Sunday, July 20, 2008



The Blue Moon Series by Rodger Martin, with Illustrations by Chad Gowey
(Hobblebush Books, Brookline, N.H., 2007)

Everyone involved with creating this beautiful little book should be proud. From the surreal illustrations to the subtly intense poetry, this work by the award winning poet and artist is first rate. Together, they set a somewhat haunting tone as each month of the year presents its own unique ambience.

For example, in “March: The Chaste Moon” readers will walk the foggy streets of London by night. Martin’s words will take you there:
London drizzled this early November evening,
but now the overcast dissipates and the foggy drift
of coal smoke settles like gunpowder’s acrid
afterspice once the fireworks have silenced.
A lunar glow trims the glistening spires.

Human imagination can run wild at night, when the moon is full and shadows prowl and the screech of an owl penetrates our marrow. This excerpt from “May: The Panther Moon” gave me shivers:
When the moon has depth and Minerva’s bird
calls clear and cold as death,
sleep eludes the living.

“June: The Dyad Moon (Along the Monadnock Watch)" is a powerful poem, gut wrenching in its pristine beauty. Martin’s poetic skill and Gowey’s illustration commemorate a tragedy amidst Nature’s elegance. The first verse provides a nocturnal backdrop:
Moonglow casts deep to the dark spine
and flank of this ancient whale of a rock.
And here beached by the edge of a marsh
stream, like a salt, like an almost Roman
outpost, stands a well, guarding hemlock
and brush while mist unveils its tapestry.

In “October: The Hunter’s Moon (Wolf)” the poet dreams and becomes the wolf in spirit:
In the 3 a.m. dark,
I nuzzle you well, own my dream
And the leafless stem of time.

In the soft breathing
your pads become my tread.
Your smooth, worn claws
glisten in the starlight.

The Blue Moon Series is exceptional in every way and highly recommended.


Laurel Johnson is a Retired Registered Nurse and the author of four books. She is Senior Reviewer for Midwest Book Review and Review Editor for New Works Review. Her poetry and prose can be found online in various literary e-zines. She lives in Kansas with her husband of forty-plus years.

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