.. from a forthcoming book… ‘Day Breaks’

©Dean Baker

excerpt from a forthcoming book….
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Dean J. Baker - Poetry, and prose poems

The sciatic twinge is but an ache
if I move or wake which I do lately
since a tweak or twist
lifts boards that creak and break, allowing
in floods of light and bugs that bite
while the puppy shifts in her cage
suggesting rage as I raise the coffee cup
beneath the rare Redwood tree
in its imperiousness and disdain
as one more day dawns from fractured sleep
the lawns cut forest paths against

Coyotes howling where deer watch the foxes
cross and cry as snakes slumber
like broken twigs
while duties have yet to arise to interfere
with the stilled calm I don’t name
in this prayer of love I ask to change
the direction in which the smoke
from fires rearranged will float and drift
then blow to call the living into shape
as though my spirit meets your own
without thoughts of what is or may…

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New writing, excerpts from published books – new blog: WRITINGS OF DEAN BAKER

GO HERE for more poems, etc – WRITINGS OF DEAN BAKER

© Dean Baker

My Books In Print

My Poetry Ebooks

Great Review of DARK EARTH

Some reviews of my books

Literary Publications

Those who don’t buy my books have Van Gogh’s ear for music

Alden Nowlan – Greatness in Poetry

nowlan_

 

 

 

 

 

Alden Nowlan is one of those poets whom I never got to meet, and always wish I’d been able to do so.

I first saw one of his poems when I was in high school. And as with that poem, his other poems: they always evoke, a ‘yes!,’ about honesty and the truth of things. Always memorable. You’ll find them repeating themselves at the least expected moments.
The poem that first struck me was his ‘Aunt Jane.’

Aunt Jane

Aunt Jane, of whom I dreamed the nights it
thundered,
was dead at ninety, buried at a hundred.
We kept her corpse a decade, hid upstairs,
where it ate porridge, slept and said its prayers.

And every night before I went to bed
they took me in to worship with the dead.
Christ Lord, if I should die before I wake,
I pray thee Lord my body take.

 

©Alden Nowlan

Just to be sitting in your own world and to have 8 lines smack you awake out of the blue, away from your concerns and take you to revelation so quickly, so easily, and with such delight – amazing.

But Alden has many, many poems of the kind that do so – surprising in their humility, strength and understanding. His are the works you could carry in a small book with you and find sustaining every time you looked.
He covers history, patriotism, and more all in a beautiful way.

One other:

Canadian January Night

Ice storm: the hill
a pyramid of black crystal
down which the cars
slide like phosphorescent beetles
while I, walking backwards in obedience
to the wind, am possessed
of the fearful knowledge
my compatriots share
but almost never utter:
this is a country
where a man can die
simply from being
caught outside.

©Alden Nowlan

 

Brilliant work.

And from Alden Nowlan, Selected Poems

A Poem About Miracles

Why don’t records go blank
the instant the singer dies?
Oh, I know there are explanations,
but they don’t convince me.
I’m still surprised
when I hear the dead singing.
As for orchestras,
I expect the instruments
to fall silent one by one
as the musicians succumb
to cancer and heart disease
so that toward the end
I turn on a disc
labelled Götterdämmerung
and all that comes out
is the sound of one sick old man
scraping a shaky bow
across and out-of-tune fiddle.

 

©Alden Nowlan

These poems of Alden’s are a few of the good, and representative of his best. You need the book to even begin to get an awareness of his greatness.
Robert Frost may be more well known, but for me Alden wins the laurels.

© Dean J. Baker

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