“Letters to My Oldest Friend” is a classic spiritual journey, starting with the anguish of her losses – of mobility, of mind (she says, but the poem belies it), “wrapped in a blanket of thorns”, then to the longing for the spirit, the Friend, and finally a joyous reunion with spirit through nature. I read these poems almost with tears. I also thought of how poems like these, especially the opening ones, could create compassion in the reader for all the sick and disabled from whom we tend to avert our gaze. Janavi Held’s language is beautiful and evocative, as when she writes, “remembering is a lost art/in the mind of these misshapen times.” The book is, quite simply, a gem.
Nina Mermey Klippel
author,”Tricks of The Light and Other Poems”, 2010
editor, The Village Zendo Bulletin