Open-hearted and unwavering, Lana Hechtman Ayer’s poems of vivid imagery navigate the reader through a lifetime—a rocky childhood, self-discoveries as a young woman, the many losses of adulthood, then finally learning to anchor one’s existence to beauty. These poems explore growing up with an abusive mother, attentive grandmothers, and a distant but caring father. The poet also examines the ethos of the times, bullying, and the ordeals of being female in a male-dominant culture. Giving voice to a connection with nature, the arts, creativity, and loving relationships, the collection is filled with uplifting insights. Ultimately, When All Else Fails celebrates the restorative power of poetry itself.
Here’s a poem from the collection, that previously appeared in Cirque.
The milk of moonlight spills silently across the night yard. A slight rustling in the underbrush. Being awake at such blue hours, my thoughts grow vibrant as counterpoint to lightlessness. The air is cool and crisp, scented with leaf mold and fallen pine needles, the mulled wine of many seasons living in one place. I keep the porch light off, allow my eyes to adjust to night sky. Stars silver and red, coral and gold twinkle against the many-fathomed sea of space above. Even overnight clouds glow as if lit from within. As a child, I lay on the lounge chair so many restless summer twilights, seeking rare meteor streaks, and secretly aching for the spaceship to come fetch me back to my true home planet, where sunshine was a myth, or at the very least, shunned. Sixty insomniac years on Earth, and I’m finally fully acclimated to a middle-of-the-night life, mostly with ice cream cones and old black and white Capra comedies. Yesterday, I walked in 3 AM rain with my little shadow-colored dog, she a sniffing machine, me a wet sled being dragged along. Dry cemetery hours, I’m often melancholy for the pitter pat on the roof, the sight of drops rippling wide arcs across oil-dark pooling puddles. This overnight, I woke after only an hour’s rest, got dressed, and took myself outside for yet another meditative tour of nighttide. There’s peace in the rhythmic twitter of insects, plaintive wisdom in the stark cries of nocturnal birds and beasts. Should you care to come visit me soon, I’d be happy to share with you the loveliest of un-sleeps.
One thought to “Book News & Cover Reveal”
What a beautiful cover!! I love the poem too. Congratulations to you. I ordered it right away 😉 Jeanie