Trees in Our Dooryards


40 pages
7.5" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published June 2016

Master Gardener Sonja Johanson takes the reader on a journey through Maine’s countryside and gardens in her collection of poems Trees In Our Dooryards. Her descriptions of maple trees and seed gathering teach us with lovely exacting imagery and the voice of authority. The collection begins with laundry day and a threatening thunderstorm, where the mother “stretches / her whole self, her full wingspan, to quickly / fold the sheets, before the sky lets go.” Later in the collection, houses become “Storm Birds” growing legs like herons to migrate inland away from stormy weather. Her eye for detail gives the reader striking images of tea leaves writhing in boiling water and a bison cow giving birth. Birds are bank swallows; apples are McCouns. There are no vague descriptions in these poems. These poems are accessible and surprising – a delightful read whether on a sunny back porch or curled up before a winter fire.