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.
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.
Deborah Banks grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec where her love of the natural world was ignited by her surroundings. She taught English for thirty-four years and now lives in rural Nova Scotia.
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St. John's was a visceral shock to them. In a hansom cab, on their way…
. . . sure to resonate with nature lovers, particularly those who appreciate the beauty…