A Review of Belated Mornings By John Macker

Lenora Rain-Lee Good Reviews

Belated Mornings

By John Macker

Turkey Buzzard Press


ISBN: 978-0-945884-16-3

44 pages

$10.00 at time of this review

5 Stars

A small book, filled with large poems. I don’t mean the poems take up physical space, they take up brain space. Each one needs to be read, cogitated, chewed, swallowed, and digested, starting from the books’ epigraph, “That is my profession. / I am an archaeologist of morning.” —Charles Olson.

Our odyssey begins with Indian Summer, “Autumn as much a notion as it is / warm day, wind-drawn red crayon / moon above the canyon in slow motion, / a crisp yellow leaf afloat in its singularity / flows down a shadowed stream / into the Roaring Fork, is peace”

Macker takes us through mornings as night becoming light and mornings of memory. We are brought into the confessional in places, as he tells us about his first confession in the poem, St. Louis Blues. 

Every poem is a picture, every poem has language and lines that resonate, biophilia ends with, “or hosanna Greta Thunberg’s name / in the church of feral light” and solstice ends with “I fear the longest night of the year / will last until spring” Oh, how many times have I thought that, only without such simple beauty!

The title poem, Belated Morning is a showstopper.  “Last night starry-eyed blue whales / swimming over a yellowed desert appeared” and later, “…if you / don’t shine your morning light on the world / you aren’t listening, you aren’t breathing /”

These poems are musical, and accessible to anyone who wants a good story. One does not have to dig deep into hidden meaning and metaphor, one can simply read, and the best way to read any poem is to read it out loud! These poems stopped me several times, just for the sheer beauty of the words and the image they convey.

Stars Born Reaching begins “A rare hard rain at night on a flat / roof sounds like a jazz drummer’s / wet dream or palpitating steps late for / a flight…” I had to stop and remember all the times when it would rain and my grandfather and I would grab a book and go out to the travel trailer, stretch out and read until we went to sleep. And how many times I had to run to catch a connecting flight at the other end of the airport!

The book ends with the gentle hours. A gentle poem in Macker’s kitchen as he’s up and “shedding the shortened sleep” The last words, the words he leaves us with are words we can all hear in our minds, lean back in the chair with a cuppa, and cogitate, no matter our age. “…At my age I / become something I’m not all over again / and it fits me like a glove. Fate is a direction / that won’t let me lose my way.”

I recommend this book to any lover of poetry, as well as those who aren’t quite sure about poetry. Buy this book, it will be a treasure to read and a beacon on your bookshelf reminding you to live—and enjoy your mornings, no matter how you find them. 

To purchase this book, please contact the author, John Macker at mackerjohn@yahoo.com. The cost is $10.00 plus s/h of $3.50.

About the Author: Lenora Rain-Lee Good, a Vietnam-era veteran of the WAC was born & raised in Portland OR and now lives in Kennewick, WA. Lenora is the author of three and a third published books of poetry—Blood on the Ground (Redbat Books, 2016), Marking the Hours (Cyberwit.net 2020)and The Bride’s Gate and Other Assorted Writings (Cyberwit.net, 2021). She co-authored Reflections: Life, the River, and Beyond (KDP 2020),with Jim Bumgarner and Jim Thielman, hence “the third.” She may be reached through her website https://coffeebreakescapes.com

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