a special collection (Spring/Summer '99)


ram·part (ràm¹pärt´, -pert) noun
A fortification, a means of protection or defense.
[French rempart, emparer, to fortify, take possession of]

 Someone once said that life is rented, not owned; that, day after day we pay that rent in the form of the battles we fight in order keep our lives where we want them to be. Conflict and confrontation are not necessarily bad things. They are an instrumental part of our purpose in life if they're fought for a worthwhile cause, to protect those we love, or, most importantly, against our own faults and weaknesses.

I consider myself fortunate to have met some very exceptional people in my life. I've watched them carefully and noticed that they have a few things in common: A personal strength, a quality of perseverance, a willingness to confront adversity based on their own personal standards that they'd never be willing to compromise. Some of them aren't popular, some aren't even well liked, but all are respected without question.

Early this year I began what would become a collection of poems that focused on these qualities. "rampart" deals with conflict, strength and confrontation -- the fighting of battles to the best of our ability, gradually tempered by the realization that we're human, that we will not win or even fight our battles forever, the realization that being at our prime is a thing of impermanence. Like life itself, it needs to be recognized and cherished.

I am deeply grateful to the person who inspired the main character in this collection. Because she was, and still is a stranger, I was able to interpret her personality and her actions in ways that reflected the spirit of my material during the eight months it took to write it. Each piece examines confrontation, conflict and their underlying personal qualities from a slightly different perspective and a slowly growing insight. Taken in their entirety, they form the "rampart" collection:

café noir (black coffee)

in passing


in passing (second time)

cry for the hawk


Best Wishes,
jon_bohrn @ augustpoetry.org

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