go home

Spring Mills: Poems

by  Mike Schneider

Spring Mills: Poems, cover

Spring Mills, a small town in rural, central Pennsylvania, becomes in these poems by Mike Schneider a gathering place for four generations of a family over a century of time. Schneider takes readers to where a grandfather recalls using a hand-crank to start his Model T—“shining image of youth & freedom”—and Guernseys in a pasture bellow to be fed. Readers learn how father and son form links in a chain of “manual transmission, / hands-on sequenced pattern of the letter H,” and the poet’s sonic facility opens our ears to the “metallic / industrial click / of shifting gears.” With these poems, we also go to where physicists search among what’s “fizzy out there in the universe”—not only for elusive cosmological “dark matter” but also to hear our inner voices, human “dark matter.” In “Once Upon a Time,” a remarkable marriage of poetry with skilled science writing, the Big Bang is an “unfolding like a rose in bloom” and “Love is evolution of the cosmos. What else can we do?”—a thought the poem answers with longing for, perhaps, a simpler time, a Spring Mills of “Summer evening quietness. A breeze. / The big tree across the street. / Everything made sense.”

Praise for Spring Mills

Mike Schneider wields impressive craft and achieves many moments of beauty in Spring Mills. His poems poignantly explore the relationship of a son to his real and archetypal “old man,” chronicle experience in a small nation undergoing revolutionary change (Nicaragua), and illuminate the arc of intimacy in romantic life. Schneider writes with exceptional grace about music, leading readers to share his joy in appreciation of, among others, stark fiddle tunes, the “raggedy piano” of an old-time hymn-singing session, and a Brahms sextet.
     —TJ Beitelman, author of This Is the Story of His Life

On reading Mike Schneider's Spring Mills, I can't get past one word — it's all I can say, and it's enough. Wonderful.
     —Arlene Weiner, author of More

Please purchase books from your preferred online retailer.
ISBN: 978-1-933974-51-4
$18 US

© Ragged Sky Press