This collection is divided into three parts: 1) A poem written by the editor of Collage in memory of Steven Owen Bailey, a young interior designer and artist, who died "too soon" and who requested that the editor "tell his story"; 2)selected journal entries of Steven Owen Bailey, some that are quite ingenuous and, in ways, heartbreaking; some that show a budding poet; 3)poems by friends and family of the young man; and 4)a series of poems by the editor. This anthology includes about 15 Alabama poets. One of those poets is Sue Walker, the Poet Laureate of Al, who gave a special reading from Collage in the home of writer Richard Garth of Athens, AL. One award-winning poet, Kennette Harrison (formerly Kennete Wilkes) who knew Steve during her time spent in Alabama contributed a powerful poem from her new home in San Diego.
Bonnie gives an overview of the book:
From "Making Longevity"
I trust longevity
more than love.
More than long words of love,
like "deliciousness," companionship,"
"compassionate," or "pleasurable."
More than kisses that last for days or names
carved into the underside of redwood bridges
. . .
Maybe love is longevity.
How much we can stand, how much we can bear
of the other, how much we can bear witness
to another's life, how much we are willing to see
ourselves in another's eyes--
. . .
how far we are willing to wade through
across oceans to the boot of Italian shores,
or to walk
across the plains and corn fields of Iowa,
or frozen tundra of Outer Mongolia,
of just across Rutherford Creek on a fallen cedar
or a Tennessee pasture
while black angus cattle stand,
Both my parents were teachers, who met at the University of AL. My mother eventually taught 2nd-grade reading; my father taught math, history, and political science. To improve his income, he later became a seller of insurance, not something he liked, but it met the needs...
". . . The human voice, as well as the voices of bears, wind, and waves, are at one with an animate universe, and when we are alive in and to the world we inhabit, we enter into a loving relationship with...
"I think dirt is the reason I have spent my whole life in the South," offers Huntsville, Alabama poet, Bonnie Roberts, whose poem "Take Me Down That Row One More Time, Green-Eyed Boy...