Gerry LaFemina


Gerry LaFemina is the author of over twenty books, including The Story of Ash (poems, Anhinga Press, 2018) and Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping (prose poems, Madville Publishing, 2020). Madville will also publish his first book of creative nonfiction, The Pursuit: A Meditation on Happiness, and Long Sky Media will publish Pop and Hiss: Selected Punk Poems 1990-2020 in 2022. A noted scholar, arts activist, and teacher, he is a Fulbright Specialist in Writing and American Culture, a Professor of English at Frostburg State University, and a mentor in the Carlow University MFA program. He also serves as President of Savage Mountain Punk Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to underground arts in Appalachia and fronts the punk group The Downstrokes.


Another Lesson in the Lesser Miracles

The leaves of the blueberry bushes blaze red this late in October & at sunset they seem to call to Moses, the whole row of them almost aflame in that light if only for some minutes before dusk. That’s what’s passing for miraculous these days, same as it’s always been. Same as it ever was, David Byrne sings from the stereo, turntable spinning the way it’s done for decades. Again no fruit for us, but the birds of Frostburg have eaten well, so I’ll go once more to the Farmer’s Market to buy the last of the late harvest, berries thumb-plump, deep indigo like globes of the nearly-night sky: sweet with a slight—but not unpleasant—bitterness.

I've been spending a lot of the recent months thinking about gratitude, and in the time of the pandemic I was spending more time in my yard, particularly as fall came, and I realized a long winter of social distancing would be upon us. One day, I noticed my blueberry shrubs, red leaved and glowing in the last light of the day, and I thought of the burning bush for some reason. That was the trigger: that small blessing.