Home By Another Road
it's a book, it's a poem, it's a painting!
The big leaf maples are blazing yellow and gold before their mitt sized leaves flutter to the ground, eddying along the road whipped by cars traveling the highway in front of my home, and floating out to sea with the ebb tide, nature’s love notes sent to ferry our remembrances to the beloved departed. I’m drinking hot tea all day long and between storms turning my face to the sun, a lounge lizard absorbing welcome warmth that’s not pumped or piped. All this to say, I’m finally making good on my promise last month to welcome you to Home By Another Road.
“Home By Another Road: If there was only a single poetry book
left in this world, I hope it would be this one!” -John
Home By Another Road will be 5 years old in February, and aside from the author copies I’ve ordered and given away, there are 99 copies out in the world — a number I just discovered today, and a number that I think is simply wonderful, especially considering I never think about numbers. Like most writers my desire is to contribute to meaning making through my art and craft and to connect with others through the words and works I offer.
Two months ago I received a hand-written note from the father of a dear friend thanking me for my books of poetry. John has “read them and have started to re-read them with an intense hunger for more.” It’s rare to know how our words impact others, and I’m humbled, gratified, and inspired by the gift of John’s note.
I’d love for Home By Another Road to find its way to more readers, so I’m making it available for free on Kindle through Amazon for the next 5 days, October 14th - 18th. If you don’t already have it, please download it then, and share the link with friends, or buy them a gift copy at no-cost. It will be fabulous to have 100+ copies circulating.
The poem “Home By Another Road” served as the inspiration for an abstract painting by my soul sister Tarah Trueblood, who included portions of the poem on her canvas before painting. Tarah creates her vibrant and joyful works in Oxford, Ohio, and can be found at art fairs throughout the region. In September a woman spent many minutes engaging with the painting “Home By Another Road” at a fair in Kentucky, and was moved to tears as the art struck a deep chord. She left the booth (presumably to be with her experience in a more private setting), and came back later to purchase the painting.
Finally, but first in time, here’s the poem that gave birth to the book and painting, dedicated to my husband Kevin, and my soul sisters Becky and Tarah.
Home By Another Road
I can’t tell you how it happens
except to say it does—
gradually often imperceptibly
until resting on the far side
we turn back to peer
into the tunnel—
cramped, damp, foreboding—
from which we’ve emerged.
Between hard place and rock
we somehow squeeze through
scraping years and inches
at a time until we crawl free
a bit bloody, but wiser, kinder
more resilient than possible.
We are not the same ones
who set out so long ago
innocent and unscathed.
Train wrecks and trauma
cancer and crashed economies
divorce, despair, and death—
familiar foes are shot through
the beautiful broken lives we lead.
And yet look at us, here we still are
walking home by another road
carrying the mended shards of dreams
in astounding new configurations.
Your resilience is pure miracle—
and if I believe in anything
I believe because of you
who still love—despite everything.
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