For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to


How a Poem Happens:

Go to, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

WAITING ROOM, by Mark Smith-Soto

Waiting Room
Mark Smith-Soto
Winner of RMR Chapbook Contest

Red Mountain Review
ASFA Creative Writing Dept.
1800 8th Ave. North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Costa Rican-American Mark Smith-Soto is Professor of Romance Languages and Director of the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he edits International Poetry Review. A 2005 winner of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in creative writing, his poetry has appeared in Nimrod, The Sun, Poetry East, Quarterly West, Callaloo, Literary Review, Kenyon Review and many other literary journals. The author of two award winning poetry chapbooks, his first full-length collection, Our Lives Are Rivers was published in 2003 by the University Press of Florida and Any Second Now, by Main Street Rag Press.

Putting Cancer In A Poem

You have to be careful how you do it—
The first line for sure’s no place, even
The second or third might let it spring
Leaks and streak everything beneath. No,
First you need to let the light flap in
From the uncurtained window, catch
The deep breath off the gardenia bloom
Doing the backstroke in its brandy snifter
As the doctor on the phone says what he
Has to say, and your wife and friend wait
With wine glasses and the porch fan on,
Chatting and looking for you to come back
With the hors d’oeuvres, the Vinho Verde,
The poem of your life with its new name.

Three Birds

Why me, why me, why me? The chittering slants
From the red oak shading the screened-in porch;
Figure it, figure it! an answering call, I can’t
Be sure from where above, maybe the birch

We planted the summer we moved in, our
First sweat invested in our first house to own,
Back when we planned the future we live now.
Pretty us, pretty us, pretty us—well, there’s one

Melodious throat out there, silvering a note
I strain to hear again… It won’t repeat.
And I shiver against the October mist that floats
Over the yard. The twilight is growing deeper,

A final Figure it! fades in the late sun.
Only the Why me? fool keeps carrying on.


Wounded like me, willing to talk, knowing
What a scarecrow cancer is, how people don’t
Want to linger near that kind of news, including

Friends who mean well, look away, act as if
They can’t hear, humming in their ear, “You’re
Human, human, human, you poor thing,

Did you think you were special or something?”
Like me, who didn’t know I was like him
Until today. So, sure, he’ll meet for coffee, lunch,

Talk on the phone, exchange biopsy stories,
Gleason scores, radiation and the luck
Of early diagnosis, the years of silver lining

We are in for. I glance at his face and it’s
Like a film has been wiped away, the fine
Forehead, the cafe window a tiny rectangle

In the eyes—the pure daylight of a look
That doesn’t need to look away.

A Question or Two

Does God know why he exists? Or does he
wonder, too, somewhere in his winding depth,
just what he is, and how he comes to be
all-mighty Him, exempt from time and death?
Is he that saddest thing, a being who
worships nothing? Or does he worship us
who worship him, the way some fathers do
their helpless sons? Are we each other's cross,
each other's shadow? Does ours stretch over him
as cold and hard? What happens in his heart
when ours cramps? And when our pupils dim,
what eclipses does he glimpse among the stars?
Is our breath his? Our spirit that despairs?
Are we—poor thing!—the answer to his prayers?

Here and There

I am here…What does that mean? These words
I scribble down detach from me, enter a world
Not mine, beyond the time of me: the weight of
What I meant to say, the friends I meant to love,
The heart I wished was mine. Words do their best,
Poor things. They can’t breathe for me. The rest
Really is silence, a silence I am resisting now,
Here, by this window framing purple clover, a bough
Of laurel I meant to trim today, the late light
Of June making the lilies meaningful. And I
Work to spin myself from this, to tell myself, to sing
The sense of me, the life, the soul, to bring
The human of myself—hands, tears, hair—
To you catching these words, not here but there.


Tulita’s birthday again, neither mourned
Nor celebrated, too warm for early March
But perfect for champagne in the screened-
In porch, the cardinals making a din as
I evoke her in one of the wrought-iron chairs,
Bubbly flute in hand, eyes distracted away,

Another springtime on her head, long-buried
But again now looking over the back yard, listening
To the birds maybe, or taking in an early
Daffodil along the fence… I watch her watching
And wait for her to turn to us again, but she
Hasn’t done that for many birthdays now.

The rest of us talking and laughing outside
Are all in our fifties, it’s been months since
We could sit out here and listen to neighbors
Behind hedges, dogs howling, the rustle
Of nest-making in the hollies. My Tulita,
Who fought the years off like mosquitoes,

Tinted her hair and drew on perfect eyebrows,
Now leans back against the metal leaves and roses
Of the metal chair chilly with the afternoon
And accepts the long shadows on the lawn, listens
To birds a hundred years away, inhabits
Her corner space without a murmur, looking back

Over a lifetime of birthdays webbed in memories
Not sharable with the living, her lifetime of small joys
Held secretly apart while we try to share ours
Near her, refilling our glasses and shaking
Our heads over another winter gone, another
Perfect afternoon subtracted from our store.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Cover by Bill Losse

Better With Friends
Rank Stranger Press (2009)
$14.00 plus $2.50 S & H ($16.50)

send check with your mailing address and any instructions for personalization to:

Helen Losse
2569 Wood Valley Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

About the Author

Helen Losse is a poet, free lance writer, and Poetry Editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Her recent poetry publications include The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Shape of a Box, Lily, Ghoti, Right Hand Pointing, and Blue Fifth Review. She has two chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces, available from FootHills Publishing and Paper Snowflakes, available from Southern Hum Press. Educated at Missouri Southern State and Wake Forest Universities, she lives with her husband in Winston-Salem, NC where she occasionally writes book reviews for literary magazines.

"I moved like a poet—laboring—/under the weight of the burden of truth," Helen Losse declares in the first poem from Better With Friends. A poet does indeed labor, but in a poem, what is the truth? Losse shows us the unrelenting details of decline and death in "The Kidnapping of Aimee." The soiled sheets, the stench of old age, the waiting upon death, but these details are not the only "truth" in this or any of other poem in this collection. How does the spirit shine through the labors of time? How does soul dance with the world given to us--family, friends, suffering, pleasure? Losse shows us how in these poems, rich as they are in the details that embody our lives. This is indeed the poet's labor brought to fruition. KSB


So I begin again in solitude
on the morning of the first day in January.

