These poems of close observation and passionate feeling deeply reflect Joseph Bruchac's Abenaki Indian heritage. Like Thoreau, he is a scrupulous student of nature. Uniquely, however, he brings his own cultural concerns to every observation -- not only about preservation of a vulnerable ecology, but about keeping cultural continuity and reaffirming tradition. So many things are observed in this fine collection: an ancient village ruin and a local car wash; kingfishers and red-tail hawks in flight; burial places and a cedar flute. In ""The Last Elms"" he laments the attack of Dutch elm disease on these stately trees but affirms their continued existence as well: ""Each spring I salvage elm branches and small trees cut by roadside crews clearing power lines. From their bark my sons and I make rattles and baskets, trays and bowls. And I know that somewhere in the forest a few tall elms remain."" This is vintage Bruchac, a voice of hope and promise in a dark time.
Novelist, short story writer, memoirist, and anthologist Joseph Bruchac is the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and also has received both the Traditional Storytelling and the Prose Writing Awards from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. He is the author of over 100 books for both adults and young readers.