The Others

The Others


Alison Koffler

Sample Poem

In the Garden Café

We can sit
at a bistro table
with a fine view
of the Village Green;
skateboarders and dogs,
the Women in Black,
a couple with a toddler,
and a girl with green hair.
the Trailways bus
across the street
is departing for New York,
people hug their farewells
and line up.  We see crocuses
and fitted bluestone pavers.
The white-scaled steeple
and its dark companion pine.
Five vultures in a distant tree
against a sky beginning
to muddy with twilight.
The heart can break over
and over, yet return to this,
the gathering kindness
of dusk, an easing
in the bones
we’ve borrowed
from the earth.

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Alison Koffler’s is a poetry not only of honed, pure looking, which is impressive enough, but of really seeing, which is even more so. Koffler has, as Albert Schweitzer urged, extend(ed) the circle of compassion to all living things, and what results is such powerful poetry:  Humor, music, astuteness, imagination, and compassion are here in equal, glorious measure. —Gretchen Primack, The Slow Creaking of Planets, KindDoris' Red Spaces
Dogs, wolves, beasts of the low country and the blazing stars: Alison Koffler finds her grounding as a human being through encounters with other animals wild and tame. In the Bronx, she's a nature poet. In the Catskills, she adds a streak of William Blake. In all her poems she has the patience and the modesty of a gifted observer who slips us closer to the mysteries that enlarge life. She's also a good friend. I've had the pleasure of watching these poems develop over several years; now I get to hold them as honed and crafted treasures in my hands. We all have an animal soul usually hidden to us by our blabbering culture and busy times. Let Alison Koffler's poems take a moment to introduce you to your other self. The beasts are holding your place for you. —Will Nixon, Love in the City of GrudgesMy Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse, Acrostic Woodstock