The sky is dark, and the Christmas tree not
yet removed. Gently the rain starts falling,

making the trunks of the back-yard trees
barely visible. A light shines in a window.

An American flag on a pole
blows in the breeze. The pole is beside the house

across the right of way. I’ve not noticed that flag
before. Perhaps, it’s a Christmas flag. One our

neighbors got as a gift, and just now—
in the new year—found the time to install.

When the wind stops blowing, the flag disappears,
and all I see is a yard full of trees. So did

anything change while I slept? I
imagine a garden with a wrought iron gate.

The gate opens to a world in which
John Lennon is a younger man. I see, too,

the famous “Godfather of Soul,”
humming to yellow roses:

Humming the prayer of my heart:
O my God, to see.

To Be

A house is visible behind the right of way.
I hate that house, and sometimes, when it
disappears in the fog, pretend it isn’t there.

I sit in my chair and look into the yard.
I imagine I belong. But this morning
after the yard was white with snow—

later when the brown grass emerged from its
hiding like a flag newly un-furled—
the house snickered. “Over here,” it called,

waving and fluttering its shutters,
hoping for eye contact like our patulous neighbor
with her other seasonal and too-tight pants.

Prayer At the Open Window

In the solitude, I ponder life’s meaning.
I have looked but not really seen.
Because a window is open

does not mean the air is full of light.
Perhaps, I have played too many games—
evenings and mornings,

drinking in foolishness with my coffee—
and failed to heed a lesson given. Or,
perhaps, I barely listened. But I’m

asking now. There is so much to ponder,
as I gaze upon the tree line,
where just last week another doe came

bolting through the yard. At first,
I thought it was a dog. But no dog leaps
with such magnificence. No, not even

the greyhound. I know that. I see that.
So why not the rest? If there’s really
an answer for every question,

no mystery behind heaven’s gate, then I have
argued and lost. Surely, something
hides in the darkness like a shadow in the fog.

Thrown Out
—for Alice

How many times has the wind sung
new verses to our familiar choruses,

we’ve seen only the clouds
and misread the signs?

We seek peace in a mirror. And looking,
when we should have been listening,

missed prophetic thunder
in the blackening of trees.

But new birth accents the possible,
disguised in the freshness of a sudden, spring rain.

The time has come
to throw out spoiled milk.

There are evergreens already,
birds singing low in the brush.

Yet how many nights
have we slept on old, cotton sheets,

clinging to comfortable tintypes,
content with the smaller of joys?

On the Other Side of the River

Rumor has it, God lives
on the opposite side of the river,

stands on the cliff
near a tree-covered gorge,

charges past slippery rocks
into slime that looks like moss.

The river’s wide
with turbulent rapids.

Some, below in the water,
have enough buoyancy to float.

Not many.

A skiff is moored nearby,
and sharp branches

jut from the shore.
And from what I see

near the river’s shallow edge,
it appears that God is not at home.


We always called maple seeds whirlybirds,
just as we always did so many things, as children.
We liked them best when they were yellow—

when tossed alone, in twos, or even bunches—
they came swirling down. Too green,
they fell with a plop. Too brown, too thin to fly,

or they fell apart, exposing their spider veins
like the vertical strings on a badminton racket.
If we had rain, mush, beside the welcome mat.

But this morning, sailing swiftly by my window,
catching the light—white and lovely,
delicate of drift—landing in a driveway crack

or in gutters in the fertile loam that once was
other maple leaves, those ’copters from the sky—
unshaken in purpose—became a circle of trees.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ARTPARK: EAT YOUR VEGGIES (Wilson County Public Library)

Jane Wood and her 4th graders have brought us ArtPark's latest theme-- Eat Your Veggies. The school featured is Community Christian School. Jane says, "I asked the students to think of a vegetable, allow a picture to form in their minds, then describe the picture. I tell them that the picture is part of their imagination and when they describe it to think about the 5 senses - not to necessarily employ each, but to realize that words connected to the senses make poetry. I allow them 10 minutes to compose, that way I don't get parental involvement or best friend suggestions; it is their very own work."

The shots were made at the Public Library display as ArtPark's magical display area at the Arts Council is dismantled due to renovation. Here's hoping the Wilson County Arts Council will keep this memorable niche in their building and send the message that the arts begin with our children. If they don't grow up loving the arts, there will someday be none. Attention politicians and arts committees! We can't let our budgetary restrictions keep such programs from our next generations.

Because all of these photographs are so colorful, I'm simply going to post them and let you wander through the display. Have fun! And a special thanks to Cindy Long for her photographs!

Monday, April 27, 2009

BOY RETURNING WATER TO THE SEA: Koans for Kelly Fearing, by Andrea Selch

Andrea Selch
Boy Returning Water to the Sea: Koans for Kelly Fearing
ISBN 978-0-9790623-0-8

Cockeyed Press

{Email us about special signed, numbered editions}
$15.95 Retail
$14.35 Sale

This book is distributed by Carolina Wren Press.
To order, please visit their books and merchandise page.
Carolina Wren Press
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 560-2738
Fax Order Number: (919) 560-2759

(Photo by Diane Amato)

Andrea Selch has an MFA from UNC-Greensboro, and a PhD from Duke University, where she taught creative writing from 1999 until 2003. Her dissertation was a history of poetry on commercial radio in the United States from 1922 until 1945. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Equinox, The Greensboro Review, Oyster Boy Review, Luna, The MacGuffin, and Prairie Schooner. Her poetry chapbook, Succory, was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2000. Her full-length collection of poetry, Startling, was runner-up in the 2003 Turning Point competition and was published by Turning Point Press in October, 2004. [Startling has been re-issued by Cockeyed Press in 2009.] In 2001, she joined the board of Carolina Wren Press and is now President and Executive Director. She lives in rural Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her partner and their two children.

As if by magic, the unforgettable poems in this chapbook lead us into the images the poet sees before her in the paintings of William Kelly Fearing. ‘The Poet and Bird Before an Open Cave’ concludes, ’through the cave another sky is visible.’ Through her poems, Andrea Selch makes visible a world that only a poet in her most intuitive, visionary mode can create. This is one of the most beautifully designed, intriguing books I have seen in a good while. Discovering Kelly Fearing's art in the midst of Andrea's poetry makes the book even more memorable. KSB

Boy Returning Water to the Sea
(1949, Oil on Canvas)

Yes, there's a need for it every
azure splash, proto-icicle, -iceberg, -teardrop,
-steamcloud rising from a stormdrain,
-rusty puddle just stepped in.

