Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain
"Russell Thornton writes some of the most skillfully crafted lyrics in Canada."
—Chris Banks, winner of the Jack Chalmers Poetry Award
Book DescriptionThe crows pick at the waste on the asphalt.
The men push jingling shopping carts. Or stand and mimic life
in a prison yard. The wild white swan is dead. Where I caught
trout as a child, no trout swim now. The drives
and crescents gouge ravines, make creeks disappear. Where wild
baby fish run, they run the gauntlet of penned fish. They are eaten alive . . .
—from "Nest of the Swan's Bones"
Russell Thornton's latest collection of poems, Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain, explores powerful, primary human relationships through images of two worlds: the natural and the urban industrial.
Simple grass is the iron of an invisible forging within nature that involves the human creative consciousness. A scavenger alley crow is the universal creative spirit in brutal primordial disguise. A murderously violent father and son are integrated into a single new man who walks "bright as a song in the air." A young daughter flings up her arms to seagulls that "collect up the world, opening it like a door." An infant son fights the “anger in him … the death … with the heaven in living flailing hands."
Intensely personal, Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain reveals how essential human identity reinitiates human consciousness in a participatory universe.