And what of the turtle
who finds her trail blocked
by the new asphalt road,
hot as just poured pitch,
and she with places to go...
and what's left of the turtle
who dares the hot tar
but can't beat tires, that singing
skid year-rings off her plastron,
crack her carapace into splinters
to bleach in the sun, and egg shells
like bits of plastic, shard-sharp
in dry air...
and what of tomorrow, of next year,
when turtles no longer come this way,
their span reduced to the width of a road;
generations of turtles
smacked to the side of a road that replaced
dirt trails, that dried up wetlands,
pulled taut the hills into flatland,
ripped reed and sedge from the runnels
of waterways, that took the land
from the turtle as surely as from the Indian,
taking her eggs, and her poems.
– Poem by CB Follett from Visible Bones, originally appeared in Green Fuse.
When she died,
I picked up all her parts
and rearranged them
did not see;
with loss of promise,
they tipped her
below the frost line,
and thought all of her
of their needs,
I soaked up Anna
into my own peat,
let her move
with my bones, speak
with my tongue,
until by cell and thought
she took me over.
And though they knew
they'd lost a daughter,
they were forever wrong
about which one.
– Poem by CB Follett from Visible Bones, originally appeared in Verve.
Visible Bones…may well prove to be one of the finest poetry collections to emerge this year…The poems are extraordinary…
– June Owens
These are lush, moving, wonderfully accessible poems."
– Martha Rhodes
CB Follett's Visible Bones is an astonishing book. It turns the world upside down, shakes out its contents and sorts them out bone by bone, speck of dust by speck of dust, finding its own order and meaning in the detritus. It's as if the poet is collecting shards of history and connecting them in a poetic ritual of healing – for this is a deeply healing and connecting book.
– Leza Lowitz
This is a beautiful and luminous book of poems. CB Follett is a poet with an ear for the music of language and for the nuance of human emotions. This book is both moving and profound. Follett has a way of getting in touch with the larger world as well as the intimate world of personal relationships. I love this wonderful book.
– Maude Evans
I have read, published and enjoyed individual poems of CB Follett over the years, but to hold a rich, weighty collection of them in my hands is a gift, a real gift. Apart from admiring her craft, her skill with language, her distinctive voice, there is more, much more to admire: the way she draws me in and makes me relive, rethink my own experiences. And isn’t that what poetry is all about – to make us aware, to see anew, to illuminate and intensify our own views? Every poem is full of clear, expressive imagery that flows effortlessly from one mood to another, from one vision to another. CB Follett’s wit and invention is delicious, and the emotional depth each poem possesses is often breathtaking. In Visible Bones, Follett looks at life with a clear unflinching eye. Her deep insight and unsentimental compassion will capture and delight the reader.
– Ruth Daigon