“Silence from the Shadows” is a collection of beautiful short poetries
fastened with easy words.
The poet beautifully portrays how a person’s poetry dances to the
feelings of the deep love that he/she has for his/her beloved as can be
felt in two of his poetries, ‘Poetry Book’ and ‘Let Poetry Resonate’. The
poet also encourages the youngsters for weaving their feelings into
poetries by stating the greatness of poetries in the last stanza of the poem
“Embrace The Power Of Words”:
“Death by poetry
Yet life through words”
In some poetries, the poet beautifully described the different phases
including sunrise, sunset, night, and evening as well as their transition to
their succeeding phase using metaphors and personification of the
celestial bodies that can be read in a few words quoted from his poetry,
“Setting Sun” below:
“The setting sun
Accepts her time is done”
The poet also shines a light on the melancholic phase, despairs, fears,
numbness, and helplessness in some of his poems that can be read in a
few stanzas and a few words quoted from the poetries below:
A few stanzas from the poetry, “Lost in Fear”:
“As children of the nightmare
We have nowhere to run
Trapped within the shadows
Of someone else's sun”
“The chains that shackled
And the broken delights
Reside now as a memory
Within the darkest
Of the coldest
A few words quoted from the poetry, “We Stand Frozen”:
“Cold is the hour
We stand frozen in awe
This book says a lot in depth with just a few easy words which makes it
easier to be understood even by unpoetic minds.
Bio for reviewer Spriha Kant:
Spriha Kant is born in Indore, India, and resides there with her family. She developed an interest in reading and writing poetries at a very tender age. Her poetry "The Seashell" was first published online in the "Imaginary Land Stories" on August 8, 2020, by Sunmeet Singh. She has been a part of Stuart Matthew’s anthology “Sing, Do the birds of Spring” in the fourth series of books from
#InstantEternal poetry prompts. She has been featured in the Bob Dylan-inspired anthology “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” by the founder and editor of the website Fevers of the Mind
“David L O’Nan”. Her poetries have been published
in the anthology “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”
2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan AnthologyA Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Poetess Spriha Kant
The most interesting thing you find from Michelle’s personality is through her writing. Poetry in quick deep thoughts, a comedy (at times a dark comedy), a reality of false absurdities of some of the people that surround her, mostly though she is a thinker. I may be outdating myself but her new book “Afterglow” reminds me of a pandemic vision through the old Jack Handey “SNL sketches” written through the beginning of pandemic times to the current and her observations of whatever a “new normal” is.
The book includes a quick excerpt to the recently passed poetic genius “Lawrence Ferlinghetti” and from there you are fall into the mindset of how these changes have everyone scurrying to the zone of “Where the fuck do we go now?” and are we still supposed to think for ourselves or for the masses.
This book reminds everyone to be themselves. Write out your feelings. Don’t feed a populous ego. An excerpt from Alfred D’Souza sets the stages on how during a couple of years of unknowing can shape your personality and vision for yourself and for beliefs.
These poems are real! Comedic, sarcastic, sadness at times, loving at times.
The familiar feeling of poems such as “Party of One” we got older and did anyone including ourselves notice?
Familiar and deep thinking short poems “Wherever She Went” “I Used to Have Dreams” “My 2020 Presidential Run” Here We Are Now, Entertain Us”, “Customer Service in May”, “Where is My Mind” all play upon this idea of the every day during the pandemic. Is this a normal day, or is this weird, or does it matter? Answers? Well hmm…We can write at least. And these poems are done with a quick flare of deep thought comedy that inside feels a sadness as well.
One of my favorite poems in this collection is “Maybe Heaven Got Boring” as Michelle goes into deep thinking watching an ant on her balcony ledge and comparing that to wondering if decisions such as brushing an ant away or letting it be is the same as how God would feel trying to make a decision on anything. Ants, humans, days, nights, sun, planets, oceans, otherwise?
“I Can’t Stop Reading My Horoscope” brings me back to my childhood and constantly reading my horoscope and thinking I am supposed to be feeling exactly as this writing is saying, or hell i’m nothing like this at the moment. Horoscopes always used to feel like an exact and ruled out any other possible characteristics that are passed to us.
Anger and boredom such as “Today I Wanted to Break a Plate” makes you wonder if hmmm…a metaphor can be a reality according to a moment’s notice of anger or an energy.
This is a collection of poems (comedic, pandemic, sad, happy, mad and wonderfully crafted)
Excellent, smart, metaphoric, quick/deep thinking brilliance from Michelle.
Book Review from Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell by Stephanie Parent (Querencia Press, LLC Chicago, IL 2022)
A Review of “Every Poem a Potion, Every Song A Spell” by David L O’Nan
As I began reading to foreword to Stephanie’s book I knew I wasn’t about to read just any collection of poetry.
