Deborah P Kolodji (dkolodji) wrote,
Deborah P Kolodji

So Luminous the Wildflowers

Today, I received a copy of So Luminous the Wildflowers in the mail, an anthology of 187 California poets edited by Paul Suntup and published by Tebot Bach. It was published in 2003 but I just found out about it recently.

I've been sampling poems here and there. At the moment, my favorite is "Whales at Santa Cruz," a piece by Michael McClintock. It's actually the longest poem I've ever read by McClintock, although in a way it's sort of a poem-haibun, i.e. a longer poem with a haiku at the end. It's about a grieving person releasing a loved one's ashes from a rock point where 300 whales are to pass that evening.

Here's a snippet from the end of the poem:

...The wind is light and fills all the space above the sea
like a giant's sleeping breath. The kelp forest stirs.

Her ashes --
a moment's haze
then clear ocean.

- Michael McClintock

What I love about this poem is the transitions between the memory of "her" watching the whales to the stealthy illegal release of human remains in the dark to the whales themselves, of their songs and their grammar to the wind and the ending haiku. It flows so well and I ended up being profoundly moved.

The anthology can be purchased directly from Tebot Bach or from Amazon.Com where there are some very reasonably priced used copies.
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