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Slide Banjo

Slide Banjo



$ 8.00

Slide Banjo is a small sliver of the prolific legacy of poetry that Steven left behind. Many of these poems were written as songs for his banjo which rarely left his side and often awoke a group of Vision Fasters at dawn on the day they began their 4 day/night solo. Here you will find poems spanning many years of his life, including his last years as he wrestled and came to some poetic understanding of his dying due to a genetic illness that lead to his death in 2003. The last section is entitled Poems for Children, composing 13 whimsical poems dedicated to his granddaughter, Olivia.

“Steven Foster was a songman, poet and photographer in addition to his work as a writer and teacher. As a former professor of Humanities, he was a scholar of the Romantic Poets, and also loved the work of W. C. Williams, Roethke, and Gary Snyder. In “Slide Banjo”, Foster offers us, through this book of poetry, glimpses into the myriad ways he engaged himself in the world. Family man, traveler, friend, wilderness guide, he weaves images and poems out of his charismatic yet humble soul. Steven’s songs are pure poetry. His poems for children show us his delight and caring for others. In all his poems we find song, depth of introspection, the utilization of rhyme and structure, or the wild imaginative stanzas of a man who loved his wife, his family, and the earth, as much as any man ever has. The man is gone yet in his books, songs, and in his poems, his magical spirit lives on. “Slide Banjo” is a dynamic record of Steven Foster’s joyous, insightful, visionary life of wilderness and creativity”. — Jack Crimmins, poet

Forgetting unto death

Now I lie by a dwindling fire
calling the name of a woman to solace me
to say, you are still young
but she is reading the Magical Child
and I have forgotten the names of the years

Today and the days before
like the cold stars winking on one by one
have taught me distances, as I fell
always falling
into the steep of unremembered dreams

I am afraid of death
afraid of the wind that rises to fill the emptiness
with emptiness

On the Wings of an Eagle [originally written as a song for Banjo]

On the wings of an eagle
These poor bones will fly
Like the wind on the mountain
Like the stars in the sky
For the night’s just a passing
From evening to morn
In the midnight of sorrow
Tomorrow is born.

Take a lifetime of sadness
Take a lifetime of years
Throw your cares to the morning
Let the sun dry your tears
For we come without number
And we go without end
On the wings of an eagle
We shall never descend.