The big foxed pages
of ORIGINS overflowed
my lap. Just a child

following the roots
and impacted shards of sense—
armchair archeo-

logy. Not a bad
way to fill winter nights in
star-lit Bakersfield.

The foothills reached Bear
Mountain to the East, snow-
shimmer from my bed.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

2 thoughts on “Roots”

  1. This poem takes the reader through facets of the mystery of origins. The opening memory is tangible. The book’s age-spotted pages are like a blanket. Poignant and precise, the images of desert and mountains trace dimensions of imagination and lived time and take us across a tender distance of memory till we find an aching kind of peace with the poem and perhaps the poet in the poem remembering that boyhood bed.


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