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Phases. The word brings to mind the chapters of one’s life—childhood, teenager, young adulthood, old age; the stages of the moon; the seasons. All of that imagery inspired Erika Moss Gordon’s Phases (Middle Creek Publishing & Audio, February 2016), a poignant collection of poetry that comes out this month.
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The selection of 50 poems, some a mere three lines long, explores the beauty and peace that we can receive from the natural world—and from love—if we allow it. “Nature just reflects our lives,” she says. “Sure, it’s a metaphor—all the passings and bloomings and newness and death—but you can’t separate the two.” With a minimalist style, the Ridgway-based writer takes readers on a journey through her own process of self-discovery. She writes of puddles and mountains (“…but up here / it is blinding / blowing, beating / blessing, and then / we are flying”) and canyons, and as readers explore these areas with Gordon, they also see the uncertainty and excitement and sense of loss that weave through all of our lives.
Phases reflects the past three or so years of Gordon’s life, a time during which she split with her husband, moved back to her home state, and fell in love again. “Writing poetry is how I process things,” she says. Readers, too, will likely find a piece of themselves in Gordon’s words.
Phases is currently available for pre-order for $14 on the Middle Creek website. Hear Gordon read some of her poetry live at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival in May, as part of the literary burlesque classes.
—Inset photo courtesy of Brenda Colwell