It is time for me to give thanks and praises to a beevy of poets, musicians and artists who have created Mother Bird Books which birthed Moongate de Homo Sentines later changed to Moongate Internationale - the 'e' being added in deference to Jodey Bateman who has lifted my load for 20 years with his singing and strumming. Ken Peters who showed me how to dance my spine in tiny circles even while sitting and David Mitchell for being a candle in my rips with inspiration and compassion and giving me the name of editrix. And the ol' engineer David Jackson who held my hand and gently helped me thru the maze of continuous-learning cyberspace publishing and helped me find my poetic voice by putting earphones upon my very own ears.
Exercpts from interview by Carla DeMarco, 1993
Now retired, Summer accepts an occasional job caring for people who choose to die at home. She works by candlelight with her computer, having a aversion for electric lights. Only recently did she purchase a used washing machine after scrubbing clothes by hand in the bathtub became too physically taxing."I'm richer now than I've ever been in my life," claims the 59 year-old woman who "ejected" herself from suburbia of the 1950's. "I went to the beauty shop twice a week, played duplicate bridge and golf, went bowling and took piano lessons. Now I'm free from the need to wear a frozen smile on my face to get a paycheck to buy toys I don't need. I have honesty in my relationships. I take pauses in the wilderness. At times, I feel the same sense of wonder and aliveness I felt as a child."Summer said starting in her late twenties, she began to question things like "conspicuous consumption" and "keeping up with the Jones's." Since then, she's steered her life in a direction that to some would be regarded as the antithesis of the American dream.
She said she sees a world dream in which individuals contribute to an overall healing effect by living a low impact lifestyle and sharing. "When the human spirit is healed the Earth will heal itself," she quotes Michael Eliseuson.
Since 1988, Summer, under the name Mother Bird Books, has published the works of 200 poets and novelists in more than a hundred titles totaling 12,000 copies. She also publishes a poetry ezine titled, Moongate Internationale, which features poetry, fiction and nonfiction by writers from around the globe.
Mother Bird Books released two books by New Mexican writers this past year: a children's tale about the origin of the dream catcher by a Bayard resident who calls himself Finder and Thunder Mountain by Uncle River, a novel of magical realism.
Her first impetus to publish struck ten years ago when she opened her home to a friend who was down on his luck. During his stay, he composed an epic poem titled, "A Small Bird's Nest."
"I wanted to be able to read it again and again; I wanted others to read it," Summer said, "so I put it in book form." Here are some of his words that moved her:
The signature of all things
Can be found in the eyes . . .
Here is the Mystery,
We humans have lived together . . .
For thousands of years,
But we still don't get along:
Hiroshima, that is not getting along,
Auschwitz, that is not getting along,
Iran, Libya, Iraq, South Africa, Burma,
Nicaragua, Angola, Palestine, Chile,
Peru, Poland . . .
We are not getting along!
The animals of the earth
Are all staring at us! . . .
The eyes of all nature
Are watching us closely.
Summer often turns her own pen to poetry. In "Come Play with Me," she describes a predawn experience:
. . . here in dark of dawn's prebirth
comes a whooshing whooshing. . .
angel wings still flutter softly
'round the hearts of mortal man
. . . hoards of angels' singing voices
praise the passing, evening light
praise the birthing day to be
unclung to old miseries
. . . all love is a pulling, tugging
to what calls a heart to play
see us here all tugging, pulling
one big clam shell open, closing
"will you come and play?"
Summer will continue to publish in hopes that the words she prints will provide inspiration, encouragement or motivation to readers and artists alike.
She also hopes her books will "come into the hands of someone with the means to take them to the next level of production:" wider distribution, author television interviews, film contracts . . . "These artists; poets, writers, musicians, painters etc, deserve international recognition."
Summer summarized her perspective succinctly: "Benjamin Franklin said, 'A penny saved is a penny earned.' That just promotes the idea of scarcity. It says we have to worry about the rainy day and makes us feel insecure about the future. I don't believe that. Happiness comes from giving away..."