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Some Poems

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I’ve had a couple of poems appear on line recently.

“Helpless” is about one of the difficulties of being a parent.  It’s a recent poem about something that happened many years ago.  You can see that it left an impression.  Oyster River Pages has published it:

https://www.oysterriverpages.com/helpless

“Midseason Report” is about fires in the western states.  It was written a couple of years ago, a season which seemed bad at the time, but wasn’t as bad as this year has been.  You will find the contents page for Route 7 Review at:

https://www.route7review.com/issue-5-2017

I’ve been noticing poems now and then which seem to fit our current situation, though they were written a few years ago.  I even have one of my own:

          Shaken

As a child in earthquake country
I knew the earth could shift
yet walked with confidence,
assured the fault did not lie
under the house.

When political tremors spilled
boxes into Boston harbor, an
Englishman’s table, set with tea
from Ceylon or India, fresh milk,
Caribbean sugar, did not tip.

New voices cried from far countries,
colonies.  In science, physics and
chemistry undermined foundations.
Causes widened like the Atlantic,
deepened into canyons.

Upheavals everywhere, I learn no
house is safe.  Leave silver locked
up, set teapots on tray tables ready
to be folded at the first
faint  rumble.

Two major earthquakes in Mexico recently. Political upheavals in Washington for months. Did I sense these were coming?  Of course not.

You can find the poem, and others that connect with it, in my book, Made and Remade (2014) available from me or through Word Tech Editions.  See Books page.

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Upcoming Readings in the North

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Northern New Mexico, that is.  I am scheduled to do two readings from my book, Made and Remade, at independent bookstores in Santa Fe and Albuquerque during April.Paley front cover

I’ll be in Santa Fe on Saturday, April 11, at 3:00 p.m. at op.cit. books, Sanbusco Center, 500 Montezuma Ave.

I’ll be in Albuquerque on Saturday, April 25, at 3:00 p.m. at BOOKWORKS, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW.

If you’re in either area on the day I’m reading, please come by and say hello.

The poems in Made and Remade respond to William Paley’s book, Natural Theology, published in 1802.  Famous for his analogy, “suppose I had found a watch upon the ground . . . the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker . . . .,” the book presents Paley’s case for creation by design.  As cracks developed in a once coherent world view, we are left with patches and pieces – the material of poetry – with which to make meaning.  The poems move in many directions, reflecting on how much has changed in 200 years.

Update and Reminder

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Paley front coverNot many people order my books through this site. Today I’m reminding you of another option.  I’ve just added Made and Remade to my listings on Amazon.com.  Yes, you can buy it from the publisher, and from various other sources on Amazon, but if you buy it from my seller listing, ERYbooks, you can get a signed copy, at a competitive price.

Both Map of Longing and John Emerson Roberts: Kansas City’s “Up-to-date” Freethought Preacher are also available through my ERYbooks channel.

Place your order just like anything else you get on Amazon, and all the connecting happens for you.  It’s like a bridge built over a river.

 

We Had a Party

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Good friends came to my book launch last week, and we had a good time together.  Thanks to Susan Gomez for taking photos with my camera for me, but as you see she was not the only one.reading 3

picture taking

 

Made and Remade is off to an auspicious start.lucille

From one of the poems, “Time Past, Time Present”:

What’s the time on Paley’s watch?
Without hands it would still be
a watch.  It’s mechanism matters
to him, springs and metal, not hours  . . .P1000241

We had a lovely hour together.

 

Launching My New Book

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Paley front coverMy first full-length poetry book is out! I will be giving readings from it locally at the following locations:

Palacio Bar, Mesilla
Tuesday, September 16
7:30 p.m.

This is the regular monthly SPLAT open reading night, the third Tuesday of the month.  I will be featured at the beginning of the readings at 8:00 p.m.  (Come at 7:30 to get your beverage and/or sign up to read after my presentation.

Café de Mesilla
2190 Ave. de Mesilla
Saturday, September 20
3:00 p.m.

I will be reading shortly after 3:00 p.m., so be on time!  I will read a different set of poems, so if you’d like to come both times just to support me, I certainly wouldn’t mind.  I will have plenty of copies available at both events.

For those of you who aren’t in the area, I have a give-away going on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/107114-made-and-remade

It runs from now until September 20.  And you can also use the contact page here to get in touch with me about getting a copy in the mail.

I would like to schedule other readings in partnership with other poets.  They will be listed here when/if they happen.

Giveaway on Goodreads Ends Soon

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Paley front coverJust a reminder that I am giving away two copies of my book, Made and Remade on Goodreads.  This pre-launch giveaway closes on July 20.

Of course, if you don’t win, you can buy a copy from me by using the contact page.

Here’s a sample from the book.  I’ve organized the poems in six sections, responding to different statements by William Paley.  One is this:

I know no better method of introducing so large a subject, than that of comparing a single thing with a single thing; an eye, for example, with a telescope. As far as the examination of the instrument goes, there is precisely the same proof that the eye was made for vision, as there is that the telescope was made for assisting it.
Natural Theology, 16

And one of my responses to that text is:

Analogies

Treasured image: curved back
of a worker bent in concentration,
watchmaker with tiny tools,

magnifying eyepiece,
or potter with clay-covered hands:
e
ach has a skill prized in its time.

When human minds are
compared to computers, no one calls
God a computer nerd, and though

bodies are treated like machines,
repaired, regulated, no one says,
We are watches.”

We break, are mended
like serviceable jars, more kin to
vulnerable clay than clipped metal.

Paul wrote “earthen
vessels” and it stuck.

Goodreads Giveaway for Made and Remade

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Paley front coverI am offering two copies of my book Made and Remade in a pre-launch giveaway on Goodreads.  Go to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22163304-made-and-remade if you’d like to sign up.

The proper launch for the book will be in September, with readings in Las Cruces.  If you’d like to invite me to come to your area and share a reading with someone, I can do that too!  I’ll be lining things up soon.

If you don’t win the giveaway, which ends July 20, use the contact page if you’d like to get a book.

 

This is the opening poem in the collection:

Obsession

for Polly

I’m fixed on this book
like a three-year-old on trucks,
a five-year-old on dinosaurs.  You could
make it my motif, were I young
enough for birthday parties.

Language to sift and savor
artfully, skillfully portrays
a world of fixed order, art
and skilled contrivance.
This balance
wavers as I wonder
at that world’s collapse in
swings, cycles, evolving
life, shifting earth.

Mechanistic views dissolve in
reality’s wash and rub.  I
turn and read again for fragments,
museum quality gems of evidence
for a long dead argument, a fresh fix
of fine writing, proceeding
from a fine mind.

 

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