Praise for All the Honey
All the Honey restores its reader with its chorus of poems, illuminating how even the most devastated can relearn the grace of love and loving, realizing all along that those gifts never departed. Wahtola Trommer weaves for us a journey of listening and song, questions and insights, what is lost and what saves us, silence and river, grief and pause, brokenness and tenderness; those fortunate enough to read this woven book of healing will understand what it is to be honest, afraid, overwhelmed and redeemed. This is Wahtola Trommer’s finest work, to date. It reminds us of the many birds, the river, the fields, the repeated world, the paths where destruction blooms life, the shadow bordering light, the flowers, the places where wings need edges, the repeated joy, the reminder that we are all part dust and part star, but mostly it reminds us of the repeated love the repeated love the repeated love.
— aaron a. abeyta, American Book Award & Colorado Book Award winner
As a bereaved mother and lover of language, I bow at the feet of every poem in this exquisite collection. I find myself resonating with each luminous line, both because Rosemerry puts such precise words to my own ineffable experience and because, through her gaze of wonder, I am able to reclaim the landscape of loss as holy ground.
— Mirabai Starr, author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer is what Rumi called “a true human being” — a person in whose presence pain becomes medicine that awakens us to the effervescence of each moment. And, like Rumi and others in the lineage of embodied mystics, she is firmly rooted in the grief, grit and glory of the everyday. Inside each poem, whether it’s an unflinching inquiry into the loss of a beloved son or a raunchy romp with Mr. Clean, we are borne on “grief’s strong wings” into an “astonishing tenderness”. These poems are a communion beyond words and thoughts. They are a touch from one fallible human to another, in the glow of which we find ourselves less alone, more embodied, and exquisitely “attentive / to the syllables of grief, of love” within and around us.
— Kim Rosen, author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words
Reading Rosemerry’s poems is like spending deeply nourishing time with a dear and trusted friend, who knows your innermost feelings and thoughts and shines a gentle light of compassion on them, saying softly, “Welcome, friend, to the human race.” With generosity, authenticity and courage, Rosemerry shares what it means to be alive in this beautiful and broken world: how beauty can arise from deep sorrow, how the miraculous abides in the ordinary, how joy and expansive love surprise us in the midst of grief. Silly scenarios in her kitchen brighten us with laughter, and the natural world generously offers its wisdom and instruction. These poems will companion your soul, break open your heart, and invite you to celebrate being alive.
— Diane Berke, Founder and Spiritual Director, One Spirit Learning Alliance
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer bravely and purposefully walks into that terrifying dark room and boldly, gently floods it with warm, inviting, forgiving light. She seems to live in the house of grief that hears and honors song. I love to fling open the doors of that house and do so every day as my inbox is graced daily with the courageous footsteps along her journey through grief. Her path gives me courage for my journey and with every poem, I feel stronger. I feel seen, I feel invited, I feel more human because she dares to be so vulnerable. A living poet whose life, as David Whyte puts it, willingly “slips beneath the still surface on the well of grief,” Ms. Trommer knows intimately that the only cure for grief is grief. So many of these precious daily poems have been collected in her new book, All the Honey. When we collectively admit to each other that grief actually exists and create space for each others’ grief, we are growing community. Rosemerry and her poems are community builders.
She chooses words in a unique way … as if she is reading the poem to a beloved as she is writing it, hearing the words, hearing how they relate to each other, how they sound together, how they grow together. A skilled poet who is able to display all the facets of the jewel of communication seems accessible; in her poetry, in her life, in her heart. As she stands up to grief, the hardest of human tasks, she grapples with it, allowing it to flow over her, welcoming it in the most straightforward and respectful way. And she and her words are graceful and humble, taking from those two words their origins in “gratitude” and “earth.”
— Kate Munger, Founder of the Threshold Choir
All the Honey is an outpouring of love from a poet who understands: the world that breaks our heart is the same world that knits it together. In these pages you’ll taste so many varieties of love—love as surprise, as celebration, as choice, as promise, as practice, as struggle—and yes, as grief. Sit a while. Let these varieties of honey rest on your tongue, reminding you of precious things that you yourself know. Your spirit will thank you (and the bees).
— Phyllis Cole-Dai, Co-Editor, Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems