Scattershot: A Collection of Unrelated Poems
Mina Helwig (2009)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (03/10)
Edward Hujsak has captured memories from my childhood, transported me back into the annals of history, and projected my dreams into an unknown torment of the future in his selection of unrelated poems “Scattershot.”
His poems are made up of reflections, introspective thoughts, and a wide range of topics from rocket silos to words of the romance and love. His poem “First Date” talks of the sweetness of a kiss from boysenberry-wetted lips.
Hujsak is as comfortable using vernacular from the work place, the quiet affirmations of parenthood, or the reverence of worship. He addresses philosophical questions still unanswered, serene in knowing the formidable power of words.
His magic phrases and descriptive poetry become an assault on the senses, visual images which are sometimes splashed in vivid terms, dazzled by autumn’s colors…the purple haze of October, or touched by the wonder in a child’s eyes, where wisps of vapors form…as robust cloudlets and sea gulls, suspended on a sea of wind as they circle the glider port. He speaks of fog rolling in from the Pacific cocooning a Sunday afternoon, a cluster of monarch butterflies, a raucous raven, the clink of goblets, or the strains of Straussian waltzes.
He can make me hear the sounds of snarling chainsaws, the rustle of leaves, of children laughing, or smell the evening scent of the manzanitas. I loved his word pictures of clouds nudging each other vying to see which is to shut out the sun. He speaks of aspen shimmering like lamplight, bending in the wind and of the mushroom smell of the forest following a two-day rain.
He writes of grief and healing, of the tears that flow freely as the mockingbird sings. He writes of birth and death and of perplexing times. He challenges the readers to be stewards of the planet.
He defines faith, describes urban sprawl, and speaks of the Cuban Missile Crisis in light of the “wheatfield silos” in Kansas and Nebraska, as being silent, loaded, and deadly.
I especially enjoyed his many poems centered on thoughts of Cathedrals…a call for penance, violin strings crying, the sopranos vaulting to the rafters, the Immaculate Conception, and the priesthood.
Far too many of us rarely take the time to examine the beauty behind the words of the poet, to understand the process of thought, reflection and introspection that produce poetry. Immersing oneself in poetry is like taking time to smell the roses, in spite of a full schedule or an overcrowded time table. I discovered new vistas and horizons and thoughts on life as I ruminated on Edward Hujsak’s “Scattershot: A Collection of Unrelated Poems” which was thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly thought-provoking.