Sunday, October 10, 2010

North From Yaounde by Jim Beschta

North From Yaounde

Jim Beschta

Adastra Press 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9822495-6-7


"…through the shrinking mimosa."

North From Yaounde is substantial in its collection of gathered poems,

by the skilled poet, Jim Beschta. His ten poems are hand sewn on 14 pages,

with small illustrations on a few of the pages, including the cover, from

Cameroon folk art. This handcrafted book is a pleasure to behold

as well as mindful. I recommend buying a few for friends,

it is the perfect gift.

The poem's experiences are considered and gentle in that their insights

give us a sense of place and people, "to the boom and chatter of drums

from Bikil…" Once we have read the poems we then travel back into

their lucid appeal and find the metaphors rolling throughout:

Night Travel

"Thieves," Issa spit

into the West African night

toward a solitary light,

some erratic bobbing

alongside the isolated road.

"Thieves," his disdain of bandits

and scorn for lean gendarmes

as strained as his grip

on the wheel,

as suspicious as Maroua

uncertain in the distance.]

Although he claims brothers

as far north as Garoua

and spoke the Fulfuldi

of markets and artisanats,

even though he waved

to stock boys herding cattle

and stopped to pray

when required,

in the pitch of night

he grumbled, "Thieves."

In this dark land

where no ambulance arrives

after an accident,

where people slide

into the night

for beer and sex,

even conversation,

Issa fled the small light

fading in the rearview,

skeptical of anything

but intimate darkness."



irene koronas
poetry editor:
Wilderness House Literary Review

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