Thursday, March 20, 2008

Philip Ramp
Shoestring Press 2008
$15.00 ISBN 978 1 904886 66 3

Philip Ramp's poems slip in and out of my thoughts
like water lapping on shore, not the coastal wave's
hard crash, but the gentle lapping of a calm sea
against a boat or a floating tree trunk. each time I
read one of Ramp's poems I am able to see right to
the bottom of his ocean, the fish darting, riding the
ebb and flow, "a shadow ran like a path." Ramp's ideas
are solitary in nature, but never random. he chooses
his words, phrases, metaphors, he ponders each line,
"so it was nature, not me, erased the intrusive
hills." the actuality of his reality becomes our
vision of his visit with his natural surroundings, he
places us before the sunset, "its not us death wants
but our memories, what we think we're sneaking out."
the poems become a landscape of thought. Ramp brings
us a sense of wonder, as if for the first time after a
long time, "I saw the stars as if caught unaware,
exposed, as big and luscious as fresh fruit. how could
it be I'd never seen that sky before." his vast space
contained within a depiction of trees, birds, breeze,
and, "the plastic flowers drooping."


of all the seasons
this is the one
gets nearest to complete,
the day scrubbed down
to its fundamental browns
put in a box
smooth to the eyes
rough to the touch
spilling over with leaves.
the wind rattles the last
useful music from the trees
shakes the mist
from the grass
gives the sky
a lick and a promise
and tells the birds; scat.
cleaned of their abstract shadows
things are so outward
they're as impervious as a hum.
all the distance
this one space can hold.
then brown's removed.
the going is gone.
the box is empty
and there's nothing
on the ground.

Irene Koronas
Reveiwer Ibbetson Street Press
Poetry Editor
Wilderness House Literary Review

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