…It’s Enough by Elizabeth Cunningham
An excerpt from So Ecstasy Can Find You
it is all poetry, even a dark morning
at the end of fall, twisting oak branches revealed,
small birds and the last lacy leaves still holding fast
rivers and rivulets in the dirt after rain
also branch and curve like trees and hieroglyphic
trails of mice and birds and bees make more metaphor
a cloudy sky is only dull when you don’t look
into all the layered meanings of grey and white
and catch the subtle motion of this dense, high mist
the rainbow rises and roots in forests of gold,
we the lucky ones who find the shining treasure
no need for pockets or sacks to carry it home
a white bird with wide wings flying from wood to field
huge and silent, not a hawk, could it be an owl?
everything in me quiets to watch and wonder.
Elizabeth, what do you need to do but witness?
why do you trouble yourself with judging your worth?
climb the mountains, stand in your backyard, it’s enough.
In her third collection of poems, novelist Elizabeth Cunningham leads us on an intimate journey into forest and mountain, garden and dream, along a hidden stream bed and beside a friend’s deathbed. She also explores poetic form, drawing inspiration from ghazal, haiku, tanka, and song lyric. Eye and ear are equally important to Cunningham; her images are rich, her rhythms, sure. By turns wry and tender, awed and amused, the collection displays the emotional range of a writer whose questions have led her on a quest, whether it is following blue trail markers along a cliff or confronting her own aging and death. These poems are grounded (literally and figuratively) in Cunningham’s ecstatic connection with the earth in all its strength, fragility and mystery.