I was about to read into the heart of a girl growing up that had equal fascinations with the beauty of
The characters and the macabre of the stories. The Light, the darkness, the fairytales, the evening falling back in the coals.
The perception that life can be beautiful, but with the cloud of doubt simmering by.
Influenced by folktales of Gretchen and Disney movies. These are poetry based on truisms and fantasy.
Are they all really that different?
While Hollywood tried their best to glam up the Cinderella, the Sleeping Beauty, the Snow White and Little Mermaid and so on, it seemed there was someone’s haunting voice that said that wasn’t my image when I began to write about what is NOT happening. How life is NOT treating everyone equally.
And women of the day could fell every bit of this dismal falsehoods of love and everafters, only to find the abuses of wars and Princes who could never life up to sainthood.
From “When Everything Else Was Gone”
“Girls who walked barefoot through the snow
Girls who wove cloth fine enough the fit through the eye Of a needle”
Girls who found the treasure within
A Million grains of rice” … The Key to their own Salvation.
From Into the Forest:
The common theme of woods enters the picture from folklore.
“Conjures scraped knees, ripped dresses
Secrets and monsters and
“Men might march through
With axes and torchs
“But women slip sidewise
Through the branches
Welcoming fear and shadow
As familiar friends”
The constant slurs and abuse from the older women. “The Evil stepmothers” and a consistent view of how men wouldn’t push past boundaries to be stronger humans and enforce what has always been taught to be brawny and fearless and at times abusive.
From Part One: Strange Creatures:
How womanhood changes at a young age affect a personality and confidence or a shame at least temporarily.
“I never wanted to be a human girl
Who sweated under her arms
Grew prickly hairs on her legs
Bled between her thighs”
She just wanted to be a mermaid. To live the fantasy of not having to deal with the tragedies and triumphs. The fragility of humankind much like a bird with weathered wings.
From Crack Nuts:
This tells of a girl fleeing for the first time away from the consistency that has been the hurt and try
To reshape herself into her own identity, away from what has been perceived upon her.
“When I left home for the first time
I went a little nuts”
“I didn’t find the castles or cottages or huntsmen I hoped for
In my forest, which was actually a city
Bordered by salty oceans and ashy mountains”
To reach out for mother when you needed her, the idea that she was ready to start anew left
Even more bruising and less fairytales.
From Red Hood in the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood):
A piece based on a woman wanting to create an identity for herself, to be who she wanted to be.
But prowlers and miscreants could only see her as an object.
“Look: She wouldn’t have worn red
If she didn’t want the wolf to notice her.
“We didn’t’ ask to be trapped
Within the rank flesh
Of the wolf’s belly
Tucked into ourselves, knees kissing temples
Breathing blood and acid and fear
Waiting for some huntsman to slit the fur
See that red hood”
The metaphors drip off this page beautifully. And paint the picture of the wanted posters that should be out there in more and more cities.
From Clawed Creatures: (Beauty and the Beast)
“Last Spring, her father had arrived home
Holding a rose with petals the color of blood –
A rose that never withered
Though the frost still crunched beneath his boots
The half-frozen gate still creaked on its hinges
As he stepped back into his bedraggled garden
Telling tales of a monster
That no one quite believed”
From Little Cages (Jorinda and Joringel, Part One);
(her singing birds
Transformed by her own hands
To resemble creatures native to exotic
She could never see)
…No girl ends up in a beautiful cage.
From Poissonnier (the Little Mermaid):
Our Human legs are things of violence
They kick and scramble and open wide”
I could keep going on but you have to read for yourself to realize the metaphors in these re-telling of fairytales are not what a young woman is told will happen. These are realities and fairytales need to be taken as serious and cautious and not expected. Dangerous people, situations beyond our control is out there to try and derail the happiness. It is up to the reader to search for the hope that Stephanie provides within the books in small inklings.
Many of these stories have been previously published before in wonderful litmags throughout the years. Stephanie has a wonderful talent for re-imagining a true world view on what a fairytale wishes it were.
Every Single Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell by Stephanie Parent is a enigmatic creation of imagery and spell bound twist of tales. The poetry speaks to the romantic and mystic persona of the individual, the distant lands, and of the elusive creature. Stephanie reveals mirrors with stanzas of a universe just beyond the haze. A breathtaking gaze into the globe of the faint edges of belief. From “Everything Else is Gone” to “The Answer” Stephanie calls you into the unknown as a Pied Piper of literary imaginings. A truly mesmerizing read that continuously surprises you with a scope of a splendorous and cerebral fairyland.
Jessica Weyer Bentley
Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell is available through Querencia Press, LLC in Chicago, IL (2022)
You can find this wonderful book through the normal avenues of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, amongst Stephