Monday, June 11, 2018

TAKE SOMETHING WHEN YOU GO - Poetry Collection from Dawn Leas

Title: Take Something When You Go 
Genre: Poetry 
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Navigating the open highways of our life decisions, Take Something When You Go shows us how to let go while still holding on to love, memory, family, and friends. We can learn to identify our many beginnings and endings, and come to terms with loss and renewal. And while it’s always okay to acknowledge what’s in the rear-view, we must constantly strive to move the odometer forward.

Accolades For 'Take Something When You Go'

 “Dawn Leas’ first book, Take Something When You Go, is the work of a mature writer, both in her life and craft. These poems explore the tenderness and tensions of a long-married couple, empty-nesters who suddenly must confront the emptiness at the center of their relationship. Leas explores with great passion and strength, with equal parts guilt and desire, the moment when we tear aside the veil to confront uncomfortable truths, and to discover how to reanimate the old life or prepare for the messy, terrifying, possibly exhilarating journey into a new one.”

—Neil Shepard, author of Hominid Up and Vermont Exit Ramps II

“Take Something When You Go by Dawn Leas is powerful in what it says and what it whispers… “a wish, or a prayer. / Almost a dream. Almost real. Always moving, toward and away.” Her poems reveal the “View from Canyon Lake Overview at the Top of Superstition Mountains,” the eye of Hurricane Sandy, the mystery of imaginary numbers. They travel through time, through different stages of the body, and lead to powerful healings. Pay attention to the light as “The Morning Wakes Up”… “We circle Sugar Magnolia / twice with the emerging sun, / breathe in the silence.” Her language transmits music, image, body presence, emotion, and spiritual awakening. This book is a joy to read.”

—Diane Frank, author of Swan Light, and Yoga of the Impossible, and editor of River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-First Century

 Special Selections from Dawn's Collection

Empty Cars
You walk into the kitchen,
shaking the February cold
from your coat,
flecks of snow melt in your hair.

I stir a pot of sauce, its steam carries past Sunday
dinners at my parents’, kids playing Go Fish

in the family room. You lean against the island
and cross your arms. I’m slicing cloves of garlic

when you say that empty cars, dark and idle,
in the driveway, make you sad sometimes.

I stop chopping and for the first time since the boys left,
I see you, really know you. I no longer question

what keeps a marriage together through years of northern
winters, no sun, only grey clouds, slick ice,

what moves people past the fringe into longing again.


The party always began in the back yard—
            coolers filled with ice, beer and soda,
            burgers spitting into lighter fluid and charcoal.

A circle of lawn chairs with frayed webbing
            held aunts in bell bottoms and halter tops,
            their gossip only interrupted to yell at children

running with sparklers in hand. Inside the Victorian,
            grandfather sat for hours at an old upright
            against the back wall of dining room, a line

of Budweiser cans sweat circles into the wood's grain.
            Playing by ear, he ran through his song list
            always ending with “Danny Boy” or “When Irish

Eyes are Smiling” just as the marathon game of Jeopardy
            fired up around the mahogny table, siblings
            and spouses divided into teams with red, green, and yellow

clickers in one hand, Coors Light and Camels in the other.
            As the game entered its third hour, arguments rose
            over Potent Potables and who forgot to shout

their answers in form of a question. The kids were a patchwork den carpet
            using each other as pillows, the youngest in charge
            of cranking the volume on the console to make

Gilda Radnor's laugh win over dining-room noise. Cigarette
            smoke coiled through the first floor, hung above the kids
            for just a second before escaping through open windows

dissolving into the dark back yard while mosquitoes
            skittered against dusty screens, always
            a frenetic dance toward unreachable light.

About the Author 

Dawn Leas is the author of a full-length collection, Take Something When You Go, (Winter Goose Publishing 2016), and a chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet, (Finishing Line Press, 2010). Her work has appeared in Literary Mama, Southern Women's Review, San Pedro River Review, The Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. Her work won an honorable mention in the 2005 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In past lives she has been a copywriter, freelancer, English teacher, higher-education administrator, and stay-at-home mom. Currently, she is an independent writer, editor, and writing coach. For more information, visit

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