Laura Grace Weldon Tending.jpg

I like the feeling of dropping the needle onto a new album. Some of the tracks will be familiar already, thanks to radio, and others will be new, like unexpected gifts.

Laura Grace Weldon’s volume Tending is like that. The words are chosen and arranged beautifully–the images uniformly delightful. Some are songs I recognize and others are fresh and unfamiliar, their authenticity validated by the truth of those familiar.

I’ve never been a teenage girl with an imaginary boyfriend, but I have stretched to reach a distant blackberry (the best ones are always the farthest away), briers grabbing my clothes and tearing my face. And I’ve learned from experience, as she has, how to hold the bowl when you stumble.

I never learned tea party manners, but I have baled hay deep into the night, enjoying the satisfaction that comes from a long hard day sweating in a field with one’s children. Those days are in my past now, but I nod in agreement when I read: “even swallowing this day/I couldn’t feel more whole.”

I’ve never seen a window washer reading poetry while dangling from a skyscraper, but I have been moved to prayer at the sight of a CAFO.

And I think it’s like prayer
to farm, mindful
that plants and animals
need to be exactly where they are,
seeing as nature is God drawing circles
for us to learn the shape of things.

And, increasingly these days, I too am

weary of those who talk
in slogans stamped and packed
by someone else, like
long distance truckers paid to drive
without knowing the weight
hauled onto that dark highway.

Yes, well said, I think, smiling at the reminder of a tractor in a hay field “circling ever inward,” and journeys that “trace all the way back to blessed dirt.” And likewise at the image of some future archaeologist discovering the truth of the aluminum salesman’s pitch.

This is a record whose grooves deserve to be well worn.


7 comments on “Tending

  1. BeeHappee says:

    Thank you for reviewing Laura’s poetry, Bill. I love her writing, devour it, and it becomes part of me. It is good to hear that music play and connect us. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for once again sharing Laura’s poetry… I followed the links and I am a new, enthusiastic follower. She speaks our language and renders my thoughts via her poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Glad you enjoyed the poems as much as I do. There were a few I referenced that I didn’t link to, because I couldn’t find them online. It’s an outstanding collection.


  3. Hand on my heart astonished to happen upon your lovely review of my book, Bill. It means the world to me coming from a writer I admire and a man whose life I deeply respect. I won’t be just be singing in the barn this morning, I’ll be dancing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I’ve been enjoying the book for months now. When I was driving to the farmer’s market yesterday morning it struck me that reading it was like listening to an album that has both new and familiar songs on it, so I wrote this when I got home. Glad you liked the review. You are a gifted poet.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s