From the Dead Before
Copyright © 2000
by Clif Mason
Lone Willow Press
Clif Mason writes close to the bone. These are poems
of passionate witness about the grief and grace at the heart of life. A
remarkable achievement. Brent Spencer
Rumi says, "Listen. Make a way for yourself inside yourself," and this poet does.
The speaker's feelings encompass joy, fear, and awe, which become forged together
into praise. By understanding his place in the world, the speaker acknowledges taking
"breath exhaled from the sea otter's nose" and tries to explain the
almost supernatural dread; the "original fear" of the bee's "starry nectar." The speaker
recognizes both the separation and the union of all there is and rejoices in it all.
Esther Leiper, Writers' Journal, March/April 1999
The poetry is serious and piercing no tomfoolery here just a straightforward
look at the nature of life and death. Trenton Muth, Nebraska Territory