Poetry Angel of the Glen

by Ed Davis on February 5, 2016

Glen Gift Shop Shocker 

This is a story of magic, poetry and Glen Helen, that mystical preserve of forest, stone and water existing at the edge of the Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio. A place of sacred surprise, as I recently found out.

On February second, my wife and I decided a hike in the Glen was just the thing to celebrate the unseasonable temperature of sixty degrees. But first we stopped at the Vernet Ecological Building on the Glen’s rim, where I visited the gift shop. After entering, I looked left and saw my poetry collection Time of the Light, facing forward on a high shelf.  Sauntering over, I picked it up and saw three more copies behind, realizing these had to be the books that had gone missing at the fourth annual Solstice Poetry Reading held here almost two months ago.

Mystery in the Atrium 

After the event on December 11, I’d accidentally left five unsold copies of my book lying on the table in the atrium where published poets displayed their wares for sale during the wine and cheese reception. As usual, about 100 poetry lovers showed up and we had a great time celebrating the spoken word.

Later, after hauling sound equipment back to Whitehall Farm, I remembered my books, came back and found them gone. Ah, well, I decided; one of my colleagues must’ve picked them up to keep for me. How kind.

But when I inquired, neither my Tecumseh Land Trust nor Glen Helen colleagues (co-sponsors of the reading) had seen the books. Stolen? Nah. I knew that, given time, the books would turn up. But I hardly expected to find them on the gift shop shelf prominently displayed and tagged for sale!

Miracle Marketer

No big deal, you say? Well, I usually have to coax a store manager or owner into accepting my books on consignment. A Yellow Springs bookstore owner once indicated his profit margin was so razor thin he couldn’t afford to purchase even one copy outright at “discount” (50% of cover price or $6) to resell; I suspect he just didn’t want the nuisance. Another local shop went out of business without bothering to contact me about my books left there on consignment.

But last December some anonymous person decided my work was worthy to be displayed among the puzzles, puppets, sweatshirts and mugs. So there the books sit on a shelf to the left of the gift shop’s entryway, an early Valentine from the poetry angel of the glen.

And Looking Forward . . .

It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the fifth annual Solstice Poetry Reading to be held in 2016 on Friday, December 9, 7-9:00 p.m. in the Vernet Ecological Building. I’ve got some surprises planned, so stay tuned for further developments! Meanwhile, read and/or write some poetry and listen to “Conrad’s Corner” on WYSO 91.3 FM.

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