The Year-God cover photo
  • Series: Modern & Contemporary 43
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-916272-51-7
  • ISBN-10: 0-916272-51-6
  • Pages: 70
  • Size: 0.325 x 6.0 x 8.5 in
  • Price: $9.95

The Year-God

Gerrye Payne

Writes Robert Gibb in his introduction, “Ecological and mythical. the poetry of Gerrye Payne participates in some of the most significant, and hopeful, aspects of our current time of crisis. Amid the loss of forests and habitat, the threat of continued extinctions, global warming, and George Bush’s New World Order, we need to remind ourselves daily of the fragility and evanescence of the natural world and of our own lives as part of it.” Payne brings this eco-sensitivity as well as a feminist perspective to this work.


The full text of Gerrye Payne’s The Year-God is stored at Albertson Library at Boise State University, and can be downloaded here. You may also purchase a copy of the book.

The Year-God


The sun is strong here in February,

and warms the rack of bones I hang upon.

Swirls of ambivalent forms refuse to

commit themselves to this or that,

won’t say yes or no, remind me of

orange fungus on the rotting log

shifting from itself to bright dust

as I watched.  The Year-God is here,

requiring transformation.

Twining together like abandoned sisters,

clinging to the porch rails, wisteria branches

thicken and knot themselves into buds.


Copyright © 1992 by Gerrye Payne

Born in 1942, Gerrye Payne spent her early childhood in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, except for two years in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. She moved with her family to Sacramento, California, where she attended McClatchy High School. A painting major at the University of California, Berkeley, she also studied poetry with Gary Snyder. Her chapbook of poems, Green, appeared in 1962 from Dennis Weir, Berkeley, and her book of poems, An Amateur Plays Satie, in 1984 from Loon Press, Santa Rosa, California. Her mixed-media art pieces, often incorporating poems or fragments of language, appeared in numerous exhibitions from 1963 until 1977.

Payne now lives with her husband in western Sonoma County, California, where she works as a psychotherapist. She is the mother of two children.