Softcover $12.95  ISBN 0-9661072-1-7


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This one can't fly: he's got
    stubby wings, he's old
as space or time;  he's gone
    to fat.  And now he even
disregards the omens that he never
    should have learned to read
at all:  blistered skies,
    the sticky secrets
in the bowels of toads.
    He's used up his store
of magic, he's half-blind,
    but he's crusty
as good bread and willing:
    in the moonlight,
he struggles up the shadows
    towards god, hears   
the wheezing orchestration
    of embodied lives
-- he always sings low
    his one hoarse note,
always tumbles down to where
    we save him again
and again he falls
    like a hailstone
from some heaven
    and we will save him.


Praise For The Various Reasons of Light

In Renée Ashley’s remarkable new collection, The Various Reasons of Light , her delicate meditations are lit by the steady - if solitary - flame of the human spirit. These poems celebrate the most ephemeral aspects of human desires and aspirations as the volume moves toward what the poet calls, with typical grace, the profound "generosity of souls". Like a secular prayer book, this collection illumines our apprehensions of the encroaching dark with the fierce exigencies of (divine) light; their conflict, if not mortal, is clearly moral. In this wise and deeply consoling book, every angel grows necessary.
- David St. John
author of Study for the World’s Body
Ashley’s The Various Reasons of Light renders the outer provinces of the spirit world perceptible, and then inviting. These poems shed what was once called "voice" for something more strange — a tone from the Beyond that nevertheless captures, in a weightless Rilkean trance, more light.
- Judith Hall
author of Anatomy, Errata

SALT by Renée Ashley  |   Reviews of The Various Reasons of Light
Reviews  |  also read another poem:  For Brigit in Illinois
The Revisionist's Dream
Renée Ashley  |   Books

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