Mark My Words
L. June Stevenson


In this collection, Stevenson pays tribute to living. Her opening poems detail woodland creatures and their daily rituals in the different seasons throughout the year. She likens her seasonal poems to passages from the Bible. Isaiah talked about the wolf, the lamb, the leopard and the goat. Stevenson talks about the chickadee, the rabbit, the robin, the turtle and the cat. “Fluffy wings,” a “panther-like pose” and “flap of beaver tails” entertain the reader.
May of her poems have a fairytale-like essence, and allude to fantasy. “Butterflies and bears / Kisses and hugs” greet you on a "Butterfly Afternoon." She pays tribute to Alice in Wonderland, Camelot, and Puff the Magic Dragon while addressing more serious topics including alcoholism, mental illness, the disabled, homelessness and separation.
In her poem "Sour Wine and Raw Sewage" come the lines,
“Drunk and downtrodden / Alienated from friends and family
The street became home / Lonely, lonely, lonely.”
The ghost in her award winning poem "Silhouette on the Snow" is her shadow that takes the reader “into the swirling wind / Footfall after footfall.”
Most moving is the tribute to her mother in her poem "Mother, Go Gently."
She opens her “treasure box of life” and lays bare “a million memories” including “picnics in the park”, “valentine cakes” and “pink candy floss hours” while her mother is in palliative care.
Stevenson expresses her devotion to God in the last few poems of the book. This is where the author is made whole and is no longer just a work in progress. Her poem "Creator" sums up her devotion in the following lines:
“The God who paints the rainbow out of rain
And bids the sun to rise and shine each day
Can shape exceeding beauty out of pain.”
This book is a must-read for those who enjoy nature poetry, religious poetry and poems with a social conscience.
Date Added: 06/06/2017 by I. B. Iskov
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