By Jane Ebihara
Finishing Line Press 2019
Poetry chapbooks seem to be everywhere these days. While many of these little collections have an engaging, notable poem or two it is the rare exception that is fully loaded with pieces that resonate, that have the stick in your head quality of fine poetry. This little book from a northern New Jersey poet is one of those exceptions.
Jane Ebihara has assembled a quiet, reflective group of poems. They tell of a journey of grief –but never seem maudlin. They reflect on a life grounded in love - but never stray into sticky sentimentality. And these poems are not without humor, a leavening for the serious work of difficult recollections.
This poet pays attention. She pays attention to her surroundings in poems like "The Milk House" as she recalls the lonely playtime of a six-year-old child;
I moved in I was six
apple crate cupboard terry towel on the window
rag rug to cover the cold cement
And these lines from "Night Walk";
where the wild turkey’s strut delighted
tail fanned flamed
Throughout the collection we find details gained through careful observation. We also see a dedicated attention to craft, craft that adds a steady stream of lines layered with meaning and music. The final stanza of Listening to Distant Thunder concludes a fresh view of a sustained metaphor;
storms are like that
picking things up
putting them d