Seeds Under the Tongue by Timothy P. McLaughlin



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In this second collection, McLaughlin wields a boldly ecstatic voice to explore a confluence of themes: wanderings on the wild earth, relations with more-than-human presences, engagement with indigenous ceremony, reckoning with Catholicism, the swirl of young family life. These heart scores are delivered in a euphoric, incantatory brand of storytelling that delights and provokes at the depths.


“What does it taste like to feed oneself to the living earth? To grow up steeped in the sanctity of the church and then, one day, walk out of the stained glass walls into the tangle of the forest, finding there the tang and savor of a holiness more ancient than any scripture? Or to lose oneself entirely during a long winter’s night in those woods, shaking and dancing through the storm to keep from becoming a block of ice, until the snow-decked trees begin to speak their black-rooted and branching language into one’s heart? How does it feel, when falling, to be caught, cooked, eaten, and spat out by the ground underfoot—to be gifted one’s voice by the soil and the stars? Read these poems, try them out on your tongue, to find out.”

–David Abram, author of Spell of the Sensuous

“Timothy P. McLaughlin is truly an anam cara (soul friend) of the beauty, sacredness and potency of Mother Nature. These verses are magnificent symphonies of delight and praise as well as practical meditation seedlings that promise to entice the reader into the most profound state of mysticism. They are kernels to be experienced from the heart; saplings of a cosmic revolution.”

—Rev. Nóirín Ní Riain, author of Listen with the Ear of the Heart

“All good poetry evokes images, Timothy P. McLaughlin’s Seeds Under The Tongue certainly does that. But it also offers insights into nature (or the real world, as far as I am concerned) and offers lessons and perspectives into things we should all pause to see and feel now and then, but don’t. My favorites are ‘Sacred Fire’ and ‘Hail Mother.’  ”

–Joseph M. Marshall III, author of The Lakota Way