Ron Thomas’s Approaching Shore speaks in a compelling voice, at once quirky and wise. The central metaphor of the shore of mortality we spend our lives approaching imbues these poems with their joy and danger, grief and desire. In rich incantatory prose, Thomas tells of a working class Catholic upbringing in a family of eleven children; in conversational narratives, he delivers stories of friendship and of loss with unjaded honesty; and in the deeply meditative lyrics, Thomas finds the alchemy of music and image that transforms the ephemeral into the infinite, when “for a flash moment the world slows.” These poems are written with the generosity of a mature heart and a mystery that deepens in the reader’s mind long after the book is closed.
Terry Ehret, author of Lucky Break and Night Sky Journey
In Approaching Shore, Ron Thomas’s smart, humorous, and vulnerable poems traverse the geography of a life- speculating on a nun’s garter belt, squabbling with family over an heirloom bump dish, visiting a peep show, giving a ride to a convict, playing a final game of hoops with a soon-to-die brother, and the final wrestling with his own mortality “Knowing the hoary bearded spoiler will come clacking icy blades.” Thomas’s urgent poems are a testament to what it means to be alive, animating his pages with friends, family, lovers graciously “captured and released” in this deft “pulse beat” of a life.
Gregory W. Randall, author of Blue Water Views and A Room in the Country