Transcript: Poems on Air, Episode 34 - Rebecca Hart Olander

[Music intro]

LYNNE THOMPSON: Hello! My name is Lynne Thompson, Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles and I’m so happy to welcome listeners to this installment of Poems on Air, a podcast supported by the Los Angeles Public Library. Every week, I’ll present the work of poets I admire, poets who you should know, and poets who have made a substantial and inimitable contribution to the art and craft of poetry.

LYNNE THOMPSON: In this month of Thanksgiving, I’m not only grateful for the poem I’m about to introduce but for its author, Rebecca Hart Olander. Olander is the Editor and Director of Perugia Press which has been publishing the first or second book of women poets for more than 25 years and, as a re-sult, put those diverse voices in a position to receive national prizes for their work, the James Laughlin Award and the PEN Center USA Award, among them. And now the Editor has add-ed her talents to the literary chorus with this new collection, Uncertain Acrobats, published by CavanKerry Press.

LYNNE THOMPSON: Today’s poem is "Ascension" by Rebecca Hart Olander.


At the base
of the mountain,
in a hollow filled
with flowers never
seen, the burro waits
with your bags strapped
on his sloping back,
a shawl of sun drapes
your shoulders, a finished
book by your side,
a packed pipe, a full
wineskin, soft leather
boots laced tightly
for the climb,
and in the distance,
your dreams still
catching up with you,
raising dust clouds
as they go, the scent of
lemons and cinnamon,
curl of coffee rising
from a cup, rainclouds
holding steady
in a sky about to
unlock, the future
delighting itself
without you.

LYNNE THOMPSON: The Los Angeles Poet Laureate was created as a joint program between the City’s Depart-ment of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles Public Library and this podcast will be available on the Library’s website. In the future, episodes will be available on iTunes, Google, and Spotify. Thanks for listening!

[Music outro]

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  • DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a certified or verbatim transcript, but rather represents only the context of the class or meeting, subject to the inherent limitations of real-time captioning. The primary focus of real-time captioning is general communication access and as such this document is not suitable, acceptable, nor is it intended for use in any type of legal proceeding. Transcript provided by the author.