Four-Wheeler & Two-Legged

poems by Stephen Wing (Southeastern FRONT, 1992)
105 pages • isbn 1881891003 • $9.95

"Four-Wheeler & Two-Legged gathers the experience of poet Stephen Wing over 15 years of hitchhiking: from political demonstrations to the deep woods, from the women he has loved to the free highway, finally home to the one place and one woman he has committed to— and a wider awareness of our planetary crisis and transition. His outer journey reflects the journey within. All are very good."

Judith Hawkins, New Leaf Distributing Co.

"Thank you for your fine book of poems. I've liked your work from first sight, but this book is full of splendid new things. My taste for my contemporaries is very standoffish, and there are very few poets alive that have gotten to me the way you have . . . I listen for the authentic poet's voice, which I think I can recognize."

Taylor Stoehr, poet, professor & editor

"A shining example of the level of professionalism new technology can allow small publishers to achieve. Features: NEA-funded development of a beautiful new digital typeface; an author chosen from over 1600 contributors . . . Themes on hitchhiking, the environment, international relations and human nature combine [with] Wing's exquisitely crafted writing style into one of the finest volumes of contemporary poetry available."

The Book Arts Classified

"I've enjoyed your poetry very much. I'm sure you've been compared to Gary Snyder before, but I will suggest the comparison again. I am particularly impressed with the way you address political and moral issues without the poetry being formulaic or hackneyed; writing new words about timeless, or at least widespread, issues is one of the greatest possible challenges for poets."

Lane Young, reader

"This is an ambitious book of poetry, beautifully produced, and the poet does have a distinct voice. It is refreshing to come across a poet of this caliber and ability to communicate. I want to see more of this poet's work . . ."

Ed Wincentsen, editor, New Thought Journal

"A writer who doesn't just love the outdoors— he senses that he is one of its descendant creatures, and is devoted to preserving the environment. He despairs of persons with a casual attitude toward nature's beauty, and even more of greedy developers who see nature as just another way to make a dollar . . . If you like light poetry about butterflies, blossoms, and hopping birds, I would suggest that you pass on Stephen Wing's Four-Wheeler & Two-Legged. On the other hand, if you care deeply for causes fundamental to the survival of civilization, this book is for you."

John Ottley, Georgia Poetry Society

"You know you have connected with a poetic sensibility when the images swirl about as they do in Four-Wheeler & Two-Legged, a new collection of poems by Stephen Wing . . . Wing allows his poetry few embellishments besides what comes in the array of imagery and lyrical phrasing . . . Relying on spacing and positioning as much as language, Wing draws attention to the look of his poetry, which has the variances of many voices and much detail without the clutter of random thought and expression . . . Though the poet's early joy is soon replaced by a concern for the environment, then for humans in the environment, the stridency of outrage is absent . . . As the book begins with a single two-legged soul on the highway celebrating the Earth, it ends with people sharing, joined in a common cause, binding the landscape into a single patchwork with the strength of their joined hands."

Dr. Bernard Morris, unpublished review

"Thank you for the wonderful book of poems. My friends and I have been enjoying their strength and gentleness, and especially respect for the Earth and its creatures."

Irma Wagner, reader

"Gazing with an eerie and delicate serenity on the ecological and political holocaust of the late 20th century, Wing resurrects hope and love in world filled with horror . . . Even Whitman would sometimes rage against tyrants; but Wing surveys the same outrageous world . . . and chooses not to employ the poetry of rage . . . Love triumphs over decay and death: this is a worthy and traditional theme of poets throughout the ages, and Wing handles it with grace . . . Wing untangles mysteries well, and with constant gentleness and frequent humor."

Bob Darby, unpublished review

"I felt your poems . . ."

Rae Wilken, reader



Table of Contents


1. Surface Magic

Bivouac Between Billboards

To the Animal Tribes

The Proprietor's Itch

Surface Magic

2. Ghost Antelopes on the Highway

O Beautiful Fallen Mother of Acorns, Goddess to Squirrels

Sacrament of the Six-Pack

Visiting the Deer

3. Umbilicus


Beggar's Lice

Roadside Psalm

4. To the Enemy Dead

The Eyes of the Assassin

Taste the Fire

Neruda's Drum

5. Nicaragua Lib Full Moon


Nicaragua Libré Full Moon

6. Not One of Us Will Escape the Rapture

The Attorney for Death


New Year

7. What We Share

A Hymn to the Mystery of Waking

And the Wind Fell Bleeding

The Name on My Cross