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“I felt myself in the presence of a great honesty about things that matter, and in particular responded to the idea that, despite our existential plight—maybe even because of it—life is a thing of great beauty.”
—David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars
“Denenberg’s wry, straightforward, penetrating voice is rebuke, meditation, and celebration all at once, gnarly and braided as the beloved trees she offers prayers for. —Corrie Williamson, Author of The River Where You Lost My Name
In this honest and unflinching collection, Denenberg gives us poems that look hard topics like extinction, climate change, aging, and loss and tempers them with tenderness, vulnerability, beauty, and delight—delight in the moon, the face of a pet, powdered snow on cedars.
—Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2021-2023
Enough Beauty in This World
Someone on Twitter asks us to recall
the most beautiful place we’d ever seen. I said Earth,
because I’ve never been to another planet.
I’m exhausted & dirty & abandoned &
I still said Earth. Floating at the helm of my lonely seabed,
I survey the damage, the centuries of neglect,
& whisper Earth. Married to sheepskin, to the elk herd,
to Sundays with only the radio for company, I vow
to love my only mother. I’ve been handed moments,
small & large. I’ve wandered many places & each one stunning:
Miami, Kabul, Dubrovnik, Seattle. I’ve traveled by plane,
by ferry, on the Jetstream. I’ve trekked barefoot in ballet flats.
I’ve walked for days in the desert with only a blanket for water.
All of this, just to remind myself I live here. & still, I say Earth.
From Rain / Dweller, 2023
Rain / Dweller
Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder of Headmistress Press; curator at The Poetry Café Online; and the Reviews Editor at River Mouth Review. Her most recent publications include the poetry collection, slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018), the chapbook, Posthuman, finalist in the Floating Bridge 2020 chapbook competition, and a new collection, Rain Dweller (MoonPath Press, 2023).