Dream-Shuttle by Carolyn Gelland

At the outset of this collection Carolyn Gelland evokes a primordial sense of awareness of the human condition and perhaps an archetypal image of man alone before the universe as her first poem states, “Sometimes the black tar / sky descends on me / and I wish to burn again, // a knee dancing / around a fire and a mound.” As such, in Dream-Shuttle Gelland examines the world around her as she searches for relevance and meaning through her meditative responses to the past and her thoughtful observations of the present. She delights in nature and simple things like a summer wind that “plays / with a yellow / curtain…” and peacocks “calling / in their / rusty voices.” Yet, she can startle the reader as well with a nuclear explosion that “melts eyeballs, / explodes / in flung bodies,” or recall a Viking ship with its rows of oarsmen. We wander through history and back through these well-crafted poems that weave mythology, history, art, and the natural world with a dream world that leaves us wanting to read these poems again and again.  This is a profound and powerful second collection of poetry by Carolyn Gelland.
--Jonathan K. Rice


This is where grandmother,
her body fat with magic,
stopped the north wind blowing.
She climbed into the wind
like it was a tree,
her breath one big pump inside her,
and the leaves climbed
stairways through the air.
She rode around with the wind all day,
a wild bird on his shoulder,
leaves and vines not letting
one another go.
Wind, wind, silent
in the way of howling dogs,
blowing in the blue
head of the sky,
empty your buckets
full of Sundays,
shake down a river of apples
so baby’s cradle can fall.
The crackling hangs there
in the quiet
chanting of the air.
Darkness deepens into crows.

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