This collection of poetry is a sharing of simple gifts. Almost twenty years ago, when the first of my poems popped up on a journal page-that odd shift from prose to poetry-I thought it an aberration. But in the years since, poems jotted on journal pages, grocery slips, post-its, and Amtrak napkins, have come to serve as a presence, a guide, a way for me to pay attention to life. And the poems have become increasingly a part of my work in the world. So I share these personal poems, these reflections, with you in hopes that you might find support, comfort, insight and connection in their words, recognizing the way our human joys and struggles link us across time and distance. (And perhaps you might find the poet's voice within yourself, as well) Some readers may recognize a poem here and there from collections published informally over the years and circulated among friends and colleagues. And you may see a familiar poem from an anthology or an earlier books of mine. This collection of "simple gifts" is meant to reflects the natural ups and downs of life, the joys and sorrows, the power of people, place and nature. It is also a testimony to the dedicated efforts of my husband David, without whose appreciation, stewardship, project management and determination, this collection would have remained simply a pile of loose poems on the office shelf. Judy Brown West River, Maryland 2011
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