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Reading “kara sevde” by Amber Flame



Poetry Lunch S3E10

Reading “kara sevde” by Amber Flame from Apocrifa published by Red Hen Press.


Amber is a blessing of a person to know and I hope you find this book and read it. Generous, specific, searing and gentle by turns, it always turns back to hug our lovely loving struggling human selves. From the dedication:

“dear reader, this is a spell for you. if you’ve been lonely, or broken. if you’ve longed for love that did not make you afraid to be whole. if you’ve longed to be free and longed to be home…”

I’m cleaning out my archives of late and this morning I found a print I made for Letterpress Workers some years back, when I was very much in a space of longing for the both/and of a love at home and freedom to be in the world. I lived the first for seven years, and the second for seven — just now I feel I’ve started a chapter of living them together. Which I did not think possible.

When I was in the thick of that very-free-and-often-lonely space of my life I made a print with this line: “You’re always free to do what you want and you’re always free to do what you want.” Which my childhood best friend told me he was told a few days before his wedding (now fifteen years ago nearly!!) by the Suquamish elder who performed his wedding ceremony, Steve Old Coyote. I feel I am just beginning to get an inkling of what Steve was talking about.

My favorite lines in this poem are in the top right corner of the page:

for you,
the honey of my regard,
a constant offer.

I keep thinking over and over, what an amazing gift to receive. The honey of someone's regard — the best, the sweetest part of one's attention, of noticing, of tending — on constant offer! Goodness if you find it got to stick with it. These lines inspire me to do just so and to give my best regard back. Re-gard. As in, to see again. To take the time to keep seeing. May all our relationships be so sweet.


Huge thanks to Sally of Broadway Books in Portland OR who put this book in my hand at Winter Institute because she intuited I needed it (I did) and was tired enough to have missed it in the galley room (I was).

Speaking of, did you know word “galley” (which refers to an un corrected proof of a soon-to-be published book) comes from the printing industry? I have lots and lots of galleys in my shop, which are steel trays used for storing display type and standing forms. New forms are often proofed on a galley press, that’s set up to be able to pull proofs without taking the type off the galley while text is being corrected.


Link to purchase

Get the book here: Apocrifa.