Boys will be boys, but then also men:

His mantle is tattered, his feet torn,
and the handles of the basket are gone.

The Place of Tobias and the Angel
(1955, Oil on Canvas)

For fish gall for his father's eyes, Tobias
lowers his line. It's light, but the drop
is plumb, only a hook, and hope, for bait.

      His father's eyes,once bright hazel, able
      to discern spun warp, felt weft, now cloudy
      as winter sky, the muddied Euphrates.

      The winter sky, above the Tigris,
      is rife with birds, Crested Larks, Sand Martins,
      a single Lesser Kestrel heading south.

      Birds crowd the shore as well, hunting
      under the scrub pine. What do they know
      of sons, of fathers, the curses their droppings stir?

On a cliff above him, the angel Rafe
also hopes, as angels do, though
with his wings pinned back, impeccable.

The Zebra's Secret is Silver
(1974, Oil on Canvas)

It is important to begin at the beginning--
not Aardvark or Antelope, but Aquamarine--
and not to trouble yourself, at first,
about composition, just listen
to shadow and mist, the fan of whiskers
from a muzzle not quite black.
Everyone and every thing has already come,
already gone, so there's no hurry:
Without hoof prints behind or before him,
the Zebra stands on a small green hill
flicking his bristly tail--"No."

Please click on this pdf image to enlarge:

The Poet and Bird Before an Open Cave
(1963, Oil on Canvas)

Even though it's a fantasy,
they don't speak
the same language.
The man hears " Squawk, squawk."
The bird wonders what interest
there is in a bush,
albeit a fragrant one
like Rosemary.

But through the cave
another sky is visible.


Texas is Much Smaller Here Floating Through the Equinox
(1982, Found objects and opals)

What he'll miss isn't the sky, uninterrupted by trees,
or the tumbleweeds tumbling like cartoons of themselves,
not the hills, where there are hills, nor the fenceposts,
uncountable, punctuating the road. Not the heat in the summer,
nor the rain, when it rains, nor the way winter
lets you see miles away in perfect focus.
Not the drawl, which he doesn't notice anymore,
nor the tea always sweet. Not the light
nor the darkness. Not the difficult poses, passages,
transcendence, when he has managed them. Not the gratitude,
returns or restrikes. But the debris--rust and opals--
that can be made, so easily, to speak.

Watching Lightning
(1993, Prismacolor Pencil)

Three pink fish are enough,
among the fingers of seaweed,
to suggest more.

Though the lightning is still very far off,
its tentacles have already shattered
the lavender sky.

So be it.

(Kelly Fearing)

William Kelly Fearing, before coming to Austin, taught and painted in the famous Fort Worth Circle, which had an immense influence on mid-century Texas art. He was born in Arkansas, studied art at Louisiana Tech and received his master of fine arts from Columbia University. He was Ashbel Smith Professor of Art at The University of Texas at Austin for 40 years, and in 2002, the Department of Art and Art History presented a 60-year retrospective of his work. That exhibit brought together paintings, drawings, prints and collages from public and private collections throughout the United States and traveled to The University of Texas at Arlington and the Old Jail Art Museum in Albany, TX.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

YOUNG AND RIPE, by Ann Campanella

Main Street Rag Press

After Christmas I received an email from Ann Campanella about her new work. She had made some generous comments about my own poetry and its love of place, something she had felt she lacked when growing up. "As a child of a military family, my love of place was often interrupted and penetrated by loss," Ann wrote. "But, as I grow older, I realize that loss is woven into everyone’s landscape as isjoy. I have recently completed a chapbook of poems, Young & Ripe, which draws from my early years. It has been selected for publication by Main Street Rag after being a finalist in last year’s chapbook contest. I’ve been honored to have Tony Abbott, and Janice Fuller read and comment on thecollection. Because the book is about a young woman’s journey to adulthood, I’mparticularly interested in the female perspective."

Ann asked if I would like to see some of this work, and of course I said Yes. I'm glad I did. Several selections from this new book are collected below Ann's author's biography.

Ann Campanella was formerly a magazine and newspaper editor. She turned to creative writing in order to nourish her soul. Twice, she has received the Poet Laureate Award, the highest honor of the North Carolina Poetry Society. Her poetry was selected for the Blumenthal Readers & Writers Series by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Her writing, nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Main Street Rag, has appeared in local and national publications and anthologies including Chelsea, Crucible, Earth and Soul, Iodine Poetry Journal, Iris, Kakalak, Pembroke, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry and many others. Campanella has a degree in English Literature from Davidson College in North Carolina and lives with her husband, daughter and animals on a small horse farm in Huntersville, North Carolina.

The Point of Impact

for my brother

After the move to Panama, we sought refuge
from black army ants and poisonous frogs,
huge mosquito trucks that sprayed a tent
of lethal fog around the housing.

Under a violet sky, you took up beer and dope,
sat under the umbrella palms with a hand
on the thigh of your army brat girlfriend.
I hated how she came between us.

She was the one caught with you in the first storm
of the season. It became a legend on the base,
the way the rain fell like rocks
on the hood of the Mach I as it skidded,

then flipped off the edge of the bridge.
Your seat-belted bodies swung upside down
like two bats in the drainage ditch.
A year later, she left you

after your best friend leapt
from the center of that same bridge.
His body compressed at the point of impact
as if it never had space for a heart.

You pushed me away. I wanted to comfort you
the way your hand-me-down clothes had comforted me.
I tried to follow as you hacked paths in the sawgrass
with your machete, wretched among the papaya.

Back in the States, as adults, you tell me
she left him for you, (the way you left me for her).
I say, It’s not your fault. We talk about the iguanas
that crawled through our back yard,

the metallic frog sounds that made us shiver
in the dense air, and how every morning
we’d step wide on the road
to avoid their flattened bodies.

