Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay



“Poetry lovers, sailors, everyone in Bay country, and anyone who wants a powerful and beautiful read, should buy this book!”—Denis M. Garrison, editor, Modern English Tanka

Available April 9, 2007—Perryville, MD

Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay, is the first collection of poetry by M. Kei, editor of the critically acclaimed anthology, Fire Pearls, Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart.

M. Kei, an award-winning poet, is well-known on the Upper Bay for his volunteer service with the Skipjack Martha Lewis and the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. In Heron Sea he has gathered together more than one hundred and fifty poems written while sailing the Bay, dredging for oysters, raising a family, and living on the green shores of Bay Country. All of his poems are true to life portraits of life—and loss—at the Head of the Bay.

Most of the poems are tanka, the five line lyric form originally from Japan, as well as haiku, tercets, and other short forms. All of the poems are immediately accessible, featuring places and scenes instantly recognizable to residents of Bay Country. Denis M. Garrison, editor of Modern English Tanka, said,

“[E]ach is a pleasure to read but all together they comprise a startlingly moving look into the heart of the poet and at the incomparable beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. A Bay dweller, myself, I can attest to the accuracy of M. Kei’s eye and pen. Kei has tapped into the magic of short verse and presented the reader with a collage of amazing depth and insight. Poetry lovers, sailors, everyone in Bay country, and anyone who wants a powerful and beautiful read, should buy this book!”

More praise of Heron Sea:

“Heron Sea is a rich word-tapestry of the Chesapeake Bay area. M. Kei’s attunement to environment and the life it engenders is remarkable. Here is a sensual experience so lovingly detailed that the reader is left with a sense of being there. Do visit the world of Heron Sea, see/feel for yourself.” —Larry Kimmel, editor of Winfred Press


I write poetry
like the hills of Maryland,
slow, easy, green swells,
rolling from creek to vale,
with all the time in the world.

the great blue heron
the blue painted ship
the blue silence

no wind tonight
a puddle of silver
in the bay’s darkness,
a full moon
off the port bow

storm bells
the musical tones
of halyards
ringing in the
freshening breeze

she talks as she sails
this old wooden boat
of oyster days
and summer bays
and watermen grown old

these widowed boats,
the men who loved them
gone to their graves

the stone gristmill
broad on the starboard bow,
falling into the bay
from its motionless wheel

If only the leaves
were not so green,
this lover’s heart
might enjoy
a little emptiness.

give me an old dog
(his puppy years worn out)
content to lay his muzzle
on my knee while
I sit beside the fire

the earth is not forever
islands of the Chesapeake
slip into to memory

Link to Publication:

M. Kei is an award-winning poet and editor of short poems, specializing in the tanka genre. Heron Sea is his first collection. A poet of the Chesapeake Bay, he is the editor of the Chesapeake Bay Haiku Almanac as well as Fire Pearls, Short Masterpieces of the Human heart. His poetry appears in journals such as Modern English Tanka, Simply Haiku, American Tanka, Modern Haiku, and more. He is a winner of the Tanka Splendor 2006 contest and a Runner-up in the Lighthouse Poetry Contest. His poetry appears in the anthologies Haiku Miscellany (Croatia), To Find the Moon (USA), Sixty Sunflowers (forthcoming) and Landfall (forthcoming).

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