“Complete Combustion” considers a few of the many fires around us in the latest issue of Poetry South.
My children are trying to find their way in the world. A while ago I wrote about this in a guest blog post for Superstition Review. It hasn’t gotten easier since then. As a child, I thought adults had the answers, that if I could just be good enough, aware enough, I would earn the key. It doesn’t work that way. Honestly, I’m not sure how it works, and as I watch my children’s lives buffeted by adults around them who are struggling with their own demons, I become desperate to protect them. And that is one of my demons, I know.
So it seems fitting now to have four poems – “Coronation,” “Recall,” “Subduction Zone,” “The Gates” – in the latest issue of Superstition Review. Each works with the archetype of the garden. Living in a neighborhood named Gardens Gate leads to those kinds of reflections.
We never left the garden. We consume it; we try to control it; we set it on fire because everything hasn’t gone the way we wanted.
But we weren’t cast out. We do that, to ourselves and to each other. Yet we’re still here, and we can choose another way.
We live near two small lakes with a causeway between them. The banks fill with wild berries every year. The bears come, as well as every kind of bird and snake. I caught this in “Nothing could eat all the berries between the lakes,” a sonnet included in the recent World of Flavors issue of Crab Orchard Review.
Two kinds of owls – the screech and the great horned – and two kinds of places associated with water – Gunner Pool on the Sylamore and Lakeside on the Ouachita – appear in two poems – “Fixed Position” and “Reflection” – in the new triple issue of Cimarron Review.
My father loved taking walks: on Long Island as a child, in southern Illinois on our farm, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where he retired, and in Arkansas where his life ended. He gave this love to me. “All One” – a sonnet full of walking – appears in the latest Louisville Review.
“Current” and “Interstellar Dust” appear in the latest New England Review. These poems exist because of my cousin Barbara. You are still with us.
“The pine needles stand on end in the ground, having fallen” uses snake identification to navigate a legacy based on cotton in the latest volume of Harpur Palate.