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Sheer (Barnwood, 2008)

Sheer cover

Sheer is a chapbook of poems that explore the convergence of personal loss and global violence, ending with an earth embracing vision in which "words are golden light, on the dark of the water."

Hear Collins read an excerpt from Sheer, "From The Sky," for NPR's Weekend Edition.

From Sheer

LIKE HER BODY THE WORLD

hit and hit and hit and hit and fallen

getting up and trying to get up

now one part is hitting another part wounding its flesh

slicing its own veins breaking its bones

but wait we are coming help is on the way

now we are hitting the part that is hitting the part

now someone else is helping the part we hit

now it is arm against arm hand against hand

now it is eye against eye no one an see

now it is ear against ear there is no mouth

where is the up to get up to where is the body

where are the parts have the parts all fallen apart

we are part of the body we forgot

we thought we lived outside like a brain in a jar

we thought we were pure like thought with nothing to lose

but we are losing too we are losing parts

besides we were never that brain we were only a part

we thought we would never fall but we are falling

falling and falling and falling hitting the air

falling hitting ourself our own body

meanwhile the body the world will try to get up

or else the body the world will lie down will lie down

From the Sky

Snow is expected to fall from the sky.

—Boston Globe, March 1999

Snow will fall from the sky
Snow will turn to rain
Rain will fill our streams
The earth will turn again

Snow will turn to rain
Blossoms will fill the trees
The earth will turn again
Petals will fill the air

Blossoms will fill the trees
Petals will fall like snow
Petals will fill the air
Green will fill the trees

Petals will fall like snow
Petals will fall to earth
Green will fill the trees
Where air was, leaves will be

Petals will fall to earth
Leaves will fall from trees
Where air was, leaves will be
Leaves, where there was snow

Leaves will fall from trees
Colors will brighten the air
Leaves, where there was snow
Leaves will fall to earth

Colors will brighten the air
Like hair and blood and skin
Leaves will fall to earth
Where we will fall from our lives

Like hair and blood and skin
Leaves will turn to earth
Where we will fall from our lives
Where we were, air will be

Leaves will turn to earth
Rain will fill our streams
Where we were air will be
Snow will fall from the sky

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