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About the Book
Any writing endeavor strives to connect the heart of the writer to the reader. Such a goal is most evident in poetry. These words, rhymes, and meters find secret places in our heartbeats, connecting us to the past, idealizing moments, and pushing us on in hope. Poems paint time, describing our portion of the world as it was, is, and perhaps will be. Most of all, poems are stories of the heart mixed with memories of wonder and home. And that is what you will find in this little book.
Where the Moss Grows Old is a collection of poems written in a variety of styles describing minuscule elements of life from the smallest frost to the deepest places of the heart. In this book, you will find yourself journeying from dewy mornings to the hidden treasures of night. You will listen in on a serenade, mourn a death, and find life again. You will find in these little stories the captured moments of a life that came before and a future yet to hold. And as you read, perhaps you will discover that these stories of nature, life, wonder, and love are a part of you.
I never considered myself a poet. True, I have written poetry for over 15 years, but never once did I think that I would publish any of it. Most of the time, I wrote poetry as a way of journaling. I never could keep up with a diary. Too often those notebooks turned into stories! But I loved to capture my thoughts in poetic form. I wrote to a beat, a tune that I felt inside me that played to the words and emotions I couldn’t verbally express. They were freed only through writing.
I continued writing my poetry on and off over the years, but with time I became more interested in apologetics and short story writing, leaving my poems unknown in a notebook. Then early in 2021, I knew I wanted to publish another book. But what? My short stories were not ready for publishing, and my creative nonfiction work was still far from complete.
I was reading one night in mid-February with a notebook beside me when I paused and heard the church bells down the road, and the words came to me. Before I know it, I had finished a poem and loved it. And yet, I still wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go that route. How could I share my poetry, my thoughts, fears, hopes, and loves with others? But after asking the input of some friends, I accepted that my heart was pulling me to finally publish my poetry. Thus, Where the Moss Grows Old was born.
So why is this collection called Where the Moss Grows Old? I have been asked that numerous times since I began working on this collection. As is true with many things that I write, the name came to me as I was putting this collection together. This is a book of memory, wonder, and home. But what does that have to with moss? Simply put, moss fascinates me. I used to spend a lot of time alone (and still do). A lot of that alone time, especially as a child, was spent in nature. I would watch the sky, find new wooded paths, observe the delicate facets of creation, and, no surprise, I would observe moss.
Moss is a curious thing. So tiny, yet so complex. You could spend hours looking at it and still find something new. Moss does not really grow old, and yet it is also stubbornly resilient, lasting beyond the changing seasons. Thus, while much of me and my writing is connected to my childhood, it has also aged and changed in both nature and mind.
Such is true with most poetry. Often so small, or a series of small things put together to form a greater whole, it lasts beyond the age it was born in. I have often found that I could look at a “simple” poem for hours and know that there would still be so much for me to know and find and feel in that same poem on another day. Poetry is a constant of the ages that flows with place and time. And so, Where the Moss Grows Old now enters that ageless dance. I pray you will enjoy my little poems as you let them find their way to you.
Blessings to you and yours,
~Madelyn Rose Craig