Clove Cigarettes, Cowboys and Canyons

We took off for Ft. Worth
in the middle of the term,
drove along I-4 smoking clove cigarettes,
woozy with freedom.
Texas represented space – a place
where your mother’s worries couldn’t reach you
except by mail; she sent clippings you read out loud
as I pressed the accelerator: Teenagers Overdose
on Drugs, College Student Falls Asleep at the Wheel.

For a month we lived on top of a barn,
woke to faint neighs below.
We ate bear claws for breakfast
and mucked out stalls, rode expensive horses
for the kids who drove their parents’ Mercedes.
Your mother called nightly. Afterwards,
we put on clean jeans, navigated slick streets
to Western bars where we danced
with men in cowboy hats and snakeskin
boots. I looked after you
when your mother couldn’t.

When the job was over we kept driving west.
At night we cranked back vinyl seats
to sleep in state parks near trails
that led to places like Cat Scratch Canyon
and Suicide Ridge. At phone booths,
you soothed your mother.
We slipped away before the sun rose
and the ranger made his rounds.

When we reached the Pacific,
there was nothing left to do
so we followed the Grateful Dead.
We sold roses in the parking lot.
The band played St. Stephen
while fans traded tie-dyed shirts for weed.
Our sandals slapped against asphalt
as we wound through cars. Music spilled
from multi-colored vans where teenagers
crouched around wooden pipes,
blue-grey smoke spiraling
over their heads.
We were happy.

Years later, after we came home
and your mother endured cancer,
I drove to your family’s beach house.
As the door swung closed, your mother
waved her arm over the one breast still intact,
Don’t forget your sunscreen!
You flashed a brown plastic bottle
to relieve her. Outside, I read the label –

SPF - 2. Under the white hot face
of the sun, we walked for miles,
talked of the days when we were free.
Sand scrubbed layers of dead skin
from our heels and the tide receded,
leaving sharp bits of shells
like your mother’s words
strewn along the beach.

The Clinic

I drove to the clinic in my mother’s
Volkswagen, a bloated yellow womb, never
breathed a word, simply called my collie,
his golden mane shining
as he jumped on the seat
beside me. I parked in the shade.

It was an October day,
cooler than most along the Carolina coast.
I rolled the windows down so my dog’s long nose
could inhale the sea. I held everything close,
my body a drawstring bag
that would spill
its precious gift
under the sun lamps
of the doctor’s office.

I stepped outside into the sharp
light, sky a blue vacuum,
bent oaks along the road
emptying themselves of leaves,
pointed tips of grass mown flat.
I buried myself
in my collie’s fur.

Six Days on the Road

When I was young and searching for my life,
I climbed into the cab of a semi.
The Aussie trucker pointed with his thumb
to the compartment behind him.
Get some sleep. I don’t remember
if he was old or young.
His face was so plain
it left no impression.

I climbed into the narrow space,
closed my eyes, my body vibrating
to the hum of eighteen rolling tires.
Hours later, when I woke, the dashboard
glowed like a field of lightning bugs.
I flipped through his eight-tracks,
surprised to find familiar songs – Johnny Cash and Waylon.
We sang Six Days on the Road,
over and over.

He taught me what it’s like to keep moving.
Towns flew by our windows,
stoplights, billboards, traffic signs
became a blur. On the open road,
miles of white line and fence
separated gravel from the grass.

In the darkness, rain dove at the windshield,
headlights carved a tunnel through the night.
He never laid a hand on me
even though I was young and ripe
and unattached to my future.
There was safety in
that metal womb.

I’m older now. My life is settled.
But sometimes I wake at night,
blood roaring in my ears,
hair mussed from the wind
of a semi passing by.

Unnamed Grief

I carry her in a small papoose
just above my breast bone,
some days she rides lightly
as if she is made of air,
other days I can hardly breathe
for the way she presses into me.
It is those days where I try hard
to pretend she is not real,
that what I did so long ago
has not attached itself to me
and ridden in this sticky, messy way
all these years.
It is hard to see this in myself –
how much I hide,
how blind I am
to what is right in front of me.
I’d like to lift this small thing
out of its pouch, hold
her to the light, caress
her with my eyes, allow her to grow
into what she was meant to be.
But a shaft of light
brings a sudden awareness.
She can never be anything
as long as she is hidden,
and yet I fear
when she comes into being
she will shadow everything I am.
So I must be bold,
allow her to stretch her tiny wings –
such gossamer, such beauty.
If she can catch the wind, she will fly,
lifting me with her.


"Poetry is still my favorite way to educate my soul. Words carry the appropriate space between them for my soul to meander in and learn new paths for being. The universe measures how much time we spend there and gifts those brave enough to walk a lyrical life.” -- Poet’s Corner by Emoke, Malaprops bookstore and cafe, Asheville NC--from

( Emöke in Malaprop's bookstore)

Emöke Zsuzsanna B'Racz was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary and educated at Torokbalinti Elemi Iskola, Kaffka Margit Gymnasium, George Washington High School in NYC, and took her Pre-med degree at FDU/Madison New Jersey and Post grad classes at Yale. We in North Carolina, however, know her as the owner and manager of Malaprop's Bookstore in downtown Asheville.

What many readers may not know is that she's also a poet and translator. Her work has appeared in Webster Review, New York Quarterly, Magyar Naplo, Rivendell, APR,
Women’s Words, International Poetry Review, NC Literary Journal,Nexus,and Wordimage.
Burning Bush Press of Asheville has published
Raising Voices 1997 and Every Tree is the Forest 2003, 2005, as well as Stories of the Seven-Headed Sewing Machine by Katalin Ladik: Translations, 2003.

Emöke has served as Guest Lecturer at Warren Wilson College:”Work as Art”
and George Mason University: "Politics and Poetry: Eastern Europe."

She lists as her hobbies "poetry, writing and translating, painting, traveling, tennis and contemplating in my garden."

I last saw Emöke in Gyor, Hungary, where she attended the European Premiere of the Alma Cantata, composed by Harold Schiffman, using poems from my collection Wildwood Flower She was heading out to Istanbul the next day!

(Budapest, Hungary)

Here is one of Emöke's most poems.


My aunt Julia was the mapmaker in the family
in other circles.

She walked in heavy work boots across the land
Cigarette hanging on her lips
bent under the wind and her mother’s scorn.

