Walk Like the Bird Flies

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These poems transport us from Texas desert landscapes to New England mountains to Adriatic tavernas, festivals, and landmarks, and at the same time they offer vivid confrontations with the elements of the natural world—mud, fire, water, forests, the wind that possibly “[carries] messages from beyond”—treating both foreign cities and nature’s manifestations as phenomena to observe and honor through the eyes of an estranged but receptive traveler. Susan Ayres fuses images from inner and outer landscapes, raising questions that can’t be answered and perspectives that can’t be contained but nevertheless offer sparks of revelation in poem after poem.

–Leslie Ullman, (The You That All Along Has Housed You and Library of Small Happiness)

“Listen to me as one listens to the rain,” Susan Ayres begins this incredible journey, because only when she listens to the rain can her imagination wander and guide us through a history and geography that is at once personal and cosmic in its reach. Indeed, she ends with a long poem that itself carries us from “from silkworms to / Skies.” But what is even more exciting, and so skillfully done, is the kind counterpointing that moves us from a medieval bridge in Slovenia to the American west to a contemporary beach to Led Zeppelin, a combination that requires great skill and vision. And skill and vision are what we have here, giving us a new sense and appreciation of our world, for Ayres has given us poetry’s version of Galileo’s Starry Messenger.

–Richard Jackson, Author of The World as Framed: New and Select Poems


Finishing Line Press

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