The author presents As Glaciers Move in its entirety as a metaphor: as glaciers shape majestic mountain peaks and wondrous valleys, forces (influential persons, significant junctures and life-altering events) that we encounter in our lives shape the way we "see" or perceive everyone and everything in our world. And our altered perceptions, inevitably, affect the way we act and think.
As Glaciers Move could be the author's memoir, although unorthodox and metaphorical: the poems and prose are in chronological order from 1975 to 2017, and the book's premise is the "progression of perceptions." However, since most of the poems have several layers of meaning (literal and figurative), they may speak to the reader of his or her own life experiences. This book is laid out in three parts and does not necessarily show that the author matures (or becomes wiser) as he goes through life; instead, it presents how his perceptions of the world change as experiences and observations accumulate. In "Part One," the poems and prose are from the mid-70s to the late-80s as the author goes from being a teenager (just then noticing his surroundings and political and societal events) to a young adult (struggling or dealing with "adult" responsibilities). In "Part Two," the author's focus shifts to introspection, reminiscence and metaphysics as he encounters the inherent difficulties of work and marriage and the overall challenges in this life, this world. With "Part Three," the topics shift again (to pain, anger and especially acceptance, for example) as he enters the fifth decade of his life facing one illness after another. The final piece in "Part Three" is "The Stranger and I," a poem that delicately reveals a revelation regarding the fate of the poem's protagonist, a fitting conclusion to a book about a person's lifelong experiences.