The Next Breath (Paperback)
A collection of 45 poems in 5 sections, The Next Breath traverses the last 50 years of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st but not in a sequential way. The first poem of the book, "Twenty Twenty," is a kind of prologue that takes us right into the current pandemic, while the next poem, "Visitors," a ghostly third-person meditation with a vague sense of modernity, leads into another poem squarely placed in a small midcentury town in the Midwest where the first-person narrative describes a mother's French toast. One could say these are quotidian poems dealing with the small, at times humiliating, details of life. One could also say that the poems are a powerful and poignant study of "self." Self-actualization, -realization, and -awareness. Generously accessible, readers cannot help but come to know the poet better and, if they savor the words deeply enough, discover more about themselves. The collection comes to an end that contemplates the impact of global warming, tempered by a postlude poem, "Missive," that suspends time and place in a dreamy, meditative way.