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An intimate, powerful collection of poems about the end of one relationship, and the beginning of another. From the first harrowing recognitions that a fundamental, frightening change had to be made, through the pain and alienation of the separation, to a re-discovery of love, hope and a new life, this book offers inspiration and insight to anyone who has ever loved and lost, anyone who believes in the power of the self, and anyone who loves smart, unsentimental contemporary poetry.


Sample Poem from RAPIDS: Poems of Ending and Beginning

 

VOLITIONAL DREAM

Down in a hole, narrow, dark.

                                                My arms tied by tight cords

                                                stiffened and tightened with time.

                                                                      

"Don't panic" I said calmly,

                                                            again and again. A mantra.

                                                          "Don't panic" and something will

                                                            surely come along. "Don't panic"

                                                            and you'll be able to handle

                                                            even this, this familiar horror.

 

                                                Down in a hole, narrow, dark,

                                                controlling my breathing, knowing

                                                Not to scream. Never to scream.

Looking up. Maybe ten feet. Sky.

Air. The blue forgiveness

                                                a small, round opening,

the size of my body. This hole.

                                                My head tilted back as far

                                                As it can go. Neck aching.

                                                To see the sky. Pale blue air.

                                                               

                                                                                   "Don't panic" Again. Again.

 

                                                Control the breathing.

Down in a hole. Narrow. Dark.

                                                Head back. Sky. Air. Time.

                                                Someone must surely

                                                come along soon. Suddenly

 

                                                The hole is covered. Black.

                                                The air sucked out. Trapped.

A black pit of knowing                 No one will ever come.

 

                                                          Scream. Scream. Scream. Scream.

                                                           Panic. Too late. Panic. Idiot.

 

I sit up straight. Terrified. Awake

I crawl out of bed. Out of the dark

room where I sleep my day,

away from the soft-edged pastel

Of my common sleep, smudging

into the daylight. Still trembling.

Angry. Frightened. Shaken.

 

Not by the hole. The ropes. The fear.

Not by the panic. But by patience.

By a dumb, buried belief that a

little sky, a cloud of hope could

save my life. The fear of panic

was too easily controlled.

And that is how an entire life

passes by. Now stunned awake

in daylight, my arms outstretched,

the sky wide, I run like a rabbit

across an open field, far from the

grasp of that death-walled hole,

from its sweet and lethal calm.