I am not someone who understands poetry. It either resonates or not, that simple. We have some wonderful poets pass through the Berkeley Writer’s Group and I often feel guilty at my inadequate feedback.
But every once in a while, a poem really captures my imagination. This happened with the very talented Laura Schulkind, who read a poem called The Ancient Stories.
Laura will release her first collection, Lost In Tall Grass, (including The Ancient Stories) in March. Her publisher, Finishing Line Press will gauge the print run according to pre-orders in the next two weeks.
If you are moved by the poem, motivated to helping promote poets, enjoy supporting Bay Area artists, or have friends who would appreciate a thoughtful gift, please join me and pre-order a copy of Lost In Tall Grass before January 20.
THE ANCIENT STORIES – Laura Schulkind
I want to hear the ancient stories.
No, not Homer.
He was a pretty modern guy—
jealousy, pride, conquest, lineage,
I mean the stories howled around fires
when the handprints were fresh on the cave walls,
and humans shared the earth with woolly mammoths
and barely knew the connection between sex and life.
The stories humans told
at that split second in time
when we had the words
to tell our animal stories.
Before words erased our howls.
Before the word hate, or love.
Before the word loss.
Before the word blame.
Before the past subjunctive, or hypothetically speaking,
as it were.
When the whole of our vocabulary
the whole of our world was
hungry, hunt, eat, cold, warmth, fire, sleep, fuck, play, danger, run,
protect the young, oh yes from the very beginning protect the young.
Stories that I could hear above the complicated noise of you.
Deciphered from the ancient scrolls of my DNA.
Pre-order Lost In Tall Grass here.
Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, The First Decree, and Ashbar – Wycaan Master Book 3 – all released by Tourmaline Books. Shalev is also the author of three social justice-themed novels including Unwanted Heroes. He swears there is a connection. More at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter). Hang out with Alon on Google+