in praise of
HEALING & CONFLICT
‘I have come to understand / that my poems are not poems . . . but the poetics of the earth’ (‘Introduction Part I’). Ray Zimmerman explores nature through language and language through nature. With images and similes like ‘The winter snow arrived like a sonnet. / It reached the house in three waves, / capped by a couplet of ice’ (‘Winter Snow’), the reader becomes immersed in Zimmerman’s vivid landscape, both verbal and actual. Though he claims, ‘My poems are shadows on the wall’ (‘Intro Part II’), Zimmerman’s words intrigue the reader as she delves into the subtext of these poems, and they continue to haunt her long after the book is closed.
KB Ballentine Almost Everything, Almost Nothing
In ‘Introduction, Part II,’ Zimmerman says ‘If you enjoy my poem about falling rain or about cranes in flight . . . go and watch rain falling on parched earth . . . listen to cranes trumpeting as they take to the air.’ These poems not only have a prayerful devotion to the natural world but use specific names, images and Zimmerman’s hard won humor from handling hawks, eagles and owls. His sensory details and deeply personal voice enrich the poetic work in this new collection.
Ray Zimmerman’s collection of poems Healing and Conflict invites the reader outside: ‘go and watch/rain falling on parched earth. /see it come back to life.’ His words, like that rain, are transformative to those who look and listen. Trees burn with ice, water cascades, booming, against mountain hardwoods. Most memorable are the birds. Warblers, hawks, barred owls, chickadees, and cranes provide this book’s unifying motif, and a delightful surprise, when the reader joins a flock of blackbirds in flight.
Marsha Mathews, Beauty Bound