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At Work on the Garments of Refuge: Poems by Daniel Marlin and Ralph Dranow (E-book)

An exquisite book of poetry crafted by two fine poets who were best friends.
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After poet and artist Dan Marlin passed in 2017, fellow poet Ralph Dranow brought together a lovely tribute to his best friend of 39 years in this book featuring their respective poems. A sense of compassion for all living beings links the poetry of both poets, especially for those easily overlooked, the vulnerable ones, often existing on the margins of society, animals as well as human. Humor also lightens these pages, reminding us that life also has its lighter side.

"Over the years," writes Ralph in his Introduction, "Dan just kept getting better and better, creating a prolific body of work with tremendous power, combining free-flowing lyricism, precise description, moral passion, and wry humor." Ralph's own closely observed poems are a perfect complement, offering a glimpse into the subtle beauty of ordinary human beings.

Now” by Daniel Marlin:

Now as you begin your last journey,

I scratch the side of your canoe,

A branch of water-rooted willow.

I skim the foam of your wake, a black-headed swallow.

I settle at your breast,

a wild leaf blown out of the delta reeds.

Now that you return to our mother,

to her cycles of light and withering,

sail away from our table of stories,

their silly, raucous and tender rites.

Now that you vanish from the circle of voices,

I swim beside you, a small river otter.

I cling to your shoulder, a monarch,

folded wings at rest in the wind.

Now, as the river leads you to its mouth,

with your cargo of heartbreak and delight,

I dive beneath the salt channel,

surface among shreds of kelp,

where you reach the abyss

of the open sea.

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