Sunday, May 24, 2015

Meet Max Oliver, Author and Poet

Author, writer and long-time Texan, Max Oliver grew up in a North Texas area the Comanche called “Eagle Flats.” Growing up Oliver was influenced by the life and beliefs of the early Comanche tribes.  Oliver felt compelled to research the daily habits of the Numuu (the People) and use that knowledge to create his signature line of Comanche-Inspired Books and Poetry.

Oliver says that there is always an inner part of him that loves the ways of the People. He is an avid reader of any work about the Native Americans. His writing is influenced by many conversations with, books about, and first-hand accounts of those who have lived on the land before they were forced onto reservations by the European newcomers.

Oliver has written many Comanche-inspired books including The Saga of a Comanche Warrior series which includes five books; Little Boy (2012), No More (2012), Tomo Pui (Sky Eyes)(2012), Red Nose and Chief Red Nose (2009). He has also used this knowledge to create a multicultural children’s book called Little Dancer Learns (2014)

“I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free 
and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. 
I was born where there were no enclosures 
and where everything drew a free breath. 
I want to die there, not within walls.” 
― Chief Ten Bears of Comanche Nation (1792-1873)
"Cries of the Heart, a poetry book written by Max Oliver reflects a lifetime of wisdom and personal experiences written from his heart and soul. His poems are written in a straight forward manner on everyday issues that matter the most to him: God, scriptures, love, family, laughter, aging, death, judgement and eternity. 

The book's title evolved from a poem Oliver had written in 2005 which speaks about joy and suffering. Oliver has learned we all have situations in life to deal with many not easy, but it is the manner in which we deal with them that forms our own character.  

Max's poems are easy to read. He dispenses with rhyme but favors free verse which gives a poetic flow to his words. Readers will connect with Oliver's personal experiences through his writing. Max's poems have a way of having the reader pause reflect and think more about life and its purpose. 

After a life threatening health crisis in 1984, Max became a prolific poem writer. He can thank his dog Bear for being the inspiration. Bear's presence and devotion throughout Max's recovery process is what sustained and saved him. The first poem he ever wrote Old Man and The Pup was a tribute to his dog Bear (full name Comanche that means Walk Like A Bear) This is an action shot of Bear leaping into the water over a plastic decoy duck.  
Oliver has always had a close relation to dogs and has included this poem in "Cries of the Heart". (poem reprinted with permission from the author)
Old Dogs and Men 
by Max Oliver

They doze in the autumn sun
The old dog and his friend
The man rocks gently to and fro 
The dog lies on the floor
They soak the sun for their tired bones 
The man thinks of times bygone
Not sure if the dog thinks of the same
But a stifled bark implies a dream
"Bear , you remember when-"
The dog stirs at his name
"Bear , I know you do"
Awake, he raises his head
To hear what command his master gives 
None comes he closes his eyes
A cat walks closely by
Sensing the enemy's ails
The dog sees and wags his tail   
It's as if age brings a truce
Age-old hostilities reduced
"Bear, remember when you caught that 'coon
He almost drowned you, but you won
And the time you found those wild hogs
You'd never seen such things."  
Adventure brings strange things
"Or when the rattler struck your leg
And it swelled up like an ostrich egg 
Those were the times, yes, siree
When we both could hear and see
And hunt the hills all day long
Never tiring of nature's song
Walked better then with no aches
And loved each minute at the lakes
We should have done more in the countryside 
Didn't consider age with us abide"
The dog looks up as if he knows
Looks longingly at his master's words
The memories flood the old man's mind
Of times they spent in the field
"I guess those days will come no more
Hell, if they did one thing is sure
We'll be here in the sun
When the hunt is begun"  

Check out Max Oliver's website to learn more about his other books, enjoy his blog posts and upcoming events at http://www.maxoliver-author.com/ and also this link 

Check out this link to one of Max's blog postings on thanking a veteran-appropriate for Memorial Day  http://www.maxoliver-author.com/general/soldiers-veterans-and-families/
The Veteran
by Max Oliver

As the old man rises
A glassy stare clouds his eyes
The drums roll
The audience stands
Most cover their hearts
With their hand
Alone in the balcony 
This old soldier's
Hand snaps to his brow
His back is straight
Trembling leg slightly bow
Once felt it never leaves
The pride of his country
Respect for those who gave
Their all, so we could live
This life of security and ease
The old soldier proudly stands
Tears come at the sound of the band
His back seems straighter now
His legs at attention lock
His lips move in unison
With all who sing and love this country, too
His voice raspy to those who hear
His proud refrain to words so dear
His eyes seems to see his comrades
In dress of those on parade
He sings with his heart
So many times across the years
He's slow to sit
Because he can't forget
The pain of wounds
And worse those lost
Our freedom found
But better still 
He'd do it again
If it be God's will. 

(reprinted with permission from the author) 
  

2 comments:

  1. My kind of poet from my kind of place (the prairie).

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an amazing and thorough blog post! Thank for sharing Max's work. He is a great writer and a great man :)

    ReplyDelete