April Poet Profiles: Emily K. Michael

April is National Poetry Month! Even though poets and poetry-lovers will find any excuse to celebrate poetry, it’s fabulous to have 30 days set aside, especially since there’s a popular idea that poetry is dead. So even though we love poetry every day, let’s treat April as a feast-month, a sacred space to honor poetry!

To that end, this post is the first in a series of brief poet profiles. I’ll be sharing a short bio and a few poems by poets local and distant: some friends, some distant colleagues, some strangers. I hope you enjoy this series—and take this chance to let poetry into your life.

As this is my blog, I’ll go first…

*   *   *

Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, Breath & Shadow, Compose Journal, Bridge Eight, Artemis Journal, Disability Rhetoric, and I Am Subject Stories. She recognizes poetry as an ethical and aesthetic challenge—as a place to express her experiences and to question cultural silences. Her favorite poets include  Rainer Maria Rilke, Adrienne Rich, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Seamus Heaney. She offers two poems:

Cello

It captures the sound of the earth,
creaking with the burden of revolution,
and the roots of great trees reaching deep inside,
curling round the axis. It sounds the dappled,
the luminous golden-green of thick foliage, of sunlight
lapping against wide, aged trunks. It rises,
richly sonorous, and pulls at each filament
of the spirit with familiar notes – the soft mellifluous timbre
sliding like warm honey into perception. Thick, supple,
sweet, an old voice lives in the wood and the strings,
a cantor of primal invocations, of heart-melodies.
Tracing the gnarled bark and the wandering roots
to set the earth reeling for rebirth.

Green time

Soft sun, wool coat, warm coffee, crisp wind.
Raucous laughs – two distinct
     greetings.
          Strangers in passing.
     Voices
          I don’t know.
Golf cart loud music lawnmower
     spilling leaves.

Inside a swell of familiar sounds
we sit close
     on a wooden bench,
     damp
          with morning dew.
I lean into your orbit
     and inhale
          woodsy cologne
             hints
             of orchid and plum.
Through my shades,
     your blurry outline
          ripples as you toss
          your head.

Sources:

“Cello.” Artemis Journal 21.1 (2014): 19. Print.

“Green time.” Bridge Eight 1.1 (2014): 63. Print.

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