The Dragonfly Biologist Falling in Love

The Dragonfly Biologist Falling in Love

by Dennis Camire

Because she thinks love, too,
Is threatened with slow extinction
Despite it’s like translucent wings,
Her slow rising to romance’s promise is
A dragonfly nymph crawling up reed stock
After five years of moon walking the bottom of a pond;

And she imagines his first tender strokes
As those first warm rays dissolving
The emerging nymph’s armored encasing
So the winged, inchoate fetus inside
Can birth from behind the cervix
Of those enormous Darth Vader eyes;

And when she’s tortured by thoughts
Of everything that could go wrong
She’s schooled to think of predatory birds
Circling after one swallow-swoon
Alerts them to the cad fly appetizers hatching
Over the fractured plates of lily pads;

But when she tempers his expectations
By explaining the years of underwater life
Prior to the dragonfly’s brief five weeks of flight,
His carpe diem nature overtakes
And she finds herself, on dates, netted
By his surprised embraces from behind.

Later, she acclimates to the strangers
Watching their playful foreplay
As though in frolicking they, too, shine
An aqua green or lupine blue.
And the day after they rise together
From his bed, may he follow her

To the remote bogs and ponds
To press the netted wings together
Before lifting the creature for measuring;
And may he marvel, like her, at the two
Pair of wings working in perfect unison
While the ten thousand lensed eyes

Are alert to everything for 360 degrees;
And when one–upon release–
Alights his shoulder, may he still,
Like a child playing One, Two, Three Red Light,
Move his eyes enough to see the way
She rests, transfixed, by his side, smiling

And unwilling, too, to move, or breathe, or speak
Whether it’s curiosity, exhaustion, or love
Keeping the mysterious dragonfly in their life.

From Combed by Crows, Deerbrook Editions 2017 

Find the link to the review of the book in Off Radar on the site page.

New title forthcoming by Sarah White

Sarah White is also the author of Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2015) reviewed in American Book Review

Sarah's flier 2

Archaeology, poems by Joan Siegel

This new title is available on the Deerbrook Editions Website

Archaeology cov grab

Archaeology excavates the past in exquisite language. Its focus is family: Siegel’s own family and families far ourtside her personal sphere. Mothers and daughters especially come under her perceptive eye, three generations often missing each other in passing, sitting in silence, but also knitting together to create a skein of connection. These are poems of longing, loss and celebration, for what else to do when losing someone, but “sit with her all night and sing”? Animals, domestic and wild, move through these poems, both as their own mystery as a metaphor. Siegel knows that stillness is necessary for transformation–“a chamber for one/ where you disolve and grow /wings.”  Though mostly serious and contemplative, she has moments of wry humanity and always “Peers at darkness through the bright eye of the world.”

                              —Mary Makofske, author of Traction and World Enough and Time.

Other praise for Joan’s poems

Siegel knows how to go for the small specific details that illuminate even the darkest subjects. —Maxine Kumin

The tactile, the visible and even the invisible become like avatars in Joan Siegel’s poems.
—Diane Wakoski

 

Michael Meyerhofer reviews “Won’t Be Long”

This is honestly one of the best and most enjoyable books of poetry I’ve ever read

— Michael Meyerhofer on February 13, 2017

 

As someone who cut his teeth on “eastern” verse, I’m no stranger to shorter poems. I’ve often heard it said that less time on stage means less can go wrong, i.e. shorter poems are somehow easier to write–an idea that I’ve always found ridiculous. With shorter poetry, there’s actually a lot more riding on every word, every syllable. But J.R. Solonche is more than up to the challenge. In this book, Solonche is sharing a lifetime of wit and experience, a whole library of bittersweet moments and insights–and all of it, free of pretension.

I can’t stress this enough: this is honestly one of the best and most enjoyable books of poetry I’ve ever read, and I’ve read thousands. This is also the rare sort of book that you could hand either to a factory worker or a gilded academic and both would be left speechless. The playfulness, humor, and accessibility of these poems blend so perfectly with the underlying brilliance and craft that these poems seem effortless, though they’re anything but. As I was reading this, I kept asking myself, “How is this poem NOT being taught in classrooms all around the world? And what about that one? And this one? And that one?!”

I used to teach a class on Zen poetry, where we frequently read stuff by the ancient Chinese poets, as well as contemporaries like Billy Collins, Kenneth Rexroth, etc. I wish I were still teaching that class because I can guarantee that this book would be a class favorite. It’s certainly a favorite of mine.