The poems in this issue of The Aurorean focus on the outdoor wonders experienced in spring and summer, giving various perspectives on the natural beauty of these two seasons. This issue is a testament to The Aurorean’s goal that their poems inspire, uplift, and are meditational.
Imagine refreshing spring rain through Russell Rowland’s poem “Slim, Graceful Rain”: “No need to shut the windows. Today’s rain / falls as straight as the posture old-time girls / achieved with volumes balanced on their heads.” Study Ansel Adams’s picture “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941” as you read Lyn Lifshin’s poem of the same name: “past adobe, deep behind tumbleweed / someone shuts off a radio, as if news / of war would come over the sage, slither thru / dust and locusts.” Steal away with Ron Bailey’s narrator in “a date with mars” as he climbs a ladder and reaches towards the heavens in order to be as close to Mars as possible when Mars is the closest to earth its been in the past thousand years. These and many more poems are fanciful, deep, and quirky.
Awhile after finishing The Aurorean, I finally put my finger on what’s different about it than many literary journals: none of its poetry is depressing. Although depressing poetry often resonates with or inspires me, I felt pleasant and refreshed by reading a journal of serious, yearning, joyful poetry. Even wistful poems, like “Nocturne” by Dennis Rhodes, contain hope:
I go to bed lonely tonight
and discontented, but no more
alone than mother earth herself
who turns her back each day to the sun
and in facing the frigid black void
of the universe, finds the courage
to turn around again, and make tomorrow.
The journal’s approach reminds me of a teacher from an L.M. Montgomery book who told a student not to change her writing style because of “those howls about realism. Remember pine woods are just as real as pigsties and darn sight pleasanter to be in.” The Aurorean has chosen pine woods as their subject, and beautiful, honest poetry is their result.