Four Directions
by Joseph Bruchac

In Joseph Bruchac’s Four Directions, the Manitou tells the whale, “I can change you/ into an island of will not die/ as the animals die/ but wear slowly away/ into waters/ that love you.” No transforming deity but one of our time’s finest writers, Bruchac deeply and meaningfully renders the experience of bereavement and the experience of living our earthly destinies. The concluding poem, “Season’s End,” beautifully evokes our human effort to come to terms with mortality: “Within the sweat lodge we will drum,/ remembering we are promised nothing./ It is reason enough to join our voices,/ my sons and I, for dead and living,/ our breath reborn into song.” 

—Ralph Salisbury, Pulitzer Nominee,
2012 Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize
& Rockefeller Bellagio Award

© Mongrel Empire Press 2014