While Crossing the Field by Deborah Banks

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.


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.


  • 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! 


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

Recent Posts

Weekly Ferocity: January 29, 2023

Weekly Ferocity is a weekly feature of The Miramichi Reader, containing four original aphorisms by…

1 day ago

Love Will Out: A Newfoundland Story by David Michael

St. John's was a visceral shock to them. In a hansom cab, on their way…

6 days ago

Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees, Edited by Christine Lowther

. . . sure to resonate with nature lovers, particularly those who appreciate the beauty…

6 days ago

Sisu’s Winter War by Liisa Kovala

A twisting journey through time and place, exploring family, relationships, war, and memory, Sisu’s Winter War is…

1 week ago

The Dollhouse by Charis Cotter

A creepy, mysterious dollhouse takes center stage in this atmospheric middle-grade mystery for fans of…

1 week ago

Stray Dogs by Rawi Hage

The irresistible characters in Stray Dogs lead radically different lives, but all are restless travelers,…

1 week ago

This website uses cookies.