Before Verbiage


Writers know the limits of words and sometimes turn to poetry to make a statement in the minimum, best words of the moment. We appeal to the spiritual experience for which the words are simply opportunities and prompts for the ineffable.


Likewise visual artists leave talk aside and give glimpses of things beyond words. Glimpses of nature, for instance, remind us of the essence of our existence which has been here longer than all the verbiage of cities, clamor, production, and consumption.

In this post I announce two remarkable things:

  • my soon-to-be-published fifth volume of poetry, From Space Dust to Cities, 20 poems paired with 20 images of art, photography, and astrophotography. Three of the images will be photographs or derived from photographs by Donna L. Turner.
  • the launch of the new blog Photo Musings by Donna L. Turner, a growing array of nature photos with short comments.

Here are two of the poem-image pairings in the upcoming poetry volume. See the other poetry volumes HERE.

Distant Blossoms, photograph, Santa Ysabel Preserve, San Diego County, California, Donna L. Turner, May 2023

There is a blossom somewhere
Which none have seen
Or will see
Except the passing creature,
Feather, fur and scale;
The bug on the ground
Below it or flying
As to a storehouse of provision;
Trees sensing it from deep below
And overhanging;
The air which it colors
With reflection and touches
With aroma carried on the breeze
Just a small distance
For a short season.

Mark R. Turner
Sept. 15, 2020
Snowdrop House

Hiker Passing Boulders, cutout mosaic by Mark R. Turner from a photograph by Donna L. Turner, Santa Ysabel  Preserve, San Diego County, California, May 2023

Walking town to town
Occupied with the thinking
Reaching words out
Touching to heal

Always the Will done
Looking for receptive ones
Wishing some might
Be the community
Of believers

Each step changes
Time and place
Particles on the sole
Sweat on the brow
Interchange with another

Each moment trusting
The blossom
Opens in the light
And breeze
Of the moment given

Mark R. Turner
March 5, 2023
Snowdrop House