Jeanne Lohmann celebrates her life with gratitude, acceptance, and a wry sense of humor. In her new collection, Home Ground, the poems speak of the vagaries and wisdom of aging, the complex beauty of nature, and the animating intangibles of spirit; and they explore memories of parents, friends, and growing up. Through love and loss and change, the work of these generous poems is an adventurous search for “home ground.”

In this new collection, while the poet acknowledges past and present, she writes also of the journey ahead. The past is prelude to the future as she recalls friends and family who have died—“the list of my dead grows long.” The book’s central section, which includes the longest poem, “The Clear Place,” remembers her husband, Hank, who died ahead of her, and who lives with her as she recalls their young romance, travels, and adventures; but memory is no substitute for his presence. Jeanne Lohmann does not deny that aging is fraught with frustration and difficulty. Learning acceptance, she is curious, but not anxious, about “the last secret, how she will die.” Simplifying her life, she prepares to travel light.

This poet lives in a state of wonder at the evidence of spirit in human kinship, and in the natural world. Nature points the way forward—in the fiery color of autumn leaves, the bending tulips, warm sun on her closed eyes. She trusts that she will be guided, “each day going home to the roots, the underground spring.” There, as in the native earth itself, and in her affectionate recollections from a long life, she claims “home ground.”

Jeanne Lohmann’s poems have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, and have been read on local and National Public Radio (Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac”). A Poetry Trail named for her is a dedicated part of Shelton’s Hypatia-in-the-Woods Center for Women in the Arts. In her late eighties, she writes and is an active mentor in Olympia’s poetry community.

Home Ground
by Jeanne Lohmann
ISBN 978-1-56474-552-1
104 pages, paperback, $14.00

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