A sense of place is one of our earliest epiphanies. Think of an infant swaddled, held, confined to safe spaces, learning to differentiate these intimate environs from the outside world. Over time, as we interact with family, community, culture, and the natural environment, we become conversant with the phenomenon per se, the idea of place as something specific and separate from a larger space. The same can be said of our awareness of an inner world, as within oneself, and to imagined or real life experience in the wider world, thinking globally and beyond. Being so attuned makes available more layered perception and recall. It remains for the poet to bring heightened sensitivity and insight to “place” as it is present in a particular poem.
From the book:
Mortality roams our everyday
as it always has, though
we tend to pay it scant heed, better
left unnoticed, a perennial truth, until
terrified screams of everyday people
and piercing wails of rescue reveal
the hand of terror splayed before our eyes,
having no commerce with compassion,
seizing fame in one fiery blast
and calls to righteousness,
immortality smoldering in mortal remains,
final entry in an earthly itinerary.
Except, perhaps, for an earlier photo hanging
on some mother’s wall.
MARY GARDNER’s poems have won international, national and regional awards and have appeared in several anthologies and the Syracuse Poster Project. Her book, MY LIFE MATTERS, encourages others to write about their lives. Her chapbook, When All Danger of Frost is Past, was published by FootHills Publishing in 2015. She holds a Certificate in Poetry from the Downtown Writers Center, which is affiliated with the Arts Branch, Syracuse YMCA and independent writing programs across the United States. She is an active member of the National League of American Pen Women, CNY Branch. In an earlier career, she published many professional articles on human resources and management development and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Place Settings is a 44 page hand-stitched chapbook - $10.