By Peter Anderson
Conundrum Press, 2017
978-1-9422-8021-7; 84 pp.; $14.99
Reviewed by Lynda La Rocca
Short, but sweet – and wistful, sad, thoughtful, funny, poignant, or filled with longing. That’s how I’d describe the essays that make up Crestone-based writer, teacher and poet Peter Anderson’s latest book, Heading Home: Field Notes.
These lyrical musings, which the author describes as “a collection of flash prose and prose poems,” are true songs of the open road, a road that stretches invitingly and seemingly endlessly before this man who starts down it independent, unencumbered, eager to learn and experience and explore.
It’s a lonely road where, paradoxically, one is never alone and “everyone [is] a good buddy just waiting to happen.”
It’s also a road Anderson is still traveling, albeit now with the quiet certainty that it always circles back to family and to home.
Along the way, Anderson revels in the vast sweep of the West with its moon-cast shadows and wide-open spaces, snowdrifts and high deserts, mountain ranges and deep forests.
He encounters mule deer and cougars, watches turkey vultures soar the thermals, and waits for bats to emerge from an abandoned mine. And he introduces us to rodeo clowns and waitresses, long-haul truckers in backwater cafés, a Navajo family stuck with his own family in car-repair limbo at the Econolube, friends separated by distance and death, and friends reunited over a beer. He falls in love and becomes a father who teaches the basics of pond hockey and air guitar and comforts his two girls after their ducks fall victim to a stealthy predator.