She idolized her older brother, my father
Followed him with hazel eyes in dark sun brown skin
That held her rage, quite un noticed.

Her words were always kind to us children
with warm hands on our foreheads
smoothed out our fears eased us to dream.

French words English words or Hungarian
She spoke and read while the ducks and geese had to be fed
Each night dinner on the table by eight pm

She loved reading almost more than breathing.
Birthed two girls, lost one within ten days
Morning Glory grew strong by her mother’s side
With each breath strengthened her child
for the same world that we all struggle with
to get a step ahead instead of side ways.

Can you tell which way she went?
I look in my heart to find the path
My aunt Julia scribed there

The poems that follow are from her most recent book, Every Tree Is the Forest(Asheville, NC: Burning Bush Press, 2002, 69 pages,, $20).


My Uncle Lajos came in a dream to tell me
that I had ancient drawings on my face
and, as far as he can tell,
there were important messages hidden
in the primitive drawings.

Pay attention to them, he said.


Thursday morning the angel came and visited
sweet milk on my lips
and honey
between my legs.

She sang among the water drops and
the shower rang with her strength.


We stood apart,
continents apart.

Your scent, your smile,
the way you bunch your sweater,
holding it together.

The way you avoid my eyes
for years--
twenty-nine, now.

The silence you observe
denies my existence,
my affection.

What does that do to,
Calvinist mistress?

You bow your head.
You almost smile.
I look from afar.

Never crossing the Danube,
never meeting my eyes.

(The Danube at dusk)

Janice Moore Fuller reviewed Every Tree Is the Forest in Asheville Poetry Review, Volume 10,#1.
Lao-Tzu tells us that “Every being in the universe/ is an expression of the Tao” and “Each separate being in the universe/ returns to the common source.” Emöke B’Racz clearly embraces this principle, entitling her book Every Tree is the Forest and arranging the poems and illustrations in it with an awareness that diversity can be a source of unity.

B’Racz prefaces her book with an epigraph from Yeats: “If what I say resonates with you, it’s merely because we are both branches of the same tree.” The epigraph is well-chosen, not only because it echoes her Eastern philosophy but also because Yeats offers her the model of a poet who continuously and self-consciously reinvented himself. Never content to continue a successful poetic phase, Yeats was drawn by the anti-self he describes in A Vision into ongoing revisions and reversals. In each new poem and each of her paintings, B’Racz seems just as willing to keep recreating herself as an artist.

In letter six, Rilke asks the young poet, “Don’t you see how everything that happens is again and again a beginning…[how] starting is always so beautiful?” B’Racz, like Yeats, sees this beauty. Each poem in Every Tree is the Forest represents a new beginning — a new stanzaic form, a new subject, a new voice. Each poem in the volume is as distinctive as the trees of the title. What could be more different than the haunting aphorisms of poems like “The Fire” —

The marrow
remembers everything —

the streetwise idiolect of “Change That Adds Up Wrong Makes Little Holes and Great Love” —

fifteen neetfin ifften
bigger booger baby
left a hole in ifften’s heart —

the tight imagism of “Teething” —

A brass and wood skull
full of teeth, intact,
channels where teeth line to root
the face, the hair, ears —

the long-lined narrative of “Hungarian Childhood” —

The knocking came at midnight in wintertime.
The room was warm and at peace with the night.
Two men brought in the cold under their hats,
grabbed most of the books and threw them into potato sacks —

and, startling us late in the volume, the megaphone shouts at the beginning of “504 Phone Calls” —


And yet the book is able to contain them all, these wildly varied poems, just as it able to encompass B’Racz’s own paintings scattered through the book — vibrant illustrations as varied in style as works by Chagall, Van Gogh, and Kandinsky. B’Racz knows, like Yeats, that the quicksilver self is never static and the world isn’t either. Each incarnation, she knows, is as true as the next.

If every poem and illustration in the book is the Forest that is Emöke B’Racz, the book might also have been entitled “Every Woman is the Forest.” The book opens its arms to a wide range of beloved women — lovers and friends (Kim, Sadhu, Katalin); her mother whose “eyes always kept a lifeline to her children”; grandmother Sajtos Zsofia, whom she paints in “lavender blue, ostrich grey.” The feminine moon surfaces in the poems‚ images and in the circles and wombs of the paintings. In “She Gave Them Slippers so They Could Dance to Their Hearts‚ Content,” she remembers four women in a writer’s group gathered around a square table, smoothing its corners into a circle of dance. She also dedicates poems to more celebrated women artists — Irish poet Eavan Boland; the Prussian, anti-war painter Kathe Kollowitz. And in the final poem of the book, she honors Sappho, Christine De Pisan, Louise Otto-Peters, Elsa Honing Fine, reminding herself and all women artists that the work they do is “Not for Ourselves Alone.”

Even though women dominate the book, by the end of the volume the reader can’t help but remember how many men B’Racz has celebrated in her poems: her Hungarian father who was dragged away in the night “like a falling leaf in the eye of the storm”; Grandpapa Imre with “a breath of angel hair”; poet Lucien Stryk, reading words “captured with butterfly nets” at Malaprops; the anonymous elderly gentleman dancing through the bookstore in unmatched clothes.

Throughout Every Tree is the Forest, B’Racz widens and widens her scope in a generosity reminiscent of Whitman’s expanding sympathies in “Song of Myself,” the way he gradually enfolds within himself man and woman, butcher-boy and quadroon girl, “wombs and…father-stuff,” and “Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur’d.” In “504 Phone Calls,” B’Racz demands that we embrace male and female; gay, lesbian, and straight. She urges us to offer a blessing “of yellows, browns, blacks/ yes, those of the earth.” God, she reminds us, “is a wisp,/ a kindness that sparks between two people,/ lovers,/ mothers and daughters,/ brothers and sisters.” In fact, in a startling apocalyptic invocation, she prays to that wispy God to make “the human race to go extinct” if its members cannot stop plundering the literal forest in which they live, if they cannot learn to welcome all people into the human forest.

* * *
Emoke can reached at
Malaprop's Bookstore/Café

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Chapel Hill Press, Inc.
To Order call 866-942-8389

Kitty Foley hails from the Chicago area. She received her MA in Literature from Middlebury College and currently lives in North Carolina. Betty Adcock describes the work in her first book as "a dance with a dizzying, colorful, scary world that can come undone, the world that only a poet of Foley's intense gifts could limn so perfectly." And John Balaban praises her poems as being "unerring in finding the right gesture or natural image to summon beauty and compassion out of quandary and pain."

