Friday, December 13, 2013

What I love

I want to tell you about my dear, dear friend Andrea, who is a gorgeous woman, a poet, an archaeologist, and the mother of Vija, my little daughter Eva's best friend (We call the two girls 'Viva', because their names are so similar).  You've met Vija before in my photos - the little blond elf who walks hand in hand through the woods with Eva.
Andrea and I have been through a lot together: illnesses, pregnancies, breakthroughs, and the hormonal, sleep-deprived, blissful and terrifying state of caring for newborns.  We live within five miles of each other, which is a miracle: to have a best friend in this vast wilderness of ours seems, indeed, like a lucky strike of fate.
Andrea is generous, gentle and kind, yet one of the biggest badasses I've met: she competes in triathlons, and even after crashing her bicycle in one, she still insisted on running 3 miles to finish the race.  Afterwards, she went to the ER to get stitches.

Why do you need to know about Andrea?  Because she just published her second book of poetry, called "Thunder Blossom - Wildnerness Can Heal", and I want you all to go check it out, and better yet, buy a copy (or two) for yourself or someone else for Christmas.

Wait, wait!  You don't like poetry, you say?  If you like nature, you will like her poetry.
Her first book of poetry is called "River Bed", also available for sale here.

For all you locals:  Andrea will do a reading at the Conway Muse, December 21, from 6pm to 7pm.  Here is more info:

"Free Music and Poetry Event. I will unveil and read from my new book, Thunder Blossom, and a few favorites from River Bed while Peter Ali accentuates the reading with Native American flute. From the heart of the wilderness to the wilderness of the heart, we will take you on an unforgettable journey. Copies of both books of poetry, showcasing beautiful cover art by Don Smith, and recordings of Peter Ali will be offered for sale at the reading. You can make reservations for dinner at the Conway Muse. We would love to see you there!"

If you are in Oregon, she will read from her books in downtown Corvallis on February 15 at 2pm at the Grass Roots Bookstore.

Please consider supporting her!  Here are a few of her poems to wet your appetite:

Glacier Country

Sunrise glows over mountain's back
like a shallow dream.
There is no name for this color.
Not yellow.  Not gold.
Awakening.  A raw energy pulsing forward
with sleepy feet -
that is daybreak.

(from "Riverbed")


In the spring,
I find a flat rock with a good disposition.
I speak to it with my fingers.
I lie down on it.

The sun warms my winter skin
and I listen to the river
sing of creation.

(from "Riverbed)

Dreaming With You

I slept in a car at Trimble Hot Springs—
I didn’t have money for a room.

We had spent the day sitting close together—
breathing each other, and the world, and the poems I read.

You were so sharp, for a woman whose memory had flown.
Alzheimer’s is a tricky business—it sneaks
in to the shadow places
of your mind.

That night I dreamt that you came into my body—
reveled in the young feeling of my flesh and bone.
“God, this is wonderful,” you said. You laughed.
I thought, this is strange,
but I gladly gave you what I had.

I woke to a knock on the door.
A cop with a flashlight, trying to see through
fog of my breath on the windows.

I wondered how I had slept so soundly
that I didn’t hear the car approach.
You leapt from me like a panther.

I told a drowsy story
about a friend I was waiting for - a lie.
I had nowhere else to go that night.

He finally left me, but so did you.
Something remained, though,
we grew into each other—
Like a rock and a tree.

(From "Thunderblossom - Wilderness Can Heal")

Fall walked in

A leaf in my kitchen,
brown and tattered,
paper thin.

I wanted most
for summer to linger,
but she broke off our kiss.
She dismissed me
and walked the globe.

And fall walked in
rich in all attributes
Her path strewn
with leaves of all colors.  

(From "Thunderblossom - Wilderness Can Heal")

Life Givers

Here I give my daily breath.
I send it high, high up
into the laughter of the trees.
Yes, I know who you are, life givers.

Here is my small part—
I exhale.
I give it all up in a quiet way.

You inhale,
waving blessings in the wind.

So grateful,
I take the deep, deep breath
you made for me.

This is our secret partnership
that sustains the world.

(From "Thunderblossom - Wilderness Can Heal")


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