By Rachel Phillips
Small field cushioned,
a cave between the woods.
Here I sit years ago; years
that seem sharp as blades
of grass, high as cedars.
Life filled with dark water,
lighter shades of red and green.
Still, I sit in that same spot
drinking from the shadows,
sunlight moves behind the trees,
the sound of birds who now
long dead remain inside my ears.
I hear them. I hear them still.
I don’t remember now how I came across Rachel Phillips’s poetry blog, Outlasting Moths. It was probably in 2006 or thereabouts. I was captivated immediately by her unique style. Her poems combine physical description with rich metaphor. They seem to me to be at once philosophical reflections and mystical utterances.
Her clear, beautiful use of language is both accessible and evocative, and each poem is very satisfying — yet I am left feeling, every time, that there is some mystery not quite revealed. The poems are so excellently crafted that this must be deliberate, and indeed it enhances rather than detracts from my delight in them.
I no longer leave many comments on her blog. It gets a bit repetitious to keep writing, ‘Wonderful!’ ‘Beautiful!’ over and over again. But I still love reading her work. It always amazes and thrills me.
Rachel has given permission for me to use this poem here, but prefers that I don’t include a photo or personal details. Everything that she is happy to share with people can be found at her blog, including many more wonderful poems and some of her artworks. Yes, she’s an artist too — and her Blogger profile tells us she’s also involved in science.
If you Google her name, you'll find poems at PoemHunter and elsewhere, most of which are so astonishingly awful that they couldn't possibly be by this Rachel Phillips. One or two are, but they are also on her blog. Do yourself a favour and go straight there!