[ click "Play" button to hear Susan's interview with Rosemerry]
Instead of pulling the covers over your head, make Friday the 13th your lucky day. Kick off the holiday weekend at Telluride's Between the Covers bookstore with a Valentine's Day Eve celebration, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
The event is a poetry party to celebrate the release of two new books of poems, "Holding Three Things at Once" and "Come Together: Imagine Peace: Poems" (Harmony), by San Miguel county's poet laureate, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.
Rosemerry is joined by her friends, country commissioner Art Goodtimes, and Ellen Metrick, for readings. Bobbi Smith has created a batch of "naughty cookies." Frannie Major created the flower arrangements.
Humming beneath the surface of every elegant line is the author's child-like sense of inquiry. Sleek and sinuous as a cat, Rosemerry is just as curious about the many gifts of the natural world and the metaphors they enfold.
The vivid images her poems paint become valentines to all Rosemerry holds dear: Mother Nature, her children, her husband, her friends, peace.
To the natural world:
Put Down the Magazine
This night, come root for what we cannot know,
come hearken for the evening’s pulse from where,
from where, let’s do not care as long as there
is pulse, is pulse, and we can hear it grow
inside our pink desire, desire, the bow
of shoulds untied, shut blinds gape wide, the dare
to thirst defies both wrong and right. And bare
blank need, undress the sin, become sweet dough
of want and want and want and enter in
to evening, be its ears, become the sound
of something humming like the motor of
bright spheres revolving, deep hypnotic din
of yes, be curious, come join this round
our universe is chanting, love (oh!) love.
To her son:
In Moments Before Sleep
What did I achieve today?
Built forts with my boy
out of chairs and couch cushions,
Crawled inside then tore them down.
Chased together the scent of something sweet,
never finding the flower from which it came.
Shared a mid-afternoon picnic of mango and strawberry crumble
sprawling on the kitchen floor.
Soaked and cleaned the dish.
Our search for asparagus beneath cherry trees, thwarted.
Our wooden train track with eight loops and three hills
disassembled and boxed and stowed.
His teeth brushed, my teeth brushed.
Our clothes in the pile to be washed tomorrow.
Love so strong it broke the cage
that my taste for flight had become,
tamed my hope for freedom to do the to do list,
turned me from the one self to the huge self
small gift by small gift.
To her husband:
His skin is sun burnished, wrinkled with age.
He has been walking toward you for so long,
walking toward you and holding out his hand
and smiling, perhaps as if to say, Walk
with me in the peaches today. We can see
how they’re ripening. He takes a knife from his pocket
and slices one open, says, See how the pit has yet to harden.
Just because he’s raised them with diligence, tenderness,
doesn’t mean they will thrive. Comes frost. Hail.
Comes twig borer. Crown borer. Green aphids. Mites.
Comes exhaustion. Drought. Disease. He and I
take a long morning stroll through the trees. Some with leaves
wilting, limbs flagging, fruit pocked. Love holds my hand
and we walk. Some trees heavy laden with ripening
and the branches arcing like the mind in spring. All day
I memorize his face, the way he moves forward through all that is.
I marvel that with so much sweetness around me
I managed somehow to be hungry.
To a friend in need:
And If I Were There
If I Were There, I Would Hold You and Not Say Anything
It is not enough that we love.
It is not enough to hold each other
when shadows multiply.
Misfortunes procreate like jackrabbits in the field.
Misery more times more.
I travel inside your heart and hear weeping.
You let me walk in your gardens of hope
and I watch the flowers fail.
Sometimes rain refuses to come.
Sometimes sun is too much with us.
And sometimes it’s just not enough
that we plant a seed and tend it daily:
weed, fertilize and pray.
The seedling might die anyway.
And we may never know why.
But if we don’t plant flowers,
thorns come in.
And when we don’t grow gardens,
we build prisons.
It is not enough that we love,
and we must love anyway.
And when it is cold, we must hold each other.
When it is time, we must let go.
And when shadows come,
I will not run from your sorrow.
I will travel with you as far as you let me,
walk with you as long as you go,
hold your hand, knowing it isn’t enough.
And when it rains, I will dance in your puddles,
dance with you on your fallen blooms,
dance with you in your dimming light.
And when night swallows us with its cold, cold tongues
I will dance with you in the prisons we build.
And listen to me: be awake.
All around us, blessings drop like meteors
and fires escape their rings.
And wanting to help is the secret cup
that spills pleasure and purpose and salve.
And love, I know, is not enough,
but love is what we have.
Rosemerry's plainspoken words build images that surprise. A gift for your loved one that keeps on giving…
To learn more about Rosemerry and her work, click the "play" button and listen to her podcast.