Ad Astra Poetry Project and and Ad Astra Poet Denise Low


I wanted to share with readers the wonderful web blog of Denise Low, Kansas poet laureate, who is featuring Kansas poets and also Kansas poetry happenings on her site regularly. While my sharing at this very moment is obviously very biased (you’ll see why when you go to the site), and absolutely overdue, I wanted to give thanks in general for Denise’s generosity as a writer, scholar, mentor, teacher, and friend to humans and the more-than-human world. Denise has written and edited over a dozen books of poetry and prose, many of which explore our relationship with the living earth and how to further cultivate that relationship. She’s also been a source of inspiration and support for me as a writer, in great part because of how she models a way to inhabit this work and role with great compassion, awareness, determination, and balance.

Some of her poems, such as “Place,” are particular favorites of mine and people in my writing workshops. I often ask people, after reading this poem, to start writing questions that ask what place is for them, questions which help us find greater insight as to the answers.

Place

Is it the eagles returning to Lecompton,
Old Eagle Town
that stretch of lookout cottonwoods on the
Kaw River,
or is it those rivers we measure towns by,
where we wait for flood and drought tides?

Or finding my grandfather during a storm,
clouds and lightning and his face by the window?

Is it the house I grew up in,
the way sun slanted through the front window,
warm bars of winter dust and light?

Is it a locus inside a muddy muscle,
the heart squeezing rivulets of bloods
again, again, again?

— Denise Low

View her blog at www.DeniseLow.blogspot.com