THE WIDTH OF HERE (2021)
from Silver Bow Publishing
As you read each wise poem, you are surprised with the awareness they instill, and that you have discovered something about your soul, your next thought, revelations enhanced with new truth and knowledge of how simplicity still answers our most complex questions. ~ Sam Barbee, author of ‘Uncommon Book of Prayer’ and ‘That Rain We Needed’
There is an invisible architecture often supporting truth. That structure is called faith. Find it here in the words and worlds of L. Ward Abel. ~ Andrew Greg Williams, author of ‘Lioness’ and BMG recording artist
Complexity laced with simplicity that causes the mind to turn inward and discover roads untraveled. There is a grand magnificence and genius at work here crafting each poem to a soft glow and fine brilliance. ~ Candice James, Poet Laureate Emerita, New Westminster, BC Canada
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."