Walking along the shore at night
I came upon a turtle brooding in the sand.
The waves came in slowly. The moon bright.
We were alone
so I sat next to her
and told her about my life. I felt warm.
no matter what you give them
still want the moon . . .
How patient she was sitting beside me in the sand
while I recited great poems by the sea!
And when I saw the moon I fell silent,
then stood and followed it into the sea
deeper than I had ever been.
"Readers predisposed to Emily Dickinson, Robert Bly and, from Indiana, Barbara Koons and Stephen Roberts, will feel at home with Minnick. Like Bly, he knows when to breathe. Like Koons and Roberts, 'He is stopped by something invisible, a scent perhaps, which reminds him of the small town of his youth, or something he wanted to say years ago.' For readers, like me, and perhaps you, if the locus is both on the page and in the natural world, this book of poems is a garden where, as Minnick writes, 'It matters if you sing.'"—Elizabeth Krajeck, Indiana Living Green
"[A] book of poems as clear and still as a mountain pond. Minnick’s diction is limpid, his rhythms off-beat just enough to keep one paying attention … If words were notes, and Minnick playing a keyboard, I’d say he has a light, but authoritative touch, a gift for finding the still point and then leaping to revelation."—David Hoppe, NUVO
"There is a rare quiet and seriousness here. He is teaching his daughter that God is in everything. He is always looking out, and some dark thing hovers just at the edge of the page. To Taste the Water is a lovely first book."—Robert Bly
"To Taste the Water is a joyous book of poetry, written in time with the hushed moment and from the vision of a calm eye. Minnick’s poems are about love and beauty, yes, but they are also about something stranger, that force which resonates inside the suspended image. These poems ring the small bell of grace if only to realize how mysterious and everywhere it is—and that sounds like another bell."—Maurice Manning
"'Seek not, a voice says,' and as if in wry answer to that dictum to the self, Norman Minnick gives us these deeply interior poems that nevertheless closely and richly attend to leaf and child, love and work, spoon and weather, how to see and how to listen. Somewhere in this book is 'the cloud's lament,' the 'ripe agony of trees.' But savor the quiet too, as you turn each page."—Marianne Boruch
"Norman Minnick’s poems take as their task the plumbing of 'unfathomable depths'—not through theoretical pyrotechnics but through deep attention to the image, the moment, the life lived. This first book radiates calm intelligence and uncommon wisdom. "—Campbell McGrath
"Powerful stuff, worth lingering over."—Lou Harry, Indianapolis Business Journal