I had the great honor and privilege of previewing and writing the following blurb for the back cover of Robert Okaji’s newest chapbook, I Have a Bird to Whistle (Luminous Press):
In I Have a Bird to Whistle, Robert Okaji masterfully constructs a universe of incisively beautiful sensory observations, in which the poet lives at the crux—owns and revels in the “life energy” of the “liminal”—between “unshuttered” stimuli and the “concealed” truth of existence. Here, where every ray of light shed on an otherwise “transitory” moment celebrates the gift of consciousness, and every deviation from expectation substantiates the self-actualizing force of human will, the language of poetry—of colors, sounds, and symbols—circumscribes our very being, as it drives our search for meaning. As nuanced as they are bold and delectable, these poems are utterly human, and utterly divine!
– Stephanie L. Harper, author of This Being Done and The Death’s-Head’s Testament.
In short, this is a reading experience like no other, that you simply don’t want to miss!
U.S. Residents can purchase I Have a Bird to Whistle HERE for the fantastic price of $7.50/copy, shipping included. Non-U.S. purchasers can order directly from Robert by emailing aBirdtoWhistle@yahoo.com.
My poem, “Prologue to My Birth,” is up at esteemed editor, translator, poet and artist, Bonnie McClellan’s 2017 International Poetry Month Celebration! Bonnie will be featuring a poem per day for 28 days following this year’s theme, “Neural Networks: The Creative Power of Language.” I hope you’ll enjoy following this rich, diverse, international network of creative voices. Thank you for your support!
Mindful of my sandy feet skimming the sea-foam
I still try tiptoeing
the silvery flicker that parts the waters because
unlike Christ’s canonized stroll upon the waves
of wresting words loose from language
& setting their dolphin bodies forth
to swim into their unbound meanings
ensconced in a halo of mist
along with everything
every last pearlescent thing
that was lost to us
when we were emptied
& jettisoned into the sea
Illustration by S. L. Harper
The words from the dream are
wisps in the air like broken
spider webs wrapping invisibly
about my face and forearms
The fake sunrise tarp draped before me
ripples like a summer mirage
half-soaked into the rural street
and then as if I were not supposed to
I step through and place my foot
solidly into an evening of dark specters
waiting outside of their existence
to become what I am
I am the cool turpentine
wash of grays seeping over
a dusting of brown sand in the road
I am the night falling upon
neglected pastures of weeds
sputtering up about the silhouettes
of tree stumps and old swing sets
I am the street lamps’ sallow illumine
peering out sensibly from between
foolish tree skeleton embraces
and I am still the child
twisting acorns into the asphalt
with the soles of her shoes
squealing gleefully into the night
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
“Unvoiced” made its first appearance in Sixfold magazine, winter 2013 edition.
I was inspired to include it on my site today after reading a little metaphysical beauty posted on Robert Okaji’s O at the Edges , called “Irretrievable.”