Ras displayed what C.K. Williams describes as "zaniness and unpredictable cunning...verbal expertise and lucidity" and a profound knowledge of the world. "Washing the Elephant" explored desire, guilt and memory over time, coming back always to the image of the elephant:
..it's always the heart that wants to go out and wash
the huge mysteriousness of what they meant, those memories
that have only memories to feed them and only you to keep them clean.
For more reading, about and by Barbara Ras, check:
Jennifer Barber used the technique of compression and spareness to present us with, perhaps, a plot summary of some of the Old Testament, but much more besides:
A woman a man
I was, you were, we were.
We were, indeed. I have enjoyed our time together this spring and will be working on our annual Shepherd's Center Anthology over the summer, which will contain poems by all group members who presented them, including Leo Kelleher and Dave Upstill whose skillful and evocative work we enjoyed this week.