In the Presence of Absence (Paperback)
Moonpath Press, 9781936657308, 88pp.
Publication Date: August 12, 2017
"Richard Widerkehr's In the Presence of Absence is a book of loss and recovery, grief
and wonder. These are poems informed with clarity and compassion, and a quiet
lyricism in confronting the mortal world, the death of parents, and life-threatening
illness. There is a freshness and ease of manner to Widerkehr's writing and at times
a kind of other worldly aura, 'that strange gift from the other side.' There is as well a
deep gratitude that infuses these poems, that grounds them in the here and now. He
is a poet who has 'been dealt happiness, /grief, and two wild cards.' And we are the
lucky readers who have been dealt these marvelous poems."
--Joseph Stroud. author of Of This World: New and Selected Poems
"In The Presence Of Absence overflows with musicality, surprising imagery, and
gratitude earned by paying attention to the small moments that make up a reverent
life: 'the black trees reflected in a roadside puddle, ' a mother's slow passing, and
the tenderness with which the poet stands witness to her death, 'I must be true/
to your story./I can't tell it/one spoonful at a time.' This book details a heart that
is wide open to both the pain and beauty of life. Widerkehr sings Kaddish for his
father, admires bikini-clad women on a resort beach in Mexico, and observes his
own cancer surgery, all the while knowing we are just passing through. We can
learn much from these remarkable poems. As Widerkehr brilliantly says, 'It's time
to make my statement/ about how certain stars float in the night.'"
--Gayle Kaune, author of All the Birds Awake