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A Disturbance in the Air

by Michele Poulos

2012, 31 pages

"The Golden Age of Herbalists"

When he throws a fist of parsley into the pond,
                the man believes the ailing fish will heal. In 1540,

        William Turner studied plants for the resolve
                        within each one: wolfberry for scars;
lye from gentian roots to clean cloth;
        cardamom to soothe snake venom.

As a boy, he had found his mother on the kitchen floor,
        body bent in half, coughing, eyes watering

        and locked on a distant plane. He fed her evening
primrose oil and the immense choke loosened;
                she breathed once again.

They were more than simples to heal bones
        and cure diseases -- he studied their moods, their networks of
be seed, be influence. You, who are always trying.

        When he finally took to the countryside, he carried
                a sack and a knife, dusk settling

on leaf-points as if in the summer months
                their passions were precisely edged.
        Standing alone in the meadow, he knew everything.

he caught sight of was in the dying
               and would die before he would, yet he held

                        in his hands a garden, an herbal
        he would pen against sickness, soreness, wounds,

the formulas behind the labyrinth of green
                                unfolding before him.

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Audio Samples:

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About the Authors:

Michele Poulos's poems and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2012, The Southern Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. IV Louisiana, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic, Copper Nickel, Sycamore Review, and other journals. Her essays and book reviews have been published in Blackbird and Stone Canoe


Praise For
A Disturbance
in the Air

"In Poulos's new chapbook there is a wierd equipoise of lyric movement, almost visibly still hammocks of language that work through juxtaposition, through brilliant cupola...I do love this poetry."
     ŚNorman Dubie

"A Disturbance in the Air ripples with beauty and wonder...Poulos is writing brave and necessary poems for our lives."
     ŚCynthia Hogue

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