Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year for mother earth. The EPA shut down, the utter denial of human caused climate change, and the fight to protect water from big oil companies such as Dakota Access. Whether you believe that climate change is human caused or natural, whether you believe that an oil pipeline is just the thing America needs right now, or whether you believe the EPA should keep it’s Twitter quiet, can we not all agree that Mother Nature has done so much for us? Not just as a home, but as a place that helps to shape us as humans. There could come a day when the rivers we played in as children disappear or become unfamiliar, perhaps even uninhabitable to many species. Take Tennessee for example: According to Tennessee's website, they expect “rivers and streams, and some lakes, [to be] impacted by warmer temperatures associated with climate change.” Species that rely on this habitat may migrate somewhere else or simply die. Is it not time to remind ourselves why features such as rivers matter so much?
Janice Keck Literary Award winner, Sandy Coomer, has released a new poetry collection, Rivers Within Us, that embraces and gives voice to Mother Nature through rivers, reminding us how to be human. Rivers, according to Sandy Coomer, connect us when “we’re desperate to see something kind / when we look into humanity’s eyes.” More importantly, her collection is a reminder of how “There are rivers within us -- /galloping herds of horses, hummingbirds that beat /their tiny hearts millions of times between the bee balm and the sage.”
Sandy Coomer’s, Rivers Within Us could not be more timely with its publication amidst such turmoil and attacks against the environment. Maybe it's time we take a stand and remind ourselves what the river has to say once again. October marks the release date for Rivers Within Us from Unsolicited Press. You can purchase Coomer’s collection through their website, unsolicited press.com. It’s about time we started listening to what our home has been trying to tell us all along.
Remember digging your toes into the sand, the grains squished between those ten little digits, grasping for warmth as the river rushes past the tops of your feet; the cool feeling of water that seems to sate the thirst of the soul in need of refreshment? Giggles ensued between you and your friends--happy memories created that you can go back to time and time again during not so happy days. You can’t help but relax when you hear the indecipherable but comforting babbles of the river.
Revisit the river once again with Janice Keck Literary Award winner Sandy Coomer in her new poetry collection, Rivers Within Us. Sandy Coomer uses the river as the central image in her collection to help convey a theme that
“There are rivers within us --
galloping herds of horses, hummingbirds that beat
their tiny hearts millions of times between the bee balm and the sage.”
Coomer’s collection is saturated with natural imagery that does an excellent job of showing aspects of ourselves that we may embrace, shun in embarrassment, or never realized existed in the first place.
In other words, her collection is about what makes us human. Coomer’s symbolic river comes alive and pervades the text and your entire being, even where no rivers exist, as if the narration is told by the river. This intense look into how dreams, death, and the connections we make are all aspects of our humanity that we have to learn how to navigate. Next time you’re digging your toes into the sand, you’ll listen to the sounds of the river with a new appreciation.
Be on the lookout for Rivers Within Us in December, which you can buy from unsolictedpress.com!
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