What Hands Can Hold

What Hands Can Hold
Illustrated by Tracy McQueen

What Hands Can Hold is a luminous collection with compelling emotion and insights. Some of the poems exude softness and beauty, and some like Elegy of Complaint, grit and blood, "We walk the shores / to bathe feet / that have trampled / fossils and bones." The poet shares her inner self without angst or contrived embellishments. She does it with such lyrical grace and lack of pretension, you forget how intelligent and well constructed each poem is. She draws the reader into her poetic world to be absorbed by the nearly physical touch of her language. These revelations are a magical gift, and once you begin to read, you think, "Ah, yes. I understand, I have felt that, and here in these words, I feel it once again!"
—Julie George, Heritage Writings.

Review by Scott Owens, Editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review
Review by Jeffrey Side, Editor of The Argotist Online
Review by David Caddy, Editor of Tears in the Fence
Feature on Michelle McGrane's Peony Moon of What Hands Can Hold by Ami Kaye

"What we do with our hands defines us; our daily life requires
their constant use. Our hands create objects of necessity and
great beauty. While hands are used to defend and heal, they
can also be used to destroy and hurt"

From: Hands

countless stories live
in their eloquent language—
what they have accomplished,
what they have borne.


From: Bird Bones

Be it a needle, knife or gun,
we fight over everything,
we fight over nothing,
and life is extinguished so easily.

Against the dense, white noise
we barely hear the breaking of
bird bones.



From: Kaze

Her sleeping hands can't
capture you anyway,
one hand is tucked under
the kimono you softly blew
open last night, the other
is tangled in her long, black hair.