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A selection from Gospel Earth is available:

Jeffery Beam. Gospel Earth. A Selection. Longhouse, 2006. First edition. Three color fold out booklet wrapped in Tibetan handmade paper with wrap-around band. An edition of 1 of 50 . New. $10 (unsigned) / $15 (signed) postpaid. Write Us To Order

Jeffery Beam "Gospel Earth" 2006


He who has seen everything empty itself is close to
knowing what everything is filled with.
Antonio Porchia

 To Thunder
To the Bright Realm

As I went to sleep last night after beseeching whatever help I could - I was much distressed - I was hit by something on my forehead - not light, not the feeling of a real fist - but a distinct sensation of force colliding with skin - a sheath of protection dropping over me. It had no emotional content - very plain & simple - as if a door or window had closed, or a curtain been quietly drawn.

The Light Begins

             settling dust among
corn rows
ravens holding the blue
black funeral cars almost
Behind their wings behind
the trees the hills
pink fires spread
slow contagion

It was like this the first evening
& one day in the future
which is also now

Snake in the Garden

Under dry maple shadow
creeping cedar painting
shadows greener
hiding split darknesses
under dissected leaves

The ineffable awaits you

Poised to bite

Welcoming you
Revelation of Melancholy

Despair in the elms
            orange in the heart

Four pigeons on
                                     a limb
      flies off
      all gone

Revelation of Beginnings

The cities pray but
not for long
Soon they will bend

Tall grass

I go where
feathers blow


In the Mimosa Tree

Words came to me & oh they smelled peach but shaggy
Night Gospel

Moon bronze cup
Every Knee Must Bow

Blue shade:

trumpet vine obeisance
to honey bee
Blesséd the Poor

Having nothing

This poem
my net

Errant dandelion

To William Carlos Williams

Dr. Williams it's
not enough that your
poems sting with

gaiety &
Their forbearance in

the face of human
folly & strife

sweetly like the rose
of which
you so often
Treatise of the Daisy

For Daisy Thorp

Luxuriant sun blooming
on infertile ground


Day’s eye
for clouds
breaking round it



Fallen moon a thousand
times on grass

The Hummingbirds

The male's throat fire
& ruby prowess

The female

Her light

in air
Tree Parable

Rarity red
                       tints sourwood leaf points

Each cell a Spanish womb a dove
burning to confession

Thrush’s Parable



Day lit shriek opening an awl in the sky owl



                        whippoorwill knowing
no time
The Book of Nuthatch

With a flick of

            sunflower seed shell
                                                      a cut -
a thrust -
                                                      itself to

Mourning Dove

Tame as love
turning on coralline feet
Scratching at mine

First one then another pine
straw’s resiliency strength


Offering feathers
to the moon won’t do nor lamps
blueing grizzled sky
Night Jar

detonates the woods
A hungry moth beats its face against a flower

World’s heartbeat
The Orderly Processions

No hearts with damaged values


of wings

William Morris's

hand in the weather
Acanthus leaves English oak leaves
Tongues of fire on earth

Ice patterns on glass
Nyssa sylvatica: Black gum

For Moreton Neal

Black-green leaves
                        masking autumn oxblood to come

Your shoulders
urgent blushing
                        as the heart beneath
            all hues captive

Coarse silk rubbing my brow
Furrows & wind tunnels
The door shuts twice
Winter Homage

Black moss a bird's still eye my infinite room
Lovers’ Wisdom

Panting in grass beneath high air sun
Sacred Marriage

Swaggering kisses along needled forehead terraces


Red ash rains
Your breath:

When light descends give
sorrow a tender
weeping a hair
Stranger in a Strange Land

Bees sense crowshadow across dry pavement

I am pilgrim on this vegetable earth

Robin wrestles worm into witch-hazel air
Suddenly air serene still as mother’s milk
Mountain Bluebird

Flint vein darts from roost

Who among us has seen sart mountains
damaged by fog but
                                        that bird

Angels blow liquid fire into that heart
to waken its chortle Ellington blue note vibration
Winter is the world, summer the other realm*

Dirt dauber’s black iridescence drinking from cat water bowl
Does love’s pain diminish or heighten this?

