Every Tender Reed


poetry by

Helen Losse

70 pages, $14 cover price
ISBN: 978-1-59948-571-3

Release Date: May 10, 2016

KAwadallah_Px_bookstoreHelen Losse is the author of six other collections of poetry, including Facing a Lonely West. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, Kakalak 2014, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina. She is the former Poetry Editor for The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review.

If books of poetry were considered fitting contributions, Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed, would be among the most heartfelt gifts in a church offering plate. With a keen eye for craft, Losse takes readers on a personal pilgrimage—pondering everything from the beauty of God’s creations to what it might feel like to “be consumed” in pursuit of spiritual purity. Written with fierce tenderness and the courage it takes to write poems both honest and true, this fine collection is a must read. —Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds

Helen Losse’s Every Tender Reed resonates with a tone of loving memory and forgiveness—a promise for the good life, the verses raising blinds on the dark to brighten songs born to all the world’s beauty. Grace becomes a natural outgrowth of Imagination’s repose. Red clover soft-lights the people; all of us are the ever-present tender reeds. —Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate

Losse’s Every Tender Reed is penance in poetry—honoring the reader as much as the Creator. This volume, for the most part, is a serene journey with the author as she walks the Path toward the enlightenment of self-knowledge. —Patricia Gomes, Poet Laureate, City of New Bedford, MA

Locked Out


In the carport
where the temperature is
slowly dropping, sun shining
through a car window
keeps me warm.

Locked out,
I entertain myself
observing nearby trees.
One evergreen
stands straight and tall,
but another leans into
the bowl of the yard.

Needles from one tree
entangle themselves
with needles from another
like twisting legs
and shadowed arms
of human lovers,
lost in the throes of passion.

The sky is blood-red
like the ground beneath
Calvary’s cross.
I’m back in the carport
as sunset begins.
The wind plays
a nocturne on treble chimes.



Winter Storm


Windblown ice pellets
rattle multi-paned windows
of the farmhouse, where
children were sleeping
on the dark second floor
even before the wires came
down, and where, by the light
of a white pillar candle,
rather than the usual yellow
bug-light on the wrap-around
porch, we investigate
horizontal snowflakes
as they crochet fine lace doilies
against a pure black sky.


Lavender and Cedarwood


“Snow madness,”
my poetry daughter deems,

could be the reason for
the “weird dreams” several of us
had had on Tuesday. Between

four and eight inches of wintry
mix are predicted to fall later
today. I cried tears of contrition

but know better than to blame weather
for a life played back before me.

Each of us must search her
own soul, forgive others,
pave a road that leads to mercy.

SKU: 978-1-59948-571-3 Category: Tag: