Careless Blossoming, a brilliant new collection of poems by Lana Maree Haas, is structured in 4 thematically grouped sections: “seeds,” “softness,” “scent,” and “wild cold.” We experience through them the seasons of the planet, the stages of physical life, rituals of birth and rebirth, of connection and loss, and an awareness of our perfect and timeless true nature, an ecstatic dance that Lana repeatedly invites us to join. “Are You Coming with Me?” she asks.
There is also a sacredness so holy and personal that it is ineffable, as in the first lines we read in the opening section: “there is pure music / that I haven’t sung for you / there are secrets / that I hold inside / just for me.” We are reminded of the innocence with which we entered the world, and that is still accessible to us, as in “Everyone Listen with Star Eyes”: “I am a child / I listen with star eyes.” We are also reminded that the innocent child has nothing to fear when faced with the ephemeral nature of our worldly existence: “Do Like I Do”: “if you don’t know what to do / when the clock strikes that last hour / just do like I do / and love as far as your heart / allows.” Love fully embraced leaves no room for doubt or anxiety.
There is also a mature understanding of what elements of life lead to an experience of wholeness, and an impatience with distracting meaningless chatter. In “All or Nothing” we are told “don’t speak / unless the sounds / lead to freedom”… “don’t whisper in my ear / unless the touch / leads to union.” In other poems a transcendental darkness becomes the mysterious cloaked time of “Night Bliss:” “hello beautiful / darkest night of mine / I am drowning in the pleasure / of knowing you”… “I am delighted at the treasures / bestowed by you.”
A desire to be one with The Beloved is a constant theme, and the enjoyment of earthly sensuality is part of the wave that lifts us to higher consciousness and renews our awareness of the ecstatic spark, the thrill of being alive in this present moment. In “Blue Resuscitation” we read “give me a gift / of blue iridescence”… “drape it around my neck / and I will lean in / while you bestow / a kiss that heals my veins.” In “Desiderate” there is a shifting sense of inner and outer: “I would kiss you in sleep and in dreams / I would wake up to your almost arms / and hands / caressing my hair”… “my eyes softening”… “I would sing a morning hum so quietly”… “that only you would hear”… “a note / a lover’s tune / a longing for you.”
All of this is achieved with a brevity of language that is drawn from air and light, the sounds of drums and dancing, breath and heartbeat, and soft moments of stillness laden with stars. In “the wild cold,” as we face the inevitability of our departure from this plane, we are given confidence that all is unfolding perfectly, as in “Redemption,” where our moment of dread is quickly subsumed in liquid language that moves joyfully toward holy union: “we will flow like water”… “and at the edge of time / at the end of the path / we’ll dread the drop to certain death / and spread our wings so wide / and let the breath of God lift us.”
This little commentary only hints at the richness of this collection. It is an affirmation of life, love, beauty, and the fullness of human experience which I hope finds its rightful place in the hearts and homes of many. May your lives be blessed by Lana’s superbly crafted poems, as has mine.
— John Greenleaf-Maple, B.A., English/Creative Writing, author, teacher, artist and poet