Maybe the Muse

Maybe the muse would sing in the dark

where houses, ignorant of stars,

whine senseless in the wind.

And shagged crows bark

from winter branches,

batting their burial wings.

Maybe the muse would sing beyond

barrenness, charm old roots to stir,

flush an eagle from sky to sky

winging over the silhouettes of crows

while earth loosens its colors.

Maybe the muse sings already

in the sparrow on the rain gutter,

in the sooty patches of snow melting

everywhere across town in the same weather,

no one knowing quite how to hum it,

but playing it nevertheless and not the same.


At dusk by the window,

a tree’s still-glossy leaves arch

upward as if seeking bloom

in December, even as light changes.

Such light and dark played upon

our marriage, how you’d leave

with eyes closed and an open hand.

How I’d sense the tracks between

your words like prints left

after a crow has done his dance,

legible in snow.

Tonight lamplight forgives the dark…

and the ruined day.

Always I come back to you

when shadows eclipse sense.

In slower time, I see the familiar

wide hands that have shod horses.

You are scarred with kick and nails.

Hands I once held.

How strange to adore you at this distance,

almost sad, almost happy,

like the arch of leaves, a glance

of late light.

Relief at the End of November

Rain and wind knocked the rest of the leaves

down to roofs, gutters, the forest floor.

This year I’m barren as November and as honest

as the month exposing fields and woods,

and all the small, distressed gardens.

December shall be kind in comparison—

snow coming like white flowers—- a cool

feathering like trillium falling—- and ice!

—crystal that breaks without harm.

In this time of winter, no one is dying,

no one has traded love for money or theory,

no one blames anyone for not searching far enough.

Farmland goes quietly to sleep.

The rain stops. It’s still November.

A Labrador retriever romps and rolls in the dead, wet

leaves. Anyone could think of redemption.

Thursday, April 23, 2009



Lavonne J. Adams grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, but has made North Carolina her home for the past 30 years. She is the recipient of the Persephone Poetry Prize for her chapbook Everyday Still Life, and the Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Chapbook Award for In the Shadow of the Mountain. She has published in over 50 additional venues, including The Southern Poetry Review, Missouri Review, and Poet Lore. She was an artist-in-residence at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM, and has been awarded a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency for Summer 2009. Adams teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

by Lavonne J. Adams
80 pp., perfect-bound, ISBN 978-1-888219-36-4
Pearl Editions

During the mid-1800s, prior to the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, the Santa 
Fe Trail was the route used to open up the Southwest. Unlike the Oregon Trail, which existed in order to move settlers to the west, the Santa Fe Trail was primarily established for reasons of commerce. The Trail, which began in Independence, Missouri, covered approximately nine hundred miles and took up to three months to travel. The Trail itself splits into two branches—the Cimarron Cutoff, which ran southward through the desert, and the Mountain Branch, which wound through the treacherous Raton Pass in the Rocky Mountains—before reuniting at La Junta, New Mexico. Each branch was notorious for its particular tribulations. The title of this collection refers to the final pass through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which leads into Santa Fe.

While some of the travelers were drawn to the adventure of the West, others took to the Trail for health reasons; the climate was said to be extremely beneficial, especially for those suffering from lung ailments. Many of the women who traveled the Trail did so in order to remain with husbands who relocated to Santa Fe for business reasons. They kept journals or wrote memoirs that relayed the trials, as well as the glory, of the Trail. These poems are very loosely based on those recollections. This collection is meant to open an alternative window into history. While I have endeavored to capture accurately the experiences these women endured, the final product is intended to be art—historical fiction rather than fact. The poems are punctuated by Native American folklore/myth, and laced with glimpses of the roles of both the Native American and Mexican women who made their homes along the Trail.

(Santa Fe Trail)

How the Earth Became Bountiful (A Cheyenne Tale)

Long ago, the Plains were a hollow bowl.
Babies too hungry to cry hung in their cradleboards
from bare trees. When they could no longer bear
empty cooking pots and hollow eyes, two warriors
set out to search for whatever they could find.
After seven days, a butte rose in the distance
like a buffalo’s back. An old woman
stepped through the waterfall
as if it was the flap of her tipi. Her skin was
as brittle and lined as cornhusks, her hair
as white as an antelope’s belly. Above her
cooking fire hung strips of dried buffalo meat.
Why have you not come sooner, my grandsons?
She handed the warriors two bowls filled
with stew, two bowls filled with corn.
While they ate, she pulled porcupine quills from
a buffalo-bladder pouch, softened
each quill in her mouth, flattened them
between her gums. With an awl
and sinew, she stitched the quills to a pouch
shaped like a turtle, which would hold
the earth’s umbilical cord—a guarantee of its longevity.
The bowls were still full when the warriors could eat
no more, their stomachs firm as fish.
The cowry shells sewn to the woman’s bodice glowed
like the moon’s sisters as she lifted her arm, pointed
to her left. In a haze of sage smoke, the warriors saw
the earth laden in buffalo. Behind the woman,
fields bristling with corn; to her right,
prairies thick with horses. Straight ahead,
they saw their own faces fierce as they fought
alongside their tribe. And they knew this was
an omen--that they would be victorious,
that they would carry home many captives,
and that the storm clouds forming in the east were
nothing but shadows.

Marian Sloan

When we left Fort Leavenworth, smoke
from tar barrels smudged the sky,
the lining of my nose—a talisman
against cholera. On the trail,
gray ribbons of smoke rose
from each campfire as
tents became Japanese lanterns lit
by the lamps inside. Twice a day
I gathered buffalo chips in my skirt
like a windfall of apples. I learned
to kick each chip with the toe of my shoe,
to expose what was hidden in its scant shade--
red spiders that uncurled to the size of
my hand; scorpions that scurried away,
their tails curled like dark questions. II.
At Fort Marcy, walls crumbled, wind
and rain eroded the soldiers’ graves, stranding
bones to bleach in the sun. We piled them up
like firewood, then—as one child counted to fifty—
the rest of us ran to hide. One by one,
we sneaked back, free only when a bone was snatched
from the stack. What did we know
of respect for the dead?
Late one afternoon, I walked past the jail.
Through the door’s bars, I watched
a prisoner pull a cigarette from his pocket.
He smiled and asked my name, then told me his
daughter had braids as long as mine.
To make me smile, he sang
Shoo-fly, don’t bother me, then swung
his silver pocket watch as if it was that fly.
The next morning I carried him two cookies
that smelled like molasses and ginger.
There was a red stain on his shirt. His head
was lowered as if deep in prayer.
At his feet, the cigarette, still unlit.


