on February 4, 2000
In Butterfly Effect, experienced poet Harry Humes draws on the landscape of his native mountains, moving fluidly between the world of physical experience and the world of symbol and myth. Gladiola Man: Each spring he'd plant acres of them,/and not one for sale,/every day weeding, loosening the soil,/fluttering over the spears,/then the big blossoms./He'd kneel, almost invisible/in the rows where we knew/he was talking to them,/sobbing when wind snapped a stem./Each October he'd cut them back./carry the sheaves to the fields' edges,/then dig up the bulbs,/gently life them out,/lay them side by side,/as if he were Leakey at Olduvai Gorge,/standing alone at evening,/fitting together dry silence.
on October 11, 1999
So many poets recently want to make huge declarations about life and art that they sound more like preacher-philosophers than skilled practitioners of the language of poetry. So it was refreshing to come across this gem--a subtle, quiet (yet not so quiet) celebration of the images and epiphanies that touch and affect our lives. A small book (in length) but one with astounding beauty and depth.