Burning Heaven
Jim Minick



     Rapid River

Burning Heaven may be purchased from your favorite bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or from the publisher.

Nominated for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) award in poetry for 2009.

Burning Heaven
ISBN 978-1-893239-81-4
75 pages.  $15.00

Alive as woods, these poems. Surprising in sound and rhythm, they are woven of past and present, love and work. Minick moves from a childhood rooted in farmer's wisdom-uncles', grandparents', father's--through the painful present of personal, political, and environmental loss, to the deep peace of life on the farm with his wife. Pain abides but there is also "the sun's own music" played by a spider on the LP of her "dead-level web" ("Ghost Stump, Sun Music"). In the traditions of Jim Wayne Miller and James Still, Jim Minick writes to save a world where love and hope are lifted in the leaves.   ---George Ella Lyon

I challenge the readers of Burning Heaven to read "Dehorning," "The Brier's Last Days," "Dogs Unstack Wood," "Witness," or any other of these poems for that matter, and not get hooked--just try to put the book down. I confess, I could not. The softness and the edge in each poem took me to the next.   ---Ron Houchin

During unsettled times such as the present, we look for the poems we read to offer us three qualities: perspective, instruction, and reason to hope. Jim Minick's Burning Heaven hands us all three in a collection which satisfies our need to both lament and to sing. Minick heeds Einstein's admonition that by going deeply into nature we will better understand the things we know. "We're making these calves into angels..." Minick's uncle tells him in "Dehorning", and that's exactly what Minick has done in this collection. He has taken the gawky calves of our regional past and of human nature and made of such earthy subjects a hymnody of instruction and praise.   ---Dana Wildsmith

Jim Minick attends to these pages with the same caring hand and eye as an organic blueberry farmer--no pesticides, no additives, no artificial flavors. Every generation of poets has a writer whose real classroom is the great outdoors. Minick’s abiding love, respect, and attention to the natural world and his family’s place in it earns him this honorable distinction for our generation.   ---Frank X Walker

From the Book ---
Uncle Mark

Dad, in his Sunday suit, bends
in this ceremony to time, grips
cold handle and silently lifts.
This he has done for his father and mother,
this he now does for Uncle Mark.
The six lean away from the pull of the dead,
swing their free arms for balance.
I follow, knowing soon I will bend,
soon I will be lifted.

Singing the Pebble

At river’s edge, he found
all water, earth and mirrored sky
in one small stone, hazel and round.
He rolled it on his tongue,
tasted springhead and creek,
the roiling river, the sky’s lung.

He carried it between lip and gum
the rest of his life, trying
to sing this one pebble unsung.