Retrievals by Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson's work has always been meditative, rich in images, and humanly important.  He deals with war and death and love.  This book contains shorter poems than many of his older books.  They are no less rich, however.  They are so deep you have to leave this world to accompany them.  They leave you entranced.  Perspective is shifted--how you perceive a situation or an object changes what is there (see "Taking Aim" except below).  The poems often share images and ideas--calling to each other like tropical birds in a dense forest.  You want to read this book, so buy it here.

 

From "Taking Aim"

That's when a bird flies out of the heart, out of memory. / What we see depends on who we are.  Only things / that seem to have no meaning gather meaning later on. / Debris lifts the land an average of 4.7 feet each century. / A ton of micro meteoric dust falls to earth every hour. / Who we are depends on what we see. . .

 

From "Ruins: Convent, Lisbon"

If we trace everything back to the Big Bang then we return / to the emptiness we'll become. In Siberia they have uncovered / the bones of Denisovans who no one can explain but who were / related to humans. In the end we have to believe in ourselves. / The clouds roll up like ancient scrolls. Too often the ruins / we leave behind are not enough. Even the sky becomes a dungeon. . .

 

From "Lidice: The Children's Statues"

They are looking at a town made from splinters of memory. / On the opposite hill, only a marker where the church stood, / where the few birds seems crawl across the sky. If you / think about death long enough it begins to think about you . . .