Isolation and Revelation by Marie-Louise Meyers

Note: I thought I published this last month, but realized it was only in draft form, so I am publishing it now, especially since Mary Lou recently sent me a photo of her with her new book.

Mary Lou Meyers is my “poet-in-residence.” We both attended Douglass College (part of Rutgers Univ.) but did not meet until our 50th reunion. She lives north of me on a large farm and sends me a poem every day!

Because she lives on a farm, many of her poems are about Nature and the environment, so this review covers both Earth Day and National Poetry Month that happened last month. (However, I celebrate Earth Day Every Day and love  poetry in every month! )Much of her poetry is about the wild animals on her farm, so she is right in tune with the idea of restoring and maintaining the wilderness.


The subtitle is: “A Poet’s Voice Resonates from the Depths of the Pandemic

Mary Lou’s poems tell stories. Many of her poems are long, so she can capture all the aspects of a topic, from growing up to growing old. The book is 8 1/2 by 11″ and almost 450 pages—-massive! Her poetry shows wisdom, insight, and provides “food for thought.” Thanx, Mary Lou!

There are nine chapters in the book:

1) A Rude Awakening                         6) Memories Rebounding
2)The Lock Down                                7) Lag Time
3) Freeze Frame                                   8) The Last Testament
4) Nature’s Nurturing                         9) The Signal Fire
5) Laughter in the best Medicine

Here is an excerpt from a 2 1/4 page poem entitled:

Cut and Paste After Fumigation

Everyone speaks of a New Normal,
but I see a distancing from extravagance,
an insistence on meaning first,
without an extraneous culture that loses Face
so easily and is now disgraced……

It will take some daring,
restoring goodness to its natural place.

 

Here is an excerpt from one of here wild animal poems, entitled:

Runaway Beaver

I come alone where silence reigns
save for cascading water fro the broken dam….
A young beaver has come across the road
from the reservoir to settle in our pond…

The beaver knows nothing of dreams,
only what he sees and hears
Once comforting murmurs from his mother disappeared,
he tunes into birdsong filling the woods,
Spring Peepers when the day dawns clear and sunny,
only the Great Blue Heron steeped in prayers
on the embankment holds his attention long….

Earth Day Fifty Years Later
(One of my favorites, written for the anniversary at the beginning of COVID-19 es)

It seemed right and proper once
to establish an alliance between Earth and Sky
so Humankind might abide in the quality of Life.
Let them not be defiled, but pure and reconciled
with Mankind the winner in the end.
When Covid-19 entered the scene with social distancing
in just over a month, according to the Today Show:
green house emissions were reduced by 5%:
The purity of the air in Los Angeles, the best in the nation:
the majestic peaks of Kilimanjaro can be seen from Bombay.

Coyotes and deer are roaming the vacant streets of Chicago,
rats are starving and resorting to cannibalism.
A new clarity of Vision might be born,
the problem is just when you think it’s all about the environment,
a new scene is both to sanitize your toilet called poop pourri,
and all the good intentions seem to be flushed down the drain
for the sake of the entrepreneur who named it, and makes the most
of the titillating and sensational claims. Haven’t we learned
in 50 years what should come first in our Universe?
Don’t let the Rain Forest disappear with its Native Inhabitants!

(Hang your clothes out if you are able, a voice within me says,
the sun is the best disinfectant bar none.
A small plot of vegetables gives satisfaction and worth.
Labor-saving devices can actually make us slaves
instead of the freeing effects of a breeze.)

This is the cover of my clothesline book which discusses the positive economical and ecological benefits of clotheslines. Available from Amazon.

Mary Lou’s book is available from Amazon for $20 paperback and $9.50 on Kindle.

Holiday Poem from Mary Lou Meyers & Art by Linda Garfield

Thanx to my classmate Mary Lou for all her wonderful poetry and to local artist Linda Garfield for her art, whose message seems to match Mary Lou’s poem, quite by accident!
Float Your Boat
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza
may seem lack-luster this year,
devoid of glitter and the usual cheer,
with dreams tarnished by Covid-19.
Shopping for gifts has become an unnecessary
hazard to your health, what you do is online,
but held to a minimum to stretch your budget
without any holiday bonuses in sight.
Losing its glitz and glamor, the Rockefeller tree
seems undernourished as though disease has tainted it.
Even Longwood Gardens, the foremost display garden
in the world must observe caution in the holiday rush
with circuitous routes in and out of the Conservatory
and in-between, round circles which insist six feet between.
Still they have created a kind of perfection
which cannot be reached by this weary world
with trees magnified in lights and show-stopping ornaments
and the ones crafted by Nature’s own sculptor.
This seems such a superficial glaze this season,
when everyone was once greeting in overabundance.
Christmas was once an accomplished art
which lifts the spirit of the heart,
and rewards both the Receiver and the Giver.  
There are so many dead ends now,
cut off from crowd-pleasing activities,
ordering on line, avoiding the seasonal rush,
for some might still bargain and bluff for the right stuff
even though they’re putting their life on the line.
Why not recapture the lost Art Form
of Elliot Page <gifts@stand.earth
writing the Annual Christmas Letter.
Fill the air with a kind of cheer which transfigures
the ones, who may be lost in the numbing
atmosphere and fear a kind of mental break-down.
Maybe in the End, it’s the simplest things
that matter most as we begin a New Year of 2021.
I am reminded of a ritual we performed as children
on New Year’s Day after the let down of the Christmas holiday.
In a more subdued tone, we took the half-shells of walnuts,
and filling the tub, placed a lighted candle in each.
Still under the spell, we attached a Wish to the mast.
In the darkened room, we watched the candles flicker
while waves splashed and the riptides flooded
the plucky little boats with their brave candle masts.
Those who made it to the other side,
the fervent ones which never brushed aside their Will Power,
never to be impeded by Time or Tide,
they were lifted by a giant Hand
and made safe and secure on the Promised Land.
Have a Safe Holiday Season
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