ALICE D’ALESSIO and SHARON AUBERLE
Earlier this month, The Brew coffeehouse in Ellison Bay featured an opening exhibit of the work of Madison poet, Alice D’Alessio, and Sister Bay poet / photographer, Sharon Auberle. The show, a harmonious and stunning combination of Alice’s perfectly pitched poems and Sharon’s artful photographs, will be up for at least another week or two. If you haven’t seen it, try and catch it. There is also a beautiful book of their work, PRAISE THE UNDAUNTED, available at The Brew and/or directly from Alice or Sharon.
I take a personal interest in these talented people. Both have a long history in my annual Writing Workshop at The Clearing. My small press, Cross+Roads Press, published A BLESSING OF TREES (2004) by Alice, and SATURDAY NIGHTS AT THE CRYSTAL BALL (2008) by Sharon, both bestsellers, both long out of print, though the poems of Alice in this exhibit (and those that appear in PRAISE THE UNDAUNTED) were selected from A BLESSING OF TREES. — Norbert Blei
Enter the Forest
Find the path
where rain drips from beechlings
brightening their greenest green
trembling the twisted ties
of yellow moccasin flowers.
Pay homage to cedars,
robed in lace, their spongy
carpet a velvet dusk, breathe their incense;
lay hands on ironweed and linden,
each with its secrets. Come with me
I will show you the way. Here in this temple
we study the Druid fathers
learn to grow old proudly,
chant the psalm of the hemlock.
We will hold white limestone in our hands
recite the only prayers we know.
Praise the Undaunted
How the trees inform us,
how they stand, how they stand!
How they celebrate the wind!
divide the sky, grab each
a share of earth for sustenance;
Folding their tents at noonday
they close their stoma-eyes
to conserve their life’s blood. Faithfully
they follow seasonal rituals
like pious monks, intoning plainsong.
How they stand! How they stand
embracing the sun, outlasting
unbelievers, generous with succession.
They breathe our smog
without complaint and exhale life,
waving their colors boldly. Blithely unaware
how much we ask of them.
Something for the Journey
Suppose, for instance,
this is the last morning. You never know.
You wake to find a wet snow
has sneaked in after midnight
wrapping the branches
with an airy gauze, spangled with diamonds
so that every snarly twig and tendril
is an epiphany of white
etched against the purple-blue
of an undecided sky.
And you want to be sure to seize it,
store it in scented linens,
in carved and gilded coffers
along with last May’s poppies,
August sunlight spilling its motes and spores
among the pines and sandstone cliffs,
and a copy of your only perfect poem.
Because we must take something with us,
like the pharaohs.
The BREW coffeehouse in Ellison Bay
click the images to enlarge please…