We have learned of a Woodstock Early Bird who has been quietly writing poetry for years but who has only just decided to share his work more widely with publication of his book Tree River. It is a collection of sonnets and other poems written by J. Peter Dembinski, who is better known to many of us as local attorney Jas Dembinski. His book, published by Northshire Books, is also available at Shiretown Books in Woodstock.
Dembinski approached us to consider publishing a few of his poems and in emailing them he wrote:
I’ve written poetry since college and I’ve tried to include my best from the past 30 odd years. I was motivated to publish by my brother’s untimely death this spring and my sadness that he hadn’t made his music (he was a talented musician) more public during his life. So heeding my advice to him (too late), I thought I should make some of my own artistic endeavors public (and writing poetry is the only artistic endeavor I’m capable of).
In a Word
How much can a poet say in a word? A word like a love drawing him within, Past commonplaces, into a chamber, Wherein she unlaces all nuances And lets them slip in her magnificence, So that he may cherish each curving line And marvel and be silent and adore. How long should a line of poetry be? Given birth from the cloud of unknowing? Oh let the spirit dance and spread her arms— Arms catching my eyes, my ears, all senses— As we whirl in rhyme, in rhythms, and sight. Here, let us dance—we have danced—all alone . . . Holding the flowers, fallen from the night.
Into the Valley of Death
I must go into the Valley of Death Between the mountains of Time and Matter, Into the blinding light of Creation. With faith, aware in each calmly felt breath; Within peace, no wraith of fear shall shatter; The self vanishes in meditation. Herein I am and I live and I dance, Each step, each thought, each feeling in balance, Adoring my Lord and my God as man, As a star in night’s vast heavenly span, As a drifting white cloud in a blue sky, In the running waters thin fishes ply, In the letters in the words of this poem … In all, in everywhere, I am at home.
Note: Jas says there is a poetry group that meets often at Northshire Books in Manchester and they will be meeting this Sunday