From the Ether
On Lawn Ornaments and Poetry
I have to admit the holiday season still enchants me—I look forward to the lights and yard decorations I see all around me this time of year. From the fairy lights strung along the roofline of a brick Tudor down the street to another neighbor’s front yard extravaganza (some might describe it as “retro,” others might use the less kindly term “tacky”), I’m a fan. I love that every growing thing is covered in light of some fashion, the leafless dogwood draped in strings of periwinkle bulbs and those plastic icicles that alternate between blue and white light, giving them the appearance of melting. That the yard boasts a host of wooden lawn ornaments looking to be of 1940s vintage—a dapper human-sized snowcouple, perhaps on their way to church, among them.
I’ll admit to feeling melancholy when, earlier this month, I drove past a house in which a mostly deflated Mickey-Mouse-dressed-as-Santa lay face-up on the front lawn, one black-gloved hand folded over his heart. When I drove by the next day my spirits lifted upon finding him fully inflated, upright, and smiling, sack of toys tossed nonchalantly over his shoulder.
In the past few years I’ve found that the postholiday weeks provide their own kind of enchantment, a time to indulge in the quiet after the feast, think about the coming year, to, as poet Heather Hamilton writes in “When Harvesting Saffron” in this issue of the DMQ Review:
“Brush back the snow
in a circle from its base;
lay your ear to the soil
as if listening for hooves.”
I hope the collection of poems that we’ve included in this issue—which we’ve paired with some of the vibrant and provocative paintings of New Orleans artist Tony Nozero—can provide you a refuge of sorts, a place to be quiet and contemplative, a place, perhaps, of enchantment.
Table of Contents
Staff Table of Contents Archives