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Clouds Pile Up in the North


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These poems hold so lightly what can't be held--old queen asleep in her milkweed chamber, the full Hunter's moon, Secondhand Rose and February dusk, the dragon's egg nestled against the breastbone, the lost silver earring among the flowers. You will find in this book thirst and burning air, songs in the key of High Lonesome, truths maybe we were afraid to want, and a top-down fast-ride in the convertible of Delight. Friend, Fellow Traveler, if you wished to know whether there was a place set for you at the banquet, let me point you toward Maj Ragain's poems. They are sustenance. They are sweet mortal joy. --Lisa Coffman, author of Less Obvious Gods There is a Beat feel here in the best sense of being 'beatific' and close to the ground of saying what counts--direct and sweet, and full of pain and love as well. It's an original blend of voices and visions all pushed along by the work of brother poets such as Gary Snyder, Lou Welch, Jack Kerouac. In poems and prose he captures the moment and movement of living. --Larry Smith, Heartlands Today The poetry of Maj Ragain is satisfying--poem after poem this man knows Ohio, the mid-west, himself, and everyplace he finds himself in the web. Maj claims his past with masterful facility for language and the naming of people and places affecting and haunting him. --Jennifer Bosveld, Pudding Magazine Major Ragain--simultaneous man and poet, husband, father, teacher of poetry and heart to the students plying the bunkers at Kent State. Born down soul in the farmlands in east central Illinois he's covered the mountain of this world as a shepherd with many the trail and many the tongue of his story passed to the ear and many a poem drawn from the well of Pan. --Ben Gulyas, Cleveland poet One way or another Maj Ragain is going to touch you as you read his work. And you're going to like it. He may get you in the funny bone or you may find out for yourself that he sports the Tenderest Knock-Out Punch in the world. He can also wield a pole axe: mainly he chooses to shuttle back and forth between gravitas and what Raymond Carver in his last days called gravy. --William Pitt Root, editor, Silver Concho Poetry Series, and author of Strange Angels

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