I have spent an enjoyable afternoon, reading Tess Kincaid's evocative poems in her first chapbook just out from Finishing Line Press.
Some of the poems are dedicated to ancestors such as:"for Peachy Bright, 1841-1865." If you read Tess' blog, Willow Manor, you may even have seen photos of many of these ancestors. What a wonderful way to memorialize them, through these perceptive and original poems.
Here are a few lines from Winnie, for Winifred Hanna 1881-1975.
The map of veins
looks unnatural cooped-up
on your calico lap. Your wiry
hands seem more at ease out back, doing something
constructive, like beating a rug.
Each poem is a small portrait, a word daguerreotype. We are brought into a world long gone and intriguing. Invited to imagine another's life and being.
In The New Order we meet a persona perhaps of Tess herself.
I am a magpie.
My fleshy nest
is feathered in flotsam.
Not a hoarder, but rather
a hunter, gatherer of thoughts,
a scavenger of curios and the curious.
It's funny how we feel we come to know people from their blogs and in this case from their poems. Tess/Willow often posts about curios she has found in her local Good Will shop. Lost and forsaken, she brings them back to the manor to give them a home.
But some day they will return to the vast world of the thrift shop.
The manor, ready for auction,
is shiny, stripped and greased,
for meticulous scrutiny.
As will the poet herself.
I, too, am carefully wrapped,
boxed, and labeled "assorted secrets
and stories," a discreetly forgotten casket,
stowed dowerless, in a thrift store of dirt.
Tess' book is available at Amazon.com. Well worth the purchase. I know I will reread it again and again. Congratulations Tess!! (sorry, I dont know how to get the exact link to the book so this is the general amazon link. or you can go to Tess' blog, link above, and click on the book cover photo)