Thursday, November 3, 2011

Of Snowbirds and Icebergs

It’s November 2, which is hard to believe. Harder to believe is that it’s currently 61 degrees outside and a cabbage white butterfly just fluttered past my library window, looking a bit like a miniature version of the great egret in the above photo.

But just because it’s a balmy day in Western New York doesn’t mean this snowbird and her husband aren’t ready to head to the sunny, warmer climes of Florida (80 degrees in North Fort Myers as I write) where our condo on the Caloosahatchee awaits. A week from today, we’ll have turned south for a leisurely 1400-mile drive to our subtropical home, stopping along the way to visit friends in West Virginia and in Georgia. I’m packed, ready to go. Roger will get there by the time we’re due to pull out of the driveway.

But meanwhile, we’re busy saying goodbye to friends and neighbors, running a few errands (get those Rx’s filled!), and walking the roads along farm fields now shorn of cornstalks and soybeans. The fields look naked, even more so since the last of the Canada geese have departed for fresh fields, warmer waters.

But right now, my mind’s eye turns even farther south…

…to Antarctica!

That’s because it’s time for me to invite you to order a copy of my new book, The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica from Finishing Line Press.

Now, you can travel with me on a journey to the ends of the earth and partake in our many beautiful discoveries in Antarctica.

Maybe you’ve been there and long to see it again (and smell the penguin rookeries). Or maybe it’s on your bucket list and you are scrimping and saving for the expensive expedition. Or maybe you’re an armchair traveler who relishes others’ adventures to the Earth’s far-flung places. Or maybe (except for the movie Happy Feet) Antarctica isn’t even on your mental map, merely a word that means “cold.”

Whatever your outlook, now’s the time to (re)discover the magic of Antarctica – for only $14 (plus shipping). Just order your copy (or copies) of my newest book The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica, from Finishing Line Press.

As award-winning poet Beau Cutts points out: “You have never before read a collection of poems about the coldest-highest-windiest place on planet Earth!” But now you can, in this unique collection.

You’ll meet those whimsical (and smelly) penguins and other arctic birds. You’ll chase whales across rough seas. You’ll come to understand that Antarctica is far more “The Blue Continent” than “The White Continent” as you face icebergs the size of city blocks. You’ll even encounter the enchanting green of the island continent – its 500-year-old mosses. And you’ll watch as global warming tightens its grip on the great storehouses of ice.

I hope you’ll want to travel with us across the famed Drake Passage to a land of “beauty, terror, silence,/ the blue awe of Antarctica.”

To entice you, I’ll share one of my favorite poems from the collection:


Lo! I’m awake, I think, and blinking.
Because what to my wondering eye
has appeared this bright morning
right outside my cabin porthole?
Penguins! Batches of chinstraps,
gaggles of plump toddling birds
in black berets, black capes,
white bibs and—pink sneakers!
Waddle, hop, waddle, waddle, hop, hop,
sli-i-i-i-ide to the fast-ice edge
for an early hour’s frigid dive.
Make way for pudgy, hungry,
flipper-flapping penguins
and penguins tooting their kazoo voices:
Krill, krill, krill, we’ll get our fill!
And off the briny brink they go—
plop, plop, plop, plop, splash—
into the deep blue smorgasbord,
into the rich Antarctic seas.
Another fine day gets under way
in penguin paradise. Ah, penguin glory!


Please order a copy now.

I’ll be frank: Orders placed now will determine how many copies FLP prints—of if they print the book at all. (I need to help FLP sell a minimum 50 books from now through the pre-sale period ending Nov. 23; such are the vicissitudes of small-press publishing these days.)

It’s easy. To order your copy/copies of The Ice Decides, go to this FLP direct link

I thank you, the penguins thank you and you’ll thank yourself for voyaging with me to “The White Continent.”

And I thank those faithful “fans” who’ve already ordered copies!

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the many pleasures of the new issue of The Centrifugal Eye where I work as assistant editor and book review columnist. You’ll discover a chorus of eloquent poetic voices (including yours truly, if I may be so immodest), book reviews (don’t miss the one for my previous book, The Urn; writer Danielle Blasko does a boffo job of tackling the book) and an interview with and essay by poet Maureen Kingston. Just hop over to and click on the “New Issue” tab! Plunge into the beauty.

Happy November. See you next time from Florida.