Letter to Tom Kryss

Dear Tom,

 

I want to tell you about this wonderful little book of tales and poems both strange and beautiful. Some quite humorous, including a great dog smuggling story, and, some so authentically sad, they almost tear out your heart, such as "A Basket of Sunflowers," in which the author talks about going to his daughter's funeral. Or "New Years," a moment when he recalls the smile of his daughter when she was quite young—"I prefer the memory of that smile to anything eternity might offer." 

 

Before reading this book, I considered myself a pretty good teller of tales; at times, even a decent poet.  Upon reading this book, I suddenly realized my self-appraisal had to be downgraded a notch.  One of the tales in this book even helped me rescue Lily Poo from a dog crisis.  (Lily is my mischievous dachsie companion.)  As usual, in the mornings, while I drink my cup of green tea spiced with grated ginger root, honey, and a slice of lemon, Lily sits in my lap and enjoys chewing on a pork skin twist.  This morning, as I was reading, she dropped her pork skin twist and it fell under the recliner chair we were sitting in.  I could not reach far enough under the chair to retrieve the chew twist.  So I took the book and swept it along the floor under the chair until out came the twist.  Needless to say, Lily was overjoyed and immediately, without fanfare, snatched the twist from my hand.  (I thought the author would appreciate this little act of mercy his book provided.)  

 

I continued reading.  Then I came to these words: an ending line in one of the tales, and these words stopped me in my tracks, so stunningly beautiful the words sang to my mind: "It had no currency in fear when love jointed hands across the starless wastes."  In another story, a story called "War of the Flowers," a story about a stone angel and a little girl buried in the children's section of a cemetery, the teller ends his reflections on the girl's life with this heart-wrenching image: "Laughter would have been an option had she been permitted the wherewhital. / Which is the crux of the ongoing dialogue between  men and angels, / even those made of stone who listen with an inexhaustible  / patience, as the act of speaking itself becomes a little like trying to fold / a large bed sheet, alone, in the wind."

 

The book is called “In the Season of Open Waters.”  Strangely enough, Tom, the author has the same name as you.  Perhaps you should do an internet search and find out who this extraordinary writer is that's sharing your name. 

 

“In the Season of Open Waters” from Green Panda Press in Cleveland may well become one of my favorite books of tales and poems—a book that contains "the fragrance...of sweating iron, rainbows from sprinklers." "the breath of irises," and, in a sudden rain, "umbrellas like tumbling blooms of flowers," and in a love story between Siegfried and Gunnhild "a smile fit to be worn like breastplate in battle"—a book in which the author realizes "the end of a rainbow most closely resembles the headwater, the beginnings of rivers and dreams."

 

In warm friendship,

Donald Cauble

Route 7 is published by Dixie State University

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