Featured Poet: Deming P. Holleran, Hanover
Deming Holleran has been writing poems for a dozen years, since taking a poetry course in the Dartmouth College MALS Program got her hooked. One of the course professors was Donald Sheehan, then longtime director of The Frost Place in Franconia, and he encouraged her to attend the Frost Place summer conference and festival. After taking this advice, she became involved with The Frost Place as a trustee, and now serves as chair of the Frost Place board. Deming was one of the founders of the Still Puddle Poets, which has been meeting monthly in Hanover for many years, and which has published two books, The Still Puddle Poets and The Still Puddle Poets: New Poems. She has also published poems in The Main Street Rag and Iodine Poetry Journal, as well as in two anthologies from The Frost Place, The Breath of Parted Lips and The Breath of Parted Lips II.
Of her featured poem Deming writes: "the Poem “Into the Mist” came to me during the period of my mother's decline into senility and dementia, when each day brought her into unfamiliar territory, even when she was at home. Writing it, I felt as though a burden had been lifted from my shoulders through the creative transformation of a painful emotional time into poetry."
INTO THE MIST
Fog shawls the silent river
and the islands' shoulders, and a loon call
lingers on the early morning light.
My mother lies in the cool bedroom air
of her house of fifty summers.
She is nearly eighty-eight, and weary,
opening her clouded eyes on one more day.
I see her head propped on pillows, faded
nightgown collar lace barely thinner
than the folds of skin it covers. We
are alone, and she asks where am I?
I cannot answer. I do not really know.
Her voice, my mother's voice, is high,
as hollow as the loon's. She leans
toward me, stretching hands like
sparrow talons searching for a perch.
My hands meet hers, and I am pulled down,
down into the mist, into the pillowed
cloudbank and the withered scent of her,
and I answer from the only place
that matters now, you are with me.