performances as you “Listen to the thunder of the sweet, old rhymes” (Bethany Reid)—and these new ones. —Jennifer Bullis, author of Impossible Lessons
The Anthology Poets:
|Lana Hechtman Ayers
|Colleen J. McElroy
|Anita K. Boyle
|Mary Eliza Crane
|Randolph Douglas Schuder
|Christopher J. Jarmick
|Connie K Walle
Footbridge Above the Falls: Poems by Forty-Eight Northwest Poets
Edited by David D. Horowitz, 978-0-9906812-2-9, paperback, 224 pages, $15.95 US
BROUGHT TO LIGHT
The wind tore through on trash-collection day
and scattered secrets up and down the street.
Our private lives lie jumbled, indiscreet,
though what belonged to whom is hard to say.
An upwind neighbor’s Playboy Playmates pose
in Mrs. Jones’s begonias, broken loose.
Losing lotto tickets deck a spruce
like anemic leaves where disappointment grows.
Intimate prescriptions and bills past-due
bear names, though none the finder recognizes.
And what if he did? The catalog of vices
shows us almost nothing unique or new.
What’s strange is our capacity for shame
when what we strive to hide is all the same.
THE SOUL FOX
— for Chrissy, 28 October 2011
love, the fox is in the yard.
The snow will bear his print a while,
then melt and go, but we who saw
his way of finding out, his night
of seeking, know what we have seen
and are the better for it. Write.
Let the white page bear the mark,
then melt with joy upon the dark.
BEFORE THE FALL
that we’re in midsummer, my love,
all the usual flowers are in bloom.
the foxgloves, trillium, and creeping thyme
flaunt their blowsy bellies, who notices
moss that cushions the loam, or the lichen
that arms the trunks of the pine and fir?
walk through the woods quietly.
Take my hand in silence, then let me go.
A BED OF ROSES
flowers planted in the wrong bed,
We sometimes fail to blossom, and instead
Wait vainly for some friendly spade
To take us where a better bed is made.
never happens, though. The earth
Is stingy with rebirth,
And like the whims that bed the plant,
We sometimes bloom, but often can’t.
those that nature made
For sun that ended up in shade.
Pity hope that waits in vain.
Pity a cactus in the rain.
A GOOD THING
good thing he’s retired—now the hours
Can be spent checking out what’s going wrong
With his feet, his eyes, his bent body. Dour
Doctors explain his pains these days belong
him the way experience has pressed
Its fingers into his clay: the price to pay,
A salmon lunging upstream to the end it guessed
The very first time it entered the sea.
thoughtless effort of moving everywhere,
To even run without a twinge or cramp—
The tortoise he’s become has beat the hare
Across some unwanted finish line. He clamps
the book he brings to keep from feeling
Like a prisoner on death row as he takes
A dimpled seat in the waiting room. The spring
In his step has snapped. Can the doc solder the break?
speed of life has made a blur of his past.
He sighs at the call: The doctor will see you now.
He sees that one of these visits will be his last.
Before he can rise to his feet, he has to bow.
GHAZAL FOR A SISTER
house sips rain this quiet night.
No need for fame this quiet night.
sweets; memory’s mosque:
Chanting claims that quiet night.
teapot hoards the blue of eyes.
White bones remain this quiet night.
suicide’s tomb: wet leaves and moss.
Beauty—no blame—this quiet night.
keep your bowl, your good
book. I speak your name this quiet night.
was a lovely sonnet
Poor i, a humble rhyme
Thistle to her violet
Shade beneath her shine.
there was that between us
No genre might contain
A thing sui generis:
A passing, sweet refrain.
iambs and my dactyls
(The graceful and the crude)
Made music contrapuntal
And each the other wooed.
her generous pentameter
My less became her more
She welcomed my tetrameter
And whispered, mon amour
beings so diverse
Could make that pairing rhyme!
My consonance was terse
Her assonance sublime.
Randolph Douglas Schuder
All Rose Alley Press anthology poets retain copyright of their poems.