This Tenderest Petal Hears is a skillfully executed poetic testament not only to a life fully lived, but a life lived with razor-sharp reflection, sensitivity, love, yearning, the power of memory, and the transcendent capabilities of language carefully studied, appreciated, and utilized to its full potential. Simultaneously classical and contemporary, these poems are richly textured with allusions to mythology, history, philosophy, music, fairy tales, and psychology: composed by a poet well versed in both the great literature of the past and the present. The poet's diction, although accessible to the college-educated reader, is scintillant with daring word clusters and intriguing turns of phrase:" ... Quixote midget tilting at little windmills," " ... trumpeted yowls / dancing on chordal clouds," " ... misty-mint aura / washing pastel across the day," "Orioles flap hunger to jam-dolloped platters," "rising like purple pagodas, spirit-scenting / promised whispers of healing," and "when a lover traced the curve of my hip / as if it were the lip of God."
With an incantatory voice one would expect from a shaman, the poet of these poems leads the reader through a contemporary inferno of existential angst, betrayal, abuse, homophobia, the undying love and horrors of familial relationships, and promise unfulfilled, only to redeem that reader with the splendors and unfathomable mysteries of the natural world teeming at their fingertips.
Larry D. Thomas, Contest Judge2008 Texas Poet Laureate