Archives for posts with tag: military veterans

by Bruce Weigl

I didn’t know I was grateful
            for such late-autumn
                        bent-up cornfields
yellow in the after-harvest
            sun before the
                        cold plow turns it all over
into never.
            I didn’t know
                        I would enter this music
that translates the world
            back into dirt fields
                        that have always called to me
as if I were a thing
            come from the dirt,
                        like a tuber,
or like a needful boy. End
            Lonely days, I believe. End the exiled
                         and unraveling strangeness. 

“Home” appears in Bruce Weigl’s collection The Unraveling Strangeness by Bruce Weigl, published by Grove/Atlantic. Copyright © 2003 by Bruce Weigl. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Weigl served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 and was awarded a Bronze Star. His first full-length collection of poems was published in 1979. He has received two Pushcart Prizes, a Patterson Poetry Prize, and a Yaddo Foundation Fellowship. Weigl was awarded the Bread Loaf Fellowship in Poetry in 1981 and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988. He was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Song of Napalm.

Photo: “After the corn harvest” by Cindy Dietz, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the May 16, 2013 release of THE WOLF YEARLING, a collection of poetry by Jeffrey C. Alfier.

Jeffrey C. Alfier acquired a keen poetic vision from years of living and traveling throughout the Southwest. Composed mainly in syllabic verse, The Wolf Yearling exhibits strict attention to tightly controlled language that renders, in rich imagism, American deserts and mountains, the plains of the Trans-Pecos, border towns, and the sandy soils of east Texas.


by Jeffrey C. Alfier

If you can dismiss the moon’s pale ascent
you might hear wingbeats in the fading light,
dusk calling hawks to perch in cottonwoods
and toll a deadpan vigilance eastward
toward sierras that ruddle to shadows.
These hawks are connoisseurs of what it takes
to die when small prey barters noonday sun
for nightfall’s cooling of dry riverbeds,
waiting out the heat under my trailer.
Canted on one wheel, it tilts back to earth.


“Alfier’s sharp lyrics come upon you like a door slammed by a hot desert wind might wake a lonely man into a new life. They are demotic, lived, and, without being sentimental, hopeful that our little span of being human matters after all.” DOUG ANDERSON, Poet-in-Residence at Ft. Juniper, Amherst, Massachusetts, instructor in poetry at Emerson and Smith Colleges

“If the forbidding and starkly beautiful American Southwest were condensed to the nuances of language, Alfier would be its quintessential oracle...I know of no poet writing today who handles the demanding form of syllabics (while consistently maintaining line integrity) with the consummate artistry of Alfier. Without any hesitation whatsoever, I give this fine collection of poems my highest recommendation.” LARRY D. THOMAS, Member, Texas Institute of Letters, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

“Each poem is a testament to Alfier’s unflinching observations and hard-fought love of the Southwest. This is a rich portrait of a stunning landscape…The Wolf Yearling is a gift.” KEITH EKISS, author of Puma Road Notebook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeffrey C. Alfier is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2010 nominee for the UK’s Forward Prize for Poetry. In 2012, he was nominated for a Breadloaf scholarship. In 2006, he received honorable mention for the Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize, and in 2005 won first place awards from the Redrock Writer’s Guild of Utah and the Arizona State Poetry Society. He holds an MA in Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Having served twenty-seven years in the U.S. Air Force, he is a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Alfier’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals and his chapbooks include Offloading the Wounded (2009), Before the Troubadour Exits (2010), The Gathering Light at San Cataldo (2012), and The City Without Her (2012). He serves as co-editor of San Pedro River Review