Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey is the winner of 2015 Moon City Poetry Award and is yet another wonderful collection of poems from this poet. I read her last poetry collection, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and just loved it. Because I’m a huge fan of anything apocalyptic or anything with zombies and vampires I find her poetry very intriguing. I sat down with it one afternoon meaning to read just a bit and ended up reading almost all the way through it.
This collection looks at the end of the world on a big and small scale. How will we face the end of the world – bombs, wars, illnesses, and death? More importantly how will handle it? Jeannine Hall Gailey walks us through different scenarios of destruction along with those of survival. Even Ina Garten and Martha Stewart have their own poems of life in a post-apocalyptic world. Zombie strippers and teen vampires are among others making this one of the most unique collections I’ve ever read.
Gailey’s poems are haunting, reminding us that although the world may be ending life is most definitely still worth living. To close I’d like to share one of my favorite pieces…
This is how I grieve: I take pictures of trees.
I may be saying good-bye with photographs.
Here, a branch of pink blooms against a blue sky,
and a petal against the lens. There, the whirl
of violent camellia against the dark green leaves.
I want to remember what it is about Earth
that I might miss. You, standing tall underneath
the branches, among the owers, smiling.
I taste each bite of fruit sadly, the bite of sour plum
or the mild sweetness of melon, like I might forget.
I can’t write you a note about this, I won’t say
So long, farewell, like I’m going on a trip.
All I can do is capture these reminders, frame by frame,
these calls to life, to bleeding and feeding and ferociously taking up space and time. Here, these flowers say, here we were.