A chapbook offers poems on the stages of life, the arts, and nature.
Morley’s (Something To Howl About, 2014, etc.) collection presents 35 short poems. The first group is about her mother, starting with “Back Then,” which includes the author’s own birth: “The nurse held / her legs crossed / to keep me in / till the doctor came.” “Circles” seems like a meditation on the death of a parent: “Earth works hard now to get our attention, to keep circles / going as my mother taught.” Some poems reflect on the life cycle, as evidenced by “Carried by the Current”: “We come into life through / the birth canal, fearful, crying; / let’s leave gently, carried by / the current.” Other pieces focus on the creative process, whether it be poetry or music. In “A Cello,” Morley explores the instrument’s sound: “Listen to how low a cello note can go, how far down / underground, yet never risk the earth shifting.” Another prominent theme in the chapbook is nature, such as rain, hail, birds, and other wonders. In “A Duck,” she captures this image: “A mallard stands / feet firm / neck lustrous / done preening / head up straight.” These poems are elegantly written and provide beautiful meditations. The author effectively uses the device of concentrating on a single moment or image, such as an irrigation canal or a chair, to reflect on life’s big issues. Some lines are transcendent, such as this one from “Given,” about Morley’s elevation of mud pies: “Others said the world / was sung into being (and here I thought it was dancing!).” The poems do not have a huge single theme that ties them together as in some chapbooks, but the pieces work as a cohesive whole.
A graceful collection of poetry that provides quiet moments of contemplation.