For my money, Nicole Lyons is hands down the best poet writing today. By far. She simply excels at her craft, and she does so with the apparent ease of one who effortlessly speaks her soul without need of any edit or further rewrite. Which, of course, is impossible. One would think. And I have never encountered another poet who writes as seamlessly as she. But that is only to address the skill of writing. First must come the transformation and translation of feeling and transcendent being into words, and that requires pinpoint accuracy and impeccable handling in order not to damage the efficacy of those original goods. That is the agony of the poet, and the impossible challenge of her art. Nicole acts like it is simply second nature. Whatever effort is required comes from living the experience, not from putting it into words. At least, that is the impression left to the reader.
As if that were not enough, Nicole Lyons imbues her poetry with an impeccable grace of rhythm. One never stumbles in the reading, for one is simply watching and listening to a river run. How then to explain the savagery and rawness one confronts head on in her poems? How to account for the anatomical splaying of her soul? I’m telling you: it is impossible to do what she does.
Therefore, I must conclude with these words spoken in the Foreword of Blossom and Bone, and with which I am fully in agreement:
From the Foreword:
“I had entered the cult of Nicole quite a long time ago when I first began reading her. Her poems got under my skin, they were unapologetic and raw, they begged me to not turn away, and they stayed with me after I put the book down.” – Candice Daquin
When I want to examine my own soul, I read the poetry of Nicole Lyons.
Praise For Blossom and Bone
‘Nicole is my favorite contemporary poet, for her words speak to me on a level none other has. It is difficult to review pieces of Nicole’s work individually, as they are written in such a direct way and yet, they are so empathetic that you can interpret them with your own soul.
No matter what you’re going through, there is a part of Nicole that will speak to you. Blossom and Bone is no different. Her third published book, and full of the unique tone that is all her own. Her poems are stories to be told (The Keeper of Time, Under The Sycamore), are anthems to be shouted (Battle Cries Blaring) and an embrace when you are clouded in your own darkness (I Won’t Always Be Me).
Nicole is a force, and Blossom and Bone is another raw, heart stealing edition of her power.’ – April Dovin
“Nicole Lyons’ poems are like dark gems which gleam with delicate inner fire. There is beauty to be seen, but take care when you lift them up to your gaze, for their facets also hold edges of razor sharpness. Such poetry is an exploration of the bliss and anguish which lie on either side of Love’s tightrope walk.
You are my
a dark summer blazing
onto bronzed hips.
You are star
songs and moonlight
kisses I hide
under my shirt.
(Star Songs And Moonlight)
With a sure hand, she weaves sentences lush with memorable imagery and intense emotion.
She tastes like wildflowers;
crushed wet wildflowers
carried in sticky palms
through farmers’ fields
just before dawn.
(Crushed Wet Wildflowers)
The poems collected in this book are unredacted field reports from the trenches and battlefields of love and life, not poetic Xanax. Within the velvet glove of words, awaits the hard knuckles of truth. Blossom and Bone does not deny the struggle and pain of life, neither does it romanticize it.
Sometimes I will hide,
and I will cry,
and the blackness from my soul
will darken the gardens of love
you have planted at my door.
(excerpt from I Won’t Always Be Me)
For me, one of the marks of good poetic writing is that it can speak of all things (even the things we shy away from) in a beautiful way, and in so doing, it takes dominion over darkness and despair and subverts them, weakening their power. Here is one example (of many) from the book:
It’s empty in here,
this place that once
felt the fire of falling stars
is now cold in my fading light.
(excerpt from Bring Your Wishes)
In reading Blossom and Bone, I found myself returning to certain poems, to re-read, savor, and ponder them (always a good sign). This is a well-crafted collection of poetry, one I highly recommend.” – John Mark Green, Author