Branches Shaken by Light by James Grabill (Author)

Branches Shaken by Light  by James Grabill (Author)

Branches Shaken by Light by James Grabill (Author)

At the outset let us congratulate James for many of his Prose and Poetry also being published in several other publications which is mentioned in this collection. James; we look forward to many more coming your way, and adding many more books to your writing collection.

At the outset let us congratulate James for many of his Prose and Poetry also being published in several other publications which is mentioned in this collection.  James; we look forward to many more coming your way, and adding many more books to your writing collection.

I loved your thought of writing a poem on the name of your book itself and loved the lines, “The future flies over on the shoulder of water.  The compass eye aligns within cells, where a small cusp reflects the whole”.  It was indeed a marvelous experience reading all the prose and poetry so aptly described, and the best thing that came to my notice was that how masterfully you have combined your writing around all the aspects of Universe, as a whole.  Just mind blowing!!!  This was indeed a reminder that we are a part of the universe. The lines as in Out of the Light in Leaves“In planetary circulation as rain, we pass through every being that lives as part of the whole, surviving on light within leaves” too give us a glimpse on we being the universal aspect.

I am glad to have gone through one more of Walt Whitman’s lines – “As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of universes and of the future” because recently, I had penned a book review for Mr William Heyen who had written all of his prose and poetry on Walt Whitman.


It was a lovely description of a naturally unfolding morning scene as your described in Raven Ingenuity “It must have been morning when the uprising of leaves was unable to stop in sunlight.  It must have been endlessness in the green laboratories that reached between species”.  Similarly, you have added glory to the morning scene as in your prose With Absorption of Breath Where light expresses its foundation, every birds in the morning on Earth has watched the world reappear with singing”. 

From your writing, it looks like you are a morning person.  “Is my assumption of you right?”  James, I leave this to you.  Because unless anyone doesn’t observe mornings, I don’t think one can write so many wonderful lines on the morning scenes like –

 “The first thread drawn through a hole in nothing, enlarged and shrinking faces in concave brass of a concert trumpet, the sun-warmed sweet pea blossoms making their starlight a scent, the maples sheltering what lifts them, then giving it to the species” as in Scent of the Sweet Peas. 

“It’s the break of day that cracks the egg so the bird of stars knows the sun in peace.  It’s green working leaves that transform sun all night to feed being of red-violet blooms” as in Blooming in Bursts. 

Awesome philosophical lines that the Readers will get to read are-

In his Reasoning Song, “We have always seen ourselves in what was living with its eyes looking”.

“Under a sky of star fields, an eye could still open from inside its body”, as in The Last Hours Maintain.

“Perhaps mindfulness works awake or asleep for fairness that serves the ground on which we walk, where we find a direction while sinking roots steady us…”, as in Trusting Emptiness. 


In his poem, After a Long Struggle “The story of rain begins inside a person who has survived” is a perfect comparison with tears in every eye.  I am in complete agreement with these lines that each one of us has gone through the struggles and post which it was a rain of tears within.

“The human head isn’t hard to find, unless you are looking down.  It’s never finished making its appearance, always in process …”  as in his The Head Evolves Behind the Eyes.  I doubt if anyone ever took the pains to mention about human head.  Too good!!!

His lines in Mint Conditions at Birth,  “This is the place, the more-than-enough place, where you will keep the power and eat, where you will wake and then sleep?” appears to be like a mystery.  I too, need to dig in the answers.

I liked your description of Shoulder in your poem Beautiful Shoulder, and what exactly The Solar System Holds. 

One Moment more was quite a long poem but has been written with wonderful words, and how important that one moment is in everyone’s life.

As in Stained glass windows, “The mind erases upended vanishings, dreaming and damning…”

As in Ongoing Driver“The more unknown the remote future is” has left me in awe.

In his Reverberating String“Touch a string on the instrument that makes sense out of being and know yourself a live extension of everything you might detect” feels so very true.

In his The Idea of a Little Water,  “Water has seen everything a body can dish out and has already gone more places that still exist” speaks on the travels of water.  This is such a lovely piece of creativity.  So also, his lines as in From One River where he has mentioned all about the various facets of rivers.


His lines in his creation, Grocery “Surely the afternoon in the grocery goes as expected, its wildfire fighter on the bread aisle, the young widow in a raincoat near the freezer doors dropping boxes into her loaded cart…These people are parts of us, and we are parts of them, where day becomes night in simple complex breathing which makes the minute an hour…” so nicely describe on what happens in every grocery store.                                                                                                                                             

In his Planetary Observations “Swedish and South African university researchers noticed that on clear nights without moonlight ball-rolling doing beetles travel in straight lines home to their families.  This indeed was an interesting study which you have brought to the notice of all of us as to how beetles find their way homes” is just mind blowing.  I have not come across such lines before.  Just amazing words!!! 

His Prose on Luminous Door “spray-painted symbols on the luminous exit to the unconscious will hear “A humming bird seen suddenly can be approaching infinity” speaks all about a hummingbird.

I sensed as if the forests in California were narrating their autobiography as I read your California’s Burning and the lines therein, “Those she worked with gave her something she simultaneously found.  She learned through moving, ways to sink more roots.  She found that the deeper her roots were the more she could see and the easier it was to move”.

Everyone who can get out of bed is singing, intoning, great chord not quite a chord as an ocean sound, a human ocean sound, a sun of a sound, not joyful only or sad, but present, now.  Singing, all at once, then it stops” as in Huge Choir Roar is so aptly described.


Honestly, I loved your style of writing your Poems to be appearing like Prose; and I must say this is the most difficult part for every Writer.  Your book is a reality combined with illusion of the magnanimous Universe in which we live in, and it includes all; Philosophy, Nature, Science and a plethora of mundane activities, as well.  Your lines “Finding beauty in a broken world is acknowledging that beauty leads us to our deepest and highest selves. It inspires us” will stay with me as I sign off.  Wonderful and superb lines!!!  I am sure, Readers, will endorse to my views as they will read this fantastic collection.  May your book travel across continents and make a name for itself.  And yes; we look forward to your next creation, soon.  Wish you all the very best, James.


Shubhaangi Kundalkar

Author – Justaju-In Search of Life