by Bud Caywood
by Bill Griffin
Main Street Rag, 2011
Occasionally a book of poems comes along that is so totally refreshing that, when you arrive at its end, your first inclination is to simply start again at its beginning. Bill Griffin’s newest collection of poems, little mouse, is an invitation to, not only read, but to listen, very closely as the poet deftly applies gentle answers to questions of life. It is an unusual collection in that, although it comprises a sequence of poems, it is essentially one long poem—detailing the journey of life. It is also unusual in that it includes the voices and wisdom of everyone we know. These voices give us the immediacy of the long poem’s message. In a sense they are quite reminiscent of the power of Gibran’s The Prophet.
Among the many poets I’ve met, Bill Griffin stands out as one of the gutsiest and most creative writers I’ve known. His poems are bold and poignant and filled with memorable lines, keen observations, and acute wit. These precisely crafted poems touch on the very essence of life as well as spirituality. They celebrate beauty and peace, but mostly remind us of calm, as in: “If I could write my own story it would walk / the fine damp path along Roaring River / then cross your pasture, the deepworn tread, / observant beasts, enter the broken / gate of your back garden and out again”. The poems meander the fractured line between harshness and reality and then settle on the pages like one-chord songs in a singular glow of spiritual living.
This collection delights and inspires, demonstrating how the poet can deliver a message of quiet illumination. Each poem is intimate with landscape and moments and attentive to the plight of life as it evolves.
If you like the work of Bill Griffin you’ll most certainly like little mouse.
Bud Caywood is the author of one full-length collection of poems and eleven chapbooks. His poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals. He serves on the board for the Poetry Council of North Carolina and is a long-time member of the North Carolina Poetry Society. He lives and works from his studio in Alexander County, NC where he is a freelance furniture designer and artist.