Here is a link of a review of A Turn of the Wheel that appeared in the Bangor Daily News. It is the second book mentioned:
I happened to read a copy of the chapbook one day after being given a copy by the author. I had learned about the review in the paper and heard tell of the book by other co-workers. When I mentioned it to Brainerd, he graciously offered me a copy to take home and read. It was intended as a gift but after I finished reading the 22 poems contained within, I insisted on paying. In my opinion the book is worth well more than the 3 dollar pricetag, though Brainerd would argue with me about it, I'm sure.
What struck me most about A Turn of the Wheel was not the subject matter or a sense of the rustic (as the BDN review seems to suggest), but the excellent poetic judgment I feel Brainerd employs in the work. He is a poet that knows the virtues of both balance and excess, a knowledge that is so truly rare. It is a work that is both highly emotional and highly composed and, most importantly, highly sincere.
Buy it, buy it, buy it. That is all I have to say.
To order a copy write a request to:
P.O. Box 775
Howland, ME 04448 USA
Brainerd will mail you a copy of the book to anywhere in the USA if you provide $4.00 US ($3.00 for the book itself, $1.00 S&H--gotta pay the USPS; they like money).
Checks should be made out to David Brainerd (NOT the SPO Ninja Kitty).
And by popular demand (and with Brainerd's ok), I am including a sample poem and the introduction from the chapbook on my site:
Here on a Planet in Space
though I walk through ground fog
I see to the other end of the Milky way
insects and whipporwills sing
not one without the other
shine sing breathe walk write
oh sign of Gemini this mid-June night
you pull your strings to move me
I pull strings tied to you
Each of the poems in this collection is self-contained, but I have arranged them in accordance with the progression of a year, so that each occupies a spoke of Fortune's Wheel as it revolves through the four-part cycle of life. Some of them refer to specific holy days or reflect on world events as they have unfolded in the ever-repeating flow of the seasons.
As much as these poems are tied to dates or seasons, they are also grounded in places. I am a New Englander, and I can only see the sky between the branches of the trees native to my part of the world. So, as I attempt to describe the same heavens toward which all people cast their eyes, my images will often be framed by balsam fir and maple boughs. The look of the firs changes little throughout the seasons, but the maples go through astonishing transformations. There are lessons to be learned from both.
D. W. Brainerd