Twilight Chorus / Holly Guran


poems by

Holly Guran

ISBN: 978-1-59948-682-6,  84 pages, $14

Release Date:  May 31, 2018


Holly Guran, author of River of Bones (Iris Press) and the chapbooks River Tracks (Poets Corner Press) and Mothers’ Trails (Noctiluca Press), earned a Massachusetts Cultural Council award (2012) and is a member of Jamaica Pond Poets. Her work has appeared in journals including Compassion Anthology, Mom Egg Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Borderlands, Santa Fe Literary Review, Worcester Review, and Salamander. Holly resides in Boston with her husband, Phil, and their dog, Ginger.

With exquisite diction and lyrical verve Holly Guran, in her new book Twilight Chorus, leads us safely through a purgatorial thicket of shattering conundrums, both public and private. Guran’s reassuring tone captures in its “shawl of quiet” memorable wonders strewn along the way. Whether mulling Sarajevo’s war zone, dealing with betrayal in Rome, or looking at the natural world from a bee’s perspective, Guran amazes with her down-to-earth sagacity. Twilight Chorus is a perilous but rewarding poetic adventure! –Dennis Daly, author of Pantoums


Holly Guran’s poems expose a remarkable thoughtfulness and care for what takes place in nature, and for what takes place with others: whether the homeless man, the child affected by war, the aging partner, the neighbor, the friend. These poems are ones we can sink into, trusting the voice of the poet, its notable sweetness and refreshing earnestness. —Danielle Legros Georges, author of The Dear Remote Nearness of You, and Boston Poet Laureate

Find the Children


Ease the children down, hungry and cold.
Bring quilts to cover them.
Bring hot broth. Spoon it into their small moon mouths.
Be careful. Blow gently on each spoonful.

Around the children are crumbled walls.
Around the children are men holed up with weapons.
Around the children are too many demons.

If the children survive, the demons will ghost their dreams,
gallop and crash through their nightmares.
If the children survive, they will join those who destroy,
or find a way to bring solace.

The moon rises over the place where they lie



 Ice Dams


The roof over us holds
piled mattresses of snow.

Their weight creeps into old
bones, finds the weak
spots, the places where water
seeps. Where exactly

does water enter? I need
to know as the eaves and soffits
grow. I think of the child
making angel wings.

The child whose only
roof is sky.





You call to tell me
a friend in Zimapán, a young man
lived at home, he was epileptic

just—oh tragic—shot himself—
oh why—the sweetest one,
you loved him.

Before he did—oh this tragic—
you say the word again
to let it spread

ointment, no it can’t
on shattered flesh—
at three am, I feel so lonely,

called his mother.
Please come, she did,
but not soon enough.

To his father, too,
said those words
we’ve all said or meant to.

How was it just then,
or was there a long time
before—we won’t hear—

he found himself
so without in Zimapán
high in the mountains?

You and I were there,
The bus climbed
craggy roads, winding.

We often call each other
when we feel, and not exactly
say, alone, and talk, not of that,

but of other ways
the engines of our lives
stall and seem to stop,

yet mercifully
go on humming.


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