*Gnostic Gospel of Philip
Fern Gospel

Red ferns curling in dappled wood beyond

God Comes To See Me

God comes to see me
Without Bell

Never comes with Drum
But shakes the Footings

Of my House
With Subtle Water's roar

Listening at Crown of Day
When Nothing has been said

The Water takes my Breath away
The Landscape's recompense
Commentary on Duende

I thank you for
this immense
sulfurous melancholy

Despite the sirocco
the miracle happens
Prunus mume Sutra

Cid Corman

Cold March apricot air sun shines small upon new green leaves
A moth last night porch light’s apricot "summertime"
A few snowflakes fall apricot’s porcelain pink remains
Word be with me name the apricot wordless
He’s gone what new light in their blossoming
Letter to Meteor

As if in this place giants once lived
rocks redden at dawn
                                       again at dusk

                        strange light

            out of nowhere
a grace
            a valley bottom


So the high pasture

            tenders them
tearing their scent
            across the wide hill
sky bending down
            to meet them

What is here
            What bleating bell beneath
mountain's green sun
            What hoof print writing
horns arched
            locked in rhythm

Robert Creeley

Beyond the old cornfield a train
Fox looks up -- busy world

I lift my bucket to the wintry stars
Out falls emptiness & glass

Mind bears it all away
Somewhere order disorder
ripe cherries & wine

Which way to nowhere
Spring sun shows the easy way
Right up through the trees
Secret Gospel

The other world lord
with his rain buckets splashing
with his heart coming a wind
with his translucent looks ravishing
with his copper-ring circling his head
with one river rising
with one river emptying

He keeps turning round the certain mountains
Bringing me back
My seaweed skirt shivering emerald
So I can say the unsayable

To live is to sleep
Awakening the first longing
at dream’s gate
Earth Gospel

                          the world’s hills
                          earth’s convincing boundaries
Now sharp horizons
Now gentle plains
Holy groves
                          abstract slender

Eye travels up
beyond dipping ridge
to dwarfed valley below
to our fated knowledge
heavy with cicada song
where strangers may pass &
dark hate dissipates forever

Reconcile hill
to valley

Reconcile intervening time

Fall into clarity completeness

Inner Light

I have seen it when I remember to forget to look
when I remember it is there with my back turned my heart
towards it surf bringing up tarnished impossible boats
through brackish waters & countless smooth pure sands

What late fire-dragons
fume from my body
What purples
What frosts

The night tastes bitter

moss on my tongue

Helios Gospel

Standing naked in the sun I
am not like a wolf because

I am the sun

Thank you, Bob & Susan Arnold of Longhouse, for hearing these gospels & taking them up. The late Cid Corman read & commented on some of these poems; my everlasting gratitude for his mindful & generous consideration. My affection to Phyllis Walsh of Hummingbird for her continued interest in & support of my little poems. Thanks also to Joe Massey who encouraged me to begin this collection, & to Josh Hockensmith whose own enthusiasms serve to remind me how much can be said with few words. A cadre of friends read & responded to this Gospel. I thank them for their criticism & witness: Bob Arnold, Cy Dillon, Janet Lembke, Ann McGarrell, Thomas Meyer, David Need, Ippy Patterson, David Preece, J. P. Seaton, & Marly Youmans.

Thank you to the editors who published these poems in their journals: "To William Carlos Williams", & "William Morris’s" – blink; "In Memoriam – Robert Creeley" – Conjunctions Web Forum; Parts 1 & 3 of "Treatise of the Daisy" appeared previously as part of a self-published broadside, Green Finch Keening no. 59, "A Day’s Eye for Daisy"; "The Light Begins", "Prunus mume Sutra", & "Testimony"– Hummingbird; "Winter Homage" appeared with the title "My Orange County Garden" part of "Musings for Late Autumn - Poems Small & Not So Small" a small anthology of my poems on The Jargon Society web site www.jargonbooks.com/jeffery_beam.html; "Treatise of the Daisy (Part three)" – Lilliput Review; "Penitent" & parts of the Creeley poem in a significantly different context appeared in South by Southeast: Haiku & Haiku Arts.

