Dillard, Gavin Geoffrey. “Graybeard Abbey: Metaphors, Mumblings and Meditations”, self published, 2017.
A Year on the Farm
Just last week I found myself thinking that it has been a while before I could sink myself into a book of poetry and lo and behold, I learn of Gavin Dillard’s new collection of free verse, koans, haiku, and traditional waka form. But “Graybeard Abbey” is more than a collection of poems, it is a journal of a year on the poet’s small tea farm in Southern Appalachia. Dillard writes of the seasons the woods and field. animals, and life with eight kittens. I remember the first time that I read Dillard and was amazed at the beauty of his romantic poetry and he had been elevated to gay icon status. His writing has changed and now he writes about paganism, naturism, and Taoism “for emotional content, spiritual edification, and poetic flavor”. Perhaps romanticism is gone but that does not change the beauty of the word and there is much reverence and irreverence here just as there is profundity balanced against silliness. What we really see it the poet as authentic man and that peace and quiet can be found in the solitude of the woods and with nature. Dillard has found on his farm what he has searched for and he shares that with us. It is his originality and boldness that makes me who he is.