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     human & c.
     by Rich Follett

Rich Follett is a High School English, Theatre, and Mythology teacher who has been writing poems and songs for more than 35 years. His poems have been featured in numerous online and print journals, including BlazeVox, Four Branches Press, The Montucky Review, Paraphilia, Exercise Bowler, Leaf Garden Press and CounterExample Poetics, for which he is a featured artist. He lives with his wife Mary Ruth Alred Follett in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he also pursues his interests as a professional actor, singer/songwriter, playwright and director.

human & c.
by Rich Follett

"human & c. by Rich Follett traces the harmonies of our human experience. As small moments expand into the innumerable consolations of a creative life. Follett borrows voices and uses forms of verse, word play, sounds; pure intelligent joy runs through its sorrowful play. ‘America /still sings - /(lilac will, /sweetly scent /dooryards /many millennia /hence).’ These poems are sounded out of lyric fragment, narrative shard an enduring mosaic of our times. Words squeeze, seep, obtrude and collide like the traumas and exudations they describe. The poems create mayhem on unremarkable language and utterances in order to revitalize them. ‘[S]omething there is /about compassion.’"

Geoffrey Gatza, author of House of Forgetting

ISBN  978-09855577-8-2
76 pages
5.5"x8.5" perfect bound, paper

To purchase this book click HERE.



late july neo-genesis:
yesterday, sun scorched, nut brown earth shards;
today, in profusion,
lycoris squamigera –
resurrection lily.

three months ago,
malachite strap leaves adorned this parchment plot;
with the solstice,
they became forgotten, dessicated tendrils
scattered by winds of dying spring.

now, against all reason, a roseate nosegay –
borne aloft on pencil-thin petioles
(daintily defying the drying dust of shenandoah midsummer).

any of the town’s walnut women –
birdlike, pruned nonagenarian relicts –
will divulge with twinkling obsidian eyes that these miracle flowers
are more commonly called ‘naked ladies’,
recalling in the same breath
(with anachronistic maiden flush)
genteel archaic terms –
veranda; julep; gentleman caller.

if, with their airy florid terpsichore,
these seraphic heralds of autumn
can revivify parched earth and wizened crones,
still waits ...

"To the human spirit, seeking always to rise above; victorious only in falling to rise again ..."

Alphonse Pénaud, born in Paris, France in 1850, believed wholeheartedly that it was possible (with vision, imagination and a set of man-made wings) for human beings to fly. He devoted his life to producing a series of toys ― the graphic above and throughout this volume is of his artificial bird (ornithopter) from 1872 ― and working models of flight devices, becoming along the way a member of the Société Aéronautique de France and ultimately serving as its Vice President.

In 1876, Pénaud worked with fellow Société member Paul Gauchot to design an amphibious monoplane with a retractable undercarriage. After failing to secure funding for his and Gauchot’s
visionary design, Pénaud sank into an emotional and psychological abyss, culminating in his untimely death by suicide in1880.

If only Pénaud could have known that, halfway across the world, Ohio farmer Milton Wright presented his sons Wilbur and Orville in 1878 with a handmade toy ‘helicopter’ based on Pénaud’s designs! Later, the Wright brothers would cite this toy as one of their greatest inspirations in achieving what had long been considered impossible ― human flight.

In words, in dreams and in visions, the opiate of flight still lulls and lures us all, spurring us on …


"human & c. weighs in the hand while it gives the heart wings. Filled with feathers, dreams and hope yet grounded in New England granite, roots of oak and the miracle of Naked Ladies. Follett’s poems stretch back into the mythic, uplift and propel us into now to give with an overview of the depth of &c. Not a mere throw away three characters in the title but a sumptuous examination of the etcetera of human experience. Through these poems we share a buffet with Beowulf, we see ourselves in the warrior heart, recall the longing for flight which resides in our bones, split the mundane with the spin of a paper clip and tell us that healing is possible. These carefully considered words will glide you through the complexity of our humanity, our connection to earth and air, remind us that love is undeniable and hope buoys as we head into the future towards an understanding that love conquers all. Rich Follett’s feather inspired griffonage will prompt you to celebrate our shared DNA and rouse you to live your life with all your humanity and &c."

- Coral Carter, poet, publisher, photographer

"Rich Follett's poetry is the poetry I want to be able to write, brave beyond the meaning of the word, its content is so real and sharp that the meaning alone often takes my breath way, but that is just the half of it. He speaks of love, loss, pain and humanity, with words so beautiful they ache in your heart. He is the poet I aspire to be. Please just read him."

- Si Philbrook, poet

"As one catches their reflection in a window pane and then takes a deeper instinctive look, this too is how Rich Follett's latest book,"human & c." reads as the realization of the pieces formulate in the window of your mind.  Compelling!"

- Pd Lietz, poet, illustrator and photographer