Free-Fall Book Cover

(New Jersey: Inka Publications, 1998)
ISBN 1-57502-933-2
Price: $8.50

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“Take a breath
and dive into the chasm
totally alone
at one with air

fall headlong
through untried space
against sameness
soar on lines of dare
awash with angst.

Now prepare
to ride inside the slipstream
pull on rip cord

loosen flapping spells

dandle on these
fragile threads of mind-silk
intricately woven

to deliver.”

Free-Fall is a compilation of free verse written between 1996 and 1998. The poem “Revelation” first appeared in Poet’s Paper, and this collection also contains the top ten winning entries of the Inka Publications Poetry Showcase Competition of 1997. First place went to Elizabeth Carroll’s “March 17,” and other notable entries were submitted by Alice E. Johansen, Blanche Gruen, Jane M. Long, Kathleen Carlton Johnson, Joyce G. Moyna, Roberta Pughe, Rochelle L. Holt, Donald Cochran, and Maureen Lanagan Haggerty.

From the author:

Several of the themes in Free-Fall were inspired by current events or historical reminders. These include “Death of a Princess,” written to commemorate Princess Diana, and a poem regarding the trial of Louise Woodward (October 1997) entitled, “ . . .With Liberty and Justice for All.” Also “Tour of Alcatraz,” “Operation: Rolling Thunder,” and “Salem” examine how past occurrences might offer some valuable insights for the future.

Certain poems are personal, such as “Mother,” Odyssey,” and “Poem for a Funeral,” while others are triggered from literary sources. These account for “Echoes of Hemingway,” and “Deadbeat”, dedicated to Allen Ginsberg. Much of my verse addresses the natural world as in “Sea,” “Identity,” “Storm,” “At the Zoo,” and “Wolf.”

My favorite poem is the extended “An Exercise in Blasphemy,” which suggests that if we found habitable circumstances on another planet similar to Earth we might create some type of Eden experiment and finally becomes as Gods ourselves.

Excerpt from Free-Fall : “Captive”

You were always the legend among us –
dainty in danger
a silhouette
who flew as wild as the flame.

We envied such daring –
a sliver of silver
brave bolt of lightning
who cracked down confines of youth.

No rules ever chained that spirit –
amoral, angry
smelling of sex
you charred them all to cinders.

But you drifted aimless and pregnant –
let life weigh down
each baby a stone in your grate.

For ten years the dragon dozed dormant –
then burst on soiled wings
abandoned the cave
left treasure smashed flat under claw.

I heard your roar from across the sea –
sighed helpless as men submitted
tried with reason, you blew it away
finally adult and hungry.

Unfocused, you pillaged the family –
uninhibited, aging
left bones as ash
and tears for the suicide to drown in.

You rolled in a pain reaction –
on steam screaming clouds
against bloodied skies
lay conquered and shed yourself whole.

Now someone has finally ringed you –
lost in his dungeon
cloistered by shadow
he listens, and rattles the key.

It is visiting time –
I whisper through railings
and wait
for your spark to rekindle.