While Crossing the Field by Deborah Banks

by

These poems traverse the coastal seasons with contemplative reflection. A canvas of emotion drawn from the colours of grief, loneliness, and gratitude. There is a certain fascination with the palette of nighttime and the musicality of being brought forth in the darkness.

A #ReadAtlantic Book!

The first several poems emerge from winter, human and animal reawakening their senses alongside the earth’s rebirth. We are witnessing love letters to nature and self. It is here where we find an acknowledgement of the strange relationship of quiet, respectful observance between human and animal.

It’s hard to choose just one, or even limit myself to a handful of poems to bookmark for later re-reads.

There are tinges of regret, contemplative pondering of what could be the humane thing to do, even after the fact. These poems are very conscientious of self and place within nature, as being neither more or less important that any other living creature, plant, body of water, and so on.

in Lost Bird: “We did nothing….
Like a dragon’s exhaled breath, a yawning monster, that giant sea,
The lost and tossed birds with their crooked wings, unfolding behind us.”

in Spring Along the Stone Wall: “I find an egg intact, cold and condemned:
An ancestral voice that will never speak”

in Spring Fever: “My rubber boots are thick with fresh mud
– the cloying earth swallows their choked treads.”

Awash with wonder in death and managing the beautiful confusion of living sweeps prominently through Starfish and a sweet tribute in Coming Home (for Bonnie).

Stunning imagery and phrases are delivered memorably and swiftly. They are not extravagant but strike unexpectedly, a subtle beauty within the free verse structure.

in Fenian Raid: “when an ear is only a sheltering outcrop
That masks an inner cave”

Banks is standing at the edge of the world, waving us towards the pathways that help us see things unfold in natural time, with empathy and grace.


  • Paperback : 76 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1989725139
  • Publisher : Pottersfield Press (June 1 2020)

*Please note if you choose to purchase this book (or Kindle version) through Amazon using the link below we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you cannot see the Amazon ad below (if you are using an ad blocker, for instance) here is the link: https://amzn.to/2Ubu4eJ Thanks! 

(Visited 165 times, 80 visits today)
Author profile
Mala Rai

Mala Rai is a poet, drummer, psychology student, and technical writing hired gun on the West Coast. Her most recent poems have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, High Shelf Press, and Anti-Heroin Chic. You can follow her on Instagram @malaraipoetry

Start a conversation:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: