In this full collection of poetry, Abel is in his accustomed traveling mode, going from jungle to mountain to ocean to field to town to heart to head, but with the urgency for a peace that mirrors his stage of life. Now in his sixth decade, the poet asks the questions as if they are answered, calls out the reader’s soul as if by name, and makes the connection of living or having lived where “the curves make / paintings tonight more / like dreams / than science, more like music / than trucks, more touch / than graphs.” Here we come to know his inimitable drawl in peak form, hearing Abel’s poems, but realizing that they are our own words.
The Rainflock sings again (2019)
from Unsolicited Press
L. Ward Abel hears the light beating of wings in an otherwise silent landscape. These wings offer insight into our cacophonous world, "where dreams / ride breezes full of summer thunder / the sound of currents, birds, / a memory of inhaling rain." Here are the remnants of those who have been hard-wired, but who now stand at the treeline and consider a walk out into the open where "the green air remembers." Here is a drone's view of the smallest details "from towers around / wide clearing bounces / sounds bespeaking gardens / way off the thing the grid," reaching the conclusion that "it looks like this / whether I'm here or not." The poems begin, "The Angels Rage Tonight / in flooded amber chutes," and they end when "their frequency goes quiet. Then showers." Trying to reconcile "the wing and the anti-wing," Abel does what we all do, "Skim low the waters / just above a wake." Using a combination of dream-like imagery and colloquial diction, the poet's unique southern voice comes through the clutter of strange times to slow down the ongoing, to catalog the search, and to try to sing "something like / a sparrow that's fallen."
Digby Roundabout (2017)
A Jerusalem Of Ponds (2016)
Little Town Gods (2016)
from Folded Word publishing.
"Echoing across the Jordan River and back again, navigating among languages that have just walked away, L. Ward Abel’s poems traverse overgrown ruins, seeing all - transforming all they see. Abel is one of those rare poets who can dig deep below where we live, down to where a 'swelling without sound / meets and greets and holds on to all / that is...'"