Labyrinth of Green

Labyrinth of Green

Labyrinth of GreenLabyrinth of Green

Poems and Photographs by Diana Hayes
Plumleaf Press/Rubicon Publishing Inc. , 2019
ISBN No. 978-1-4869-3270-2

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photo by Ramona Lam

When you pick up Labyrinth of Green, the new collection of poetry and photographs by Diana Hayes, you find yourself on a path entering a tunnel of branches, the ground damp, each leaf and stone finely articulated. “This home, our dwelling place/tucked in the labyrinth of green./How it presses on with certainty…” The poems and the photographs explore openings, the possibility of sanctuary, entry, whether the threshold of a dwelling place, a maze of vines and roses, a camera’s aperture “offering spring a place to kneel”, and the “remote grids in fields/estuaries”. These are textured poems, spiralling out from their sources of difficulty, grief, and love, rich with details so precise we recognize their origins, the places where “chimney smoke lingers down in the meadow’s arc” and irises with “stripes of yellow and frangible white” bloom in a garden at dusk. Phyllis Webb appears, “tackling islands, the need for silence, a wish for deepest sleep…”; we overhear painters, old friends, family members long dead, “awakening, then gone.” I thought of the Celtic belief in liminal spaces, Caol Áit, the thin places, where the membrane between heaven and earth is gossamer: when we happen upon them, we encounter the past shimmering in the light on moss-softened rocks, our ancestors on a quiet lane, secret music in bird calls, wind shaking blossoms from a tree. Every page in this book has such beauty, its place in the green labyrinth: “Winter’s old stream bed a semaphore of rock/spreading like a fan toward the wetlands.

– Theresa Kishkan, author of Euclid’s Orchard

Salt Spring photographer, Alane Lalonde, captures Diana Hayes while she is shooting her photograph “Bog Forest, 2007” [page 11 in Labyrinth of Green]

Words of Praise for LABYRINTH OF GREEN:

“An elegant book, through and through. The poems tell us we are home, and about the hungry world beyond, in all its guises. I feel the caress of detail take root in me and grow, like tiny nameless flowers in a whirlwind of snow geese on a bright fall day.”
SUSAN MUSGRAVE, author of over 30 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, children’s literature, and most recently Origami Dove

“Every page in this book has such beauty, its place in the green labyrinth.”
THERESA KISHKAN, author of 16 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, including Euclid’s Orchard

“Her photography is just as exquisite as her poetry.”
BIRGIT FREYBE BATEMAN, photographer, creator of Mindful Vision, an exhibition of photographs shown at the Stroganov Palace of the Russian Museum (2011)

“Dense complexity and simple beauties walk side by side through Diana Hayes’s poems and photographs — echoing, shadowing, and brightening a life’s adventures. Labyrinth of Green is a collection of images and words that is deep, lyric, and constantly rewarding.”
BRIAN BRETT, author of 13 books in three genres, including Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life