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“Fire?ies at dawn. . .
Winged essences, charred bodies still on ?re.”

This evocative poetry-essay collection issues a call for a renewed embracement of the reader’s own expressive “self.” We’ve each a persona to hear --- a voice to resonate through silences of night and the noises of everyday. Life is a mystery hard to crack. We bang it like a door and strum it like a lyre until it opens some new “portal” through which the voice can authentically sound-out the “truths” of being human. That’s the happening of this book.

Altarpieces have always been artistic creations to conceive life’s “sacred” space. This book follows that tradition, if rather untraditionally. These pieces speak to “hear” life on one’s own terms; from one’s own altar and cathedral. This “gathering” created a poet-self identity --- called ‘Apo’kstrophes’. The essays join with the poems to conceive poetry and the spiritual quest with a renewed existential-eco-romantic perspective; sounding that quest with both feet grounded on “worldly other” Planet Earth.

The challenge to grasp life at the core is a wrenching-wrestling match with the “Other,” that ever-present dimension of “poetry” on life’s path. --- Joining philosophical play with the authenticity of word-pieces as “true orients,” O’Kelly’s book, with many poets helping along the way, has taken up that challenge with unflinching creativity. Want a spiritual adventure? Fly! Take the ride!

“Oh, the ride! Fins spurred in shivers of hide.
Life’s dearness reined in the roll of the tide.”

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