Readers looking for an engaging and spiritual journey will find comfort in CAIRN: POEMS AND ESSAYS. After decades of reading and ogling poetry, Miller made room among the novels, newspaper columns, and preaching to hone poems amidst the wild beauty of northernmost Vermont and the pastoral beauty of the Finger Lakes. The elements of nature are this poet's paint but he also paddles a gondola through the dark channels of the mind while lighting the way.
Both poems and essays work on the reader from two directions, the brain down and the ground up. Poems like "I want to be Mary Oliver" seem whimsical at first but quickly instigate a new look at an old subject. The words themselves are cairns guiding readers on an inward journey to a deeper plane of understanding our relationships with everything, seen and unseen. Many will find the poems worthy of weddings, funerals, and letters to dear friends. Poems that immediately jump into deep water like "Depression," offer a sense of liberation via blunt and unvarnished authenticity. Cairn speaks from these two hemispheres of the human experience in a way that aids those who start out with discomfort around poetry. It quickly demonstrates that poetry need not be a strange or inaccessible medium after all. Intertwined with the poems are essays that echo back to the poems in images of nature, human nature, and the sacred.