Once a month, when the Indian Scouts paid
my mother for their room and board,
we went to Spiegelberg’s store for supplies,
its dirt floor still damp from water sprinkled
to keep the dust down. In a glass case,
a display of candy—fat licorice babies,
cinnamon drops as hot as the red chiles
that hung like witches' fingers outside the door.
But it was rock candy I craved, the mysterious
way the crystals clung to the wick, each sharp edge
and odd angle a terrain my tongue longed to explore.
With the handle of a knife, I could break off one
piece at a time, tuck it under my tongue
like a sweet secret. Sometimes
the crystals were faintly cloudy,
sometimes they seemed almost amber,
as if trying to transform into gold.


I made myself a pouch—like an Indian’s
medicine bag—from a Bull Durham tobacco sack.
Inside, three gray horsehairs wound around
a chicken feather, a moss agate, a nugget
that glittered when tipped toward light.
When I tied the bag around my waist, I became
invincible. My mother’s heart was
her medicine bag. Inside, she bundled the spirits
of her husbands—one, an Army surgeon killed
in the Mexican War; the other, a scout ambushed
by Indians. How often did their restlessness
snag like tumbleweeds inside her veins.
On the trail, livestock were corralled at night,
loosely bound so they could graze at will. Still,
by morning several found their way out,
as if the stars were salt licks waiting
for their dissatisfied tongues.

Photograph, After the Nun’s Death

The wind lifts the wimples of two nuns kneeling
by the grave, and the shawls and coat tails
of those who are walking away. Frozen forever
in sepia, one nun buries her face in a handkerchief,
the other covers her eyes with her hand. Grief
is etched in the angles of their bodies,
in the submissive slump of their shoulders.
Consider how difficult it was to nurse
the cholera-ravaged nun through her final
struggle—the humbling bouts of diarrhea,
every muscle knotting, her pulse
trickling away, her pleas for water
she couldn’t swallow. Imagine
this photo as a tableau vivant,
that you can suddenly see the restless
horse sidling, hear the muffled
sobs of the nuns, the murmuring
of the others as they turn back
toward their lives. Within minutes,
the frame will be empty except for a solitary
rattler curled beneath a clump of sagebrush.
By morning, only the simple cross
will cast its scant shadow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Last year Asheville Wordfest took its inaugural flight. A festival devoted solely to poetry landed in town. Asheville, that is. Two of the guiding spirits, as well as the corporeal organizers, were Laura Hope-Gill and Sebastian Matthews. Now the second landing of Wordfest is about to take place, beginning next Thursday. Go to the Wordfest site for more information, including schedules and list of poets. Headliners include Quincey Troupe and Li-Young Lee, but the roster of lesser-known poets is just as dazzling.

(Asheville WordFest organizers Laura Hope-Gill and Sebastian Matthews are bringing together poets from a variety of traditions. Photo by Anne Fitten Glenn.)

I asked Laura to share her vision of Asheville Wordfest with me. She said that was a dangerous thing to ask! She could talk about it for hours, her hopes for its growth, her reasons for devoting so much of her life and energy to it. What follows is an unexpurgated version of her email to me, interspersed with photos of some of the featured poets.

Glenis Redmond, Patricia Smith, and Laura at last year's Wordfest.)

I think the really important thing to convey about Wordfest is that it is product of many years of Asheville poets' legacy-building. From the early nineties until now, there's been a strong poetry community. (I see it as a healing of what happened to poor Thomas Wolfe whose words won him exile from his city.) James Nave, Glenis Redmond, Bob Falls, Allan Wolf, Keith Flynn and more recently Graham Hackett, Sebastian Matthews, Jeff Davis, and too many more to list, have stoked the fires for a free poetry festival for this town. Back in the early 90's there was a poetry event every weekend evening, in some crazy location, ranging from the Green Door to the Diana Wortham, which back then, like the Green Door, allowed local performers to use the mainstage (!) for a mere 20% of the door. The town came out for these events.

(Debora Kinsland Foerst, from Cherokee)

Wordfest was dreamed up at a table at Malaprops, where I think all of us have read at one time or another. James Nave, Jeff Davis, Glenis Redmond and I sat around after a broadcast of Wordplay and up it bubbled. It's interesting that three of us are rooted in the performance scene--we've always had that drive to make poetry public, to literally give it away. That's the spirit of creativity, so we keep that at the heart of Wordfest. Lewis Hyde's book *The Gift* is one of the most important books in my world. In that book, the poet explores the creative economy, one based on circulating energy, rather than trapping it in place. For Whitman, poetry was currency. He spent it generously and in return he received it generously. He devoted hours to writing letters for wounded soldiers. For him, there was no difference between service and poetry. Hyde also studies ancient economies and folktales, revealing that cultures have survived quite well on this circular economy. It's interesting to me that we're witnessing the end of the linear economy (however many bailouts we attempt in order to put off the inevitable). It's a perfect time for creativity to rise, for people to give things away for free, such as a poetry festival, and enjoy seeing how it comes back to them in other forms. So, it's about much more than poetry for me. It's about restoring things to a more natural economy.

(Keith Flynn, founder and editor of Asheville Poetry Review and widely published poet)

We invite local businesses and groups to sponsor poets as way of integrating poetry into the marketplace. For the amount it costs to buy a paper ad in one issue of a magazine, a business or group can actually pay for the poet's airfare and (part of) a reading fee and give much more life to the money, and reach many more people (through our website, press and the actuall event itself) in a much more human way.

