Among Wordless Things

Poems by Ron Houchin


Among Wordless Things is the winner of the Appalachian Writers Association 2004 Book of the Year Award in poetry.

From the book--

My Horse

is almost as tall as I am.
He's always under me waiting.
When I work him hard,
I smell vitamin vapors
drifting up salty and strong.

If we trot by a mirror
or a dark window on the street,
I have to look. He's proud.
He knows I'm watching
and stands straighter.

Once in a while, I'll see women
eyeing him from their mounts.
He loves it but never lets on.
He just clomps a little harder on the road.
I feel his spine stiffen under me.

I take him out for a run every day.
When he is cut 
or pulls a muscle,
I can't stop thinking of him:
How beautiful he was before.

As he gets older his mane grows
long and gray. I feel his heart's
rough canter below.
I will never understand him
as long as I live.

When I sleep, he stands in the corner
or gallops through a field of dream.
I ran him once till he stumbled
on a tree root, but could not drop me.
I rode him to the ground.

I don't look forward to the time
I'll have to dismount.
We have never been apart.
As long as I can remember,
my life has been his corral.


Ron Houchin

Praise for Among Wordless Things --

"There's a really original slant of vision in these poems, and some particularly surprising metaphors, and a sense of a secret life lived and remembered." 
--- Richard Hague, author of the award-winning Alive in Hard Country

"Ron Houchin's work is finely crafted and has never shied away from ideas. In fact, ideas-to-live-and-die-by are what emerge from these poems again and again. Whether leaning toward the magical realist or the plain-spoken Appalachian voice, each poem leads to surprising and haunting discoveries." 
--- A.E. Stringer, author of Channel Markers

"Ron Houchin's poems do one of the most important things I always thought the "modern" lyric could do-- I just never expected to see so much of it in one place... they're real acts of magic, & I say 'real' because they actually hang in the air when you've finished reading them."  
--- Dow Mossman, author of
The Stones of Summer

Among Wordless Things  is available from your favorite local bookstore, on-line from Amazon, or order directly from the publisher.

Among Wordless Things, 91 pages,
ISBN 1893239349  softcover, $14.00.

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