Charles Rossiter Review by Phyllis Klein
Charles Rossiter, Green Mountains Meditations, Foothills Publishing, PO Box 68, Kamona, NY, 14856. www.foothillspublishing.com, 50 pages, $12
There is a depth of beauty found in these poems that takes us away from the drama of human difficulty into the straightforward love of a landscape, and what this focus can do for us. It’s a book to be read all at once, then savored in parts. This profound passion for a place is not so easy to find in life. Many of us city dwellers brave the traffic, noise, pollution, crowds, for the benefits of culture, education, finances, variety. These simple but deep poems bring into question whether that is worth it and if there is another way. When Rossiter speaks of home, there is a reverence, a enviable fulfillment in the pure joy of his life in the Green Mountains. Things stay the same, are dependable, reliable, quiet, and slow. There are no parking meters in the town of Bennington. At the local lake, no lifeguard. No whistles./ No megaphones. No worries.
Few cars pass by our house…
you can hear your own heartbeat
you can hear yourself breathe.
Rossiter’s seasons are also beloved, including grand winters. Snow wraps the world/in soft embrace. Birds at the feeder/in a steady stream…And the seasons changing are sources of development and interest like a living museum or a movie that doesn’t need a screen. I did find a few hints at darkness such as Poem 31, in which the turkey vultures add a touch of grandeur/and melancholy/ to this overcast afternoon. But of course the natural world has its own difficulties and challenges, predators and prey. The contrast here is in the way life close to the natural can heal, as opposed to the distant capital/ with its bickering and politics/…so far away/ it’s like being in another world.
With the election looming over a divided populace, this small book offers another viewpoint on how to experience your country and your world. And the message, the invitation, to find satisfaction and fulfillment in whatever is living and green, sounds clear as the gong of a meditation bowl, offering hope for inner peace and enrichment. We need it right now for as long as we can hold onto it.
Phyllis Klein, author, The Full Moon Herald, Grayson Books