(doris davenport, formerly of NC, now teaching at Albany State University)

Also, WordFest presents poetry as Citizens Journalism. This is simply an emergence from my experience of watching Dr. Maya Angelou on Nightline on September 11. She was talking about how we need to "feel" what has happened, how we need to grieve, and Ted Koppel said, "Well, thank you for that poetic reflection, Dr. Angelou. And now for a more realistic perspective." And gone was the poet and up came a general or colonel. That was it. Neither of those perspectives is more realistic than the other. There are two realities--the active and the reflective. Asheville Wordfest, by presenting poetry as Citizens Journalism, explores this.

(Pat Riviere-Seel)

We are funded by the North Carolina Arts Council and the North Humanities Council, two amazing examples of circular economy in the way they return taxpayers money to the taxpayer in a higher form, that of art. My own company, The Healing Seed, picks up the rest of the tab along with Amy Mandel, Shiner Antiorio, Katina Rodis, Laurie Masterton, Grateful Steps Press, Maggie Wynne and many other members of our community. As the years continue, I envision more businesses and friends will "sponsor-a-poet" by donating money. It can happen, We can change the economy into a creative one, and see how everyone benefits. Asheville Wordfest is one model for doing this.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


L.B Green's new book of poetry is sheer artistry. Lou is a visual artist and photographer, as well as a poet whose lyricism carries her readers into the heart of the Milky Way itself. Printed in a limited edition of 300, this book is a collector's dream. For more information contact the author at P.O. Box 583, Davidson, NC 28036.

You can see how the night sky spreads out when you open the book!

(L. B. Green)

L. B Green’s poems take me to a new place. An old place. They take me backward and forward, but best of all they take me HERE. Right here to this, not that but this, place where the imagination lives intertwined with the world, both the interior and the exterior landscapes of what we call, for want of a better word, our world. World and word. The world, the flesh of it in image. In language. There is no duality in Lou’s poems. They exist in a universe where everything, as William Wordsworth wrote, is “more deeply intertwined.” Lou Green's photographs are interspersed with her poems below.

History is as light as individual life

—Milan Kundera

The snow falls
on two lovers. So

entwined their hair
and eyebrows a cloche

of diamonds. They rouse
from sleep. They kiss.

They wade the deep drifts
that lead to mourning.

The plain before them—
for now—

snow-bright, and alert.


There is no one
in the swimming pool now,
surface unblemished,
and inviting

as a mirror on the wall, one
into which my blonde boy,
blonde girl disappear, over
and again,

as they jump, and sink,
their small bodies—like boxes
laden with treasure

and thrown over the ship’s rail—to lilt, then settle
in the deep end’s netherworld,
hair flaring and drifting, while

I wait for them to rise—their breath
floating toward me, in perfect o’s,
like pearls on a string.

In the Black and White Ad for the Eau De Parfum

In the black and white ad for the Eau De Parfum
there is rhythm in the tilt of her head, in the animal-
like curve of her neck, where, though holding him
as a lover would, she holds him at a distance. Her hair
long and awash with night and the light of stars.

In the black and white ad for the Eau De Parfum
in the market arena innuendo unfolds
on a silk blouse, on the tawny skin
of youth, his Armani coat, her lips, blown and glossed.
Though his face is turned from view his posture tells you,

in the black and white ad for the Eau De Parfum,
that he is young, beautiful and enchanted. OPEN HERE.
Create your own expression, experience…
nearly a kiss, the one mirrored in the young
woman’s eyes. Eyes large and sleepless,

in the black and white ad for the Eau De Parfum,
intrigue, yet however flirtatious caution.
The designer, worth her fee, knowing all along
what will happen when opening slowly
the carefully folded, scented paper you breathe

the velvety woods and extravagant florals
in the black and white ad for the Eau De Parfum.

Once Again: December, My Father, and Nietzsche

That year each evening my father read Nietzsche,
my father the scholar, my father the farmer: one and the same.

In the front room
after supper: two men who in one circle of light, mull intellect
and chicken-shit, the broken latch
on the barn door, wonder of wonder, the way
my father said reason would at times hurl itself
red flash and dart in spring,
same as the cardinal to the top of the pine.

For hours he read, only to look up, stare through the window,
into the darkness, I wonder now if hoping
to discover each night before morning a place
beyond good and evil, consider how—in the context of his one
life—heaven appears, even smells, he once said: with any luck

wide-open to those like him who were most alive
inside the barn, working with the animals, in that place:
hay-strewn, lantern-lit, flies abundant
and swarming the warm dung, the cow, strapped with the weight
of her unborn, heat from her belly rising in the air, moaning
loudly, frightfully, pushing down, and ready: to calve.

Stone Light

…in the visual patterns of Morocco
for the painter, Sean Scully 1945-

Space: filled with blocks, bars, stripes
and vectors, you enter each construct,
remain distanced from it,
form and color synthesizing things
inherently incapable of synthesis, mental
and physical grip on the world to continually

all the while life in its immediacy,
if only, in remote echoes: where light
continues to bathe a garden wall, the hammer
hammers, tea rose trails a trellis, firmness
and fragility: one, and in organized contrasts—
between shape
and pattern—libretti:
of loss, of love, of an awakening: painted fields
that tend to build toe to head, and further,
no rules or guidelines for the seeing:

of a clear and orderly ambiguity, a future history,
the artist notes: All There Is…

…an infinitely complex cathedral of concepts
on shifting foundations, a cathedral built
as if it were on water…

What Is Light Without Shadow?

At dawn the plain, so white with snow
it aims to blind, until, like a bird,

your eyes come to rest on the ancient tree
in the distance, a tree that, bowing, lifts

and cradles you above the staggering
light, as, on the snow, it begins to bleed

its lovely darkness, trunk and limbs omniscient
among the newest angles of one more morning.

The Nests

-after Henri Cole
-for the painter, Barbara Schaff

Because you
have flown as
the bird has
to a yellow-
blended field,
carried in your bill
those wayward
strands of hair, various
blades of grass, the castoff
twine and twig—
like a needle
in the vein,
each nest burns
to the green
beneath the branch’s
gray, where ever so quietly weave
the gestures
drawn carefully,
others randomly, as is
one trail of orange
that levitates.
The nests: your pluck,
your mettle, your blessed blood, your signature:
each nest a world:
a study
on a little square of paper,
each paper the size
of the heart:
as organ: the way
line—glorious, vibrating, miraculous line—in both pain
and joy,
tends and serves.