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Season of Flowers and Dust by Gregg Mosson

Season of Flowers and Dust by Gregg Mosson, published by Goose River Press, is a journey in nature, particularly the nature of the Pacific Northwest during the Fall, Winter, and Spring.  Yes, no summer poems here.  In each poem, nature is winding down toward hibernation, and when winter settles in, readers will feel the cold in their bones as “the white-out of sudden tundra,/driveways are culled, families forge snowmen” in “First Snowfall.” (page 25), and when “winter’s chrysalis” in “Winter Rainfall” takes over.  Mosson has clearly spent time sitting, watching, and being with nature during these seasons, as his verse captures the movement of water, wind, and more so easily.

Readers will picture themselves in the Pacific-Northwest, even if they’ve never been there, which is particularly true of his poem “Cannon Beach in Autumn” where the water and the jutting rocks are clearly visible as the lovers untangle themselves and fall into Autumn with the nature around them.  This poem is particularly well crafted as the lovers lose their arms and can no longer hug as the trees lose their branches and leaves, and they drift into one another and create enough friction for a fire to burn.  Does Autumn signify an ending or does it signify a change into something new?

From So Long Flowers, So Long: (page 7)

A sparrow jerks off a twig; vibrations
caterpillar up
From Western Orange Sunset: (page 47)

Sunset opens like the eyes of hurricanes,
spotting the world with swirls of heat,
softening the landscape with tornadoes of light and warmth,
From Burial of Snow Storms: (page 26)

Snowstorms machine-gun humans into homes,
entomb them with just awareness of the world.
They rise to their tasks, but the bombardment
continues.

Mosson’s images have their own rhythm and startling beauty, particularly the vibrations inching along the branch in “So Long Flowers, So Long” and in “Western Orange Sunset,” the sunset becomes as frightening and beautiful as the eye of a hurricane. While much of the collection is in free verse, there also are sonnets, particularly in the “Winter” section, which signifies the compactness and hibernation of the season more so than the free flowing poems in “Spring.” Each poem has a deep reverence for the beauty inherent in nature, but also its ability to change with the seasons.

Season of Flowers and Dust is a journey to the Pacific Northwest that will have readers slowing down and taking in nature with each deep breath. And while these poems evoke beauty and the cycle of seasons, there also is a darkness just beneath the surface that plays at the edges of some poems and is more prominent in others, like “Night on Burnside” and “Burial of Snow Storms.”

About the Poet:

Gregg Mosson is the author of a book of nature poetry, Season of Flowers and Dust (Goose River Press, 2007), and one of social engagement and witness, Questions of Fire (Plain View Press, 2009). His work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Cincinnati Review, and The Potomac Review, among other journals. He has an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where he was a teaching fellow and lecturer, and lives in Maryland.

Click the image below for today’s National Poetry Month Blog Tour Stop!

 

This is my 8th book for the Dive Into Poetry Challenge 2013.

 

 

This is my 19th book for the 2013 New Authors Challenge.

  • Given the title of the collection, I’m not surprised summer was excluded. I’m not a huge fan of nature poems, but for some reason these speak to me. Great review!

  • Interesting that there are no summer ones!!!