By Simmons B. Buntin
Salmon Poetry, 2010
Trunks glow blue among yellow flowers:
whole constellations of them
in the dark branches of the night.
Set largely in the rugged but resplendent borderlands of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico — and ranging as far afield as the Israeli desert, the Sweden of his mother’s youth, the Midway Atoll, and Hiroshima, Japan, on the 40th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, Simmons B. Buntin’s second collection of poems, Bloom, gathers unexpected insight from our built and natural landscapes to blossom into poems of striking beauty and stunning realization. Shine, the book’s first section, ranges from the violet light of the last night in Eden to a daughter’s coming of age and desire. Flare, the second section, weaves from roadside wildflowers to an evening in SoHo to a mother’s memory of Nazi bombers overhead before her own storied migrations to America. And Inflorescence, the final section, braids the experience of a daughter recovering from emergency surgery following a severe accident, with the slow and mesmerizing bloom, or inflorescence, of the yard’s magnificent agave. In reading the poems of this finely crafted and lyrical book, you’ll find that like the daughter releasing ladybugs in the poem “Shower” the open room of your heart, too, will be filled with pure red joy.