Jeffery Beam was born in 1953 & raised in Kannapolis, a feudal textile town in North Carolina. Beam is poetry editor of the print & online journal, Oyster Boy Review, & a botanical librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill. His award-winning works of poetry include Visions of Dame Kind (Jargon Society, 1995), An Elizabethan Bestiary Retold (Horse & Buggy, 1997), & The Fountain (NC Wesleyan College Press, 1992). His new & selected spoken word CD collection, What We Have Lost, was a 2003 Audio Publishers Association Award finalist. His art song collaboration "The Life of the Bee" with composer Lee Hoiby continues to be performed on the national & international stage. The songs & a recitation of the texts can be heard on Albany Record’s New Growth. Beam has a new book, The Beautiful Tendons, due next year from Off the Cuff Books, & he is searching for a publisher for his children’s books & for The Broken Flower: Poems. Among his current projects is the libretto for an opera based on the Persephone myth. Beam lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his partner of 26 years, Stanley Finch. You can read & hear more of his poetry at his website: www.unc.edu/~jeffbeam/index.html


~Jeffery Beam
Gospel Earth

Gospel Earth
Copyright © 2006 by Jeffery Beam

So minimal & so lush all at once, their titles become them. Their beauty is about the huge pleasure of omission, & the powerful delicacy of what stays. So what stays can never be sentimental. They are quite sublime. Sacramental. A collection to keep beside a bed. Where they might seep into the sleeping head like pearls.

~ Artist Ippy Patterson

[Jeffery Beam is] a pilgrim on this vegetable earth & in its feathered air. [He is] a thrush in a tree, [he] wrestles a worm, detonates the woods. [He is] the sun. I think [these poems are] numinous, as any gospel should be. [The] fractured freestyle encapsulates the random serendipities of the natural world. I am thrilled to see it inhabited by many birds as well as plants & insects. [He’s] right: "Nature's intention flight of birds." What I love most is the poems' connectedness to their subjects. [Jeffery Beam does] not see humankind as separate from all else but rather as an intrinsic part of creation sharing equally with moth, acanthus leaf, black gum, & nuthatch. Down with dominion! Here's to courting earth's acceptance.

~ Naturalist, classicist, essayist Janet Lemke.

There are poems here of extraordinary hush & beauty. I particularly like the ones in which arrangement & line-breaks break the syntax into another shape or made syntax strange. This opened out feelings or space within which to feel. The relationship between the force that made those separations or estrangements was not always equal to lyric flourishes, but I did not mind this, or rather, would not want this worked out, as it seemed to me that this unevenness was in its own way a rhythm of attention & grief / witness that was true. We are, alas, not completely constant in love.

~ Poet David Need

I am knocked out by their plain beauty.

~ Poet & translator Ann McGarrell

You have my favourite book by Jeffery Beam.

~ English poet, David Preece

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A Woodburners We Recommend Publication Series 2006

A selection from Gospel Earth is available:

Jeffery Beam. Gospel Earth. A Selection. Longhouse, 2006. First edition. Three color fold out booklet wrapped in Tibetan handmade paper with wrap-around band. An edition of 1 of 50 . New. $10 (unsigned) / $15 (signed) postpaid. Write Us To Order

As an act of goodwill and for poetry - Longhouse is sending out each month complete pusblications - online - of one poet (or more) we have published in booklet, broadside or postcard form for everyone to share. It's a way of giving back to many of you who have sent to us poems, letters, purchases and the same goodwill over the years. The series will fly in under the banner of our Woodburners We Recommend. It should also be felt as a certain warmth in memory to all our close and dear poetry comrades passed along - each one becoming more of a loss. Each monthly booklet will also be available for purchase from Longhouse. Issued in a very limited keepsake edition of 50 copies. Starting in 2006 we will begin to reissue and present past issues from Longhouse of select poets. For those readers that travel back as far as 1972 when Longhouse began, you know poetry was released like bandits by the day, by the week, by the month, and always free. We have never taken on grants and meant poetry to be seen & heard & on poetry terms. From 2006, into the Infinite, and within the universal cyber cosmos, we would like to share multiple poets with you....and only ask that you share them further.

~ New Arrivals to our Bookshop !

~Our Catalogs of Books - Poetry & More! for Sale

~ Cid Corman - The Next One Thousand Years

Home / About Longhouse / Books for Sale / Friends & Links / Contact Us/To Order / Write Us


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