LIGHT THAT WHISPERS MORNING
Paper rips, the hear tears.
Steam from the kettle smells of roses.
The biscuit moon sifts light over the meadow.
A fall salmon loses its silver corolla.
Memories of goldfinch loop like butter
beyond the fence while I trace you
across china. When the petals fill this cup,
I shall drink the thorns of your disease,
nourish myself on changing moons and find
a light that whispers morning to your bones.
Last Attempt to Heal Catherine Moran
Winner of the 1994 Bumbershoot/ Weyerhaeuser Publication Award
Loren Sundlee writes, "Miller starts with family, taking on roles of son, father, husband, and ripples outward to friends, students, and the world." Critic Bart Ripp says, "Miller writes about ospreys hovering at Nisqually Delta; the stuffed moose standing sentry on the Puyallup Valley Taxidermy roof on River Road; the place in Chelan where 15 children died in a school bus accident in 1945; Leo Lassen announcing a Seattle Rainier's ballgame on a car radio; Miller shooting baskets with his dad on Ninth Avenue West on Queen Anne Hill; blue heron at Minter Creek Hatchery; a south wind pushing rain from Pitt Passage.
ISBN 0-9112887-16-7 (paper) $11.00
88 pages 6 x 9
EVERYWHERE WAS FAR
When I wish for you,
it is too dark for crows.
Your hand rests in the hollow
I leave behind. It is two hours
before light, and this morning
will last for days. In full light
you will wrap yourself in fiction,
turn pages slowly, savor the cut
of fine print on crisp paper.
from In My Most Recent Prayer
In Everywhere Was Far , Kevin Miller makes our familiar Northwest landscape and seascape altogether new. He resists the quick slide to transcendence…The higher truths await, though: Fleeting herons slip shadow over shadow,/ keep light away in layers, make paper of us,/ We struggle to fasten a place that will keep.
“There are more places to keep than the Pacific Northwest, which has been Miller’s home for decades. He visits a Jewish cemetery in Prague and sees that the headstones tile like teeth jammed/ into a too-small jaw. He lifts and ponders the small stones that visitors leave as memorials: They say,/ I was here for you. He takes one away to keep as a reminder, something to bring him back in spirit, and this cemetery becomes another place that will keep. Distant as it is geographically, it is in a truer sense very near.
“Miller [like Charles Wright] speaks of how the smallest observation or experience can leave lasting marks. An act stays like a cigarette burn in the arm , Miller writes, and he foresees the boys who mistreat animals becoming the men who torture and kill other human beings: Some kids become men who spit the name/…Serb, Muslim, Croate …–Richard Wakefield, The Seattle Times
0-911287-28-0 paper $13.00