Environments by Carol Alexander


Carol Alexander’s latest poetry book, Environments, is steeped in our time. It is forthright and often poignant. With confident voice and consummate skill she illuminates truths that rest, uneasy, at the forefront of our collective consciousness: deforestation, endangered species, wildfires, earthquake, flood, urban decline, hunger, war, genocide, human slavery, plight of refugees – extraordinary violence become ordinary. Each poem emerges slowly and whole. She does not sensationalize; she does not proselytize. She accurately portrays our time, reminding us in the final lines of the final poem, “Essential Oils:” Dormant fields keep their vegetal cold./ A stick of burning leaves in the room -/ so quickly it is cleansed of us. —Ann Howells


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 80
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-13-8


The first poem “Wonder” in Carol Alexander’s excellent collection of poetry is reminiscent of Rilke’s The Panther. It is that good. That excellence of language, imagery, and depth of meaning is maintained throughout this marvelous book. You will find yourself rereading her poems for sheer pleasure and coming away each time with something extra. —Frank Murphy

Environments, the new collection of poems by Carol Alexander, is a cornucopia of nature images interspersed with reflections on the damage humans cause to it, and to each other. The sense of history broken is palpable, yet the notion that it will continue on, even so, is clearly delineated. “After the war, survivors creep outdoors like ghosts… A giant mouth is yawning, stuffed with crooked teeth.” In an age of superficial spoken word poetry, Alexander’s pieces are real; nutritious, food for the soul. Her words lead to the future. Highly recommended! Ron Kolm



Tonight djembe wrings notes from a star,
long hands shivering skin. Shy, netted shekere
that mouthed groundwater is reborn as hail.

Someone has left blood on grass. Sad, sweet rust.
The dog keens after the musk of a rat;
the pond sweats ambergris.

The drummers have no green cards.
Their bracelets dissolve into thread.

I’ve left a strip of flesh on the chain-link fence.
At dusk they lock this field, and brambles grin;
it’s barely a human hour.

Jasmine flowers limp, young voles burrow in,
the hasp of darkness pinned by a meteor shower.
August folds its flag, content to die.
Guards dance to djembe, fingering wood clubs.

We pace the outer trails, Dog and I,
the trampled weeds, runnels carved by ice,
and blue shadows tapering to slate.

One quivers to nose the mercurial earth.
One sways to drums spilling out heat.


Carol Alexander’s previous poetry books are Bridal Veil Falls (Flutter Press) and Habitat Lost (Cave Moon Press). Her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals. Alexander is a writer and editor in the field of educational publishing and has authored fiction and nonfiction books for young readers. She lives with her family in New York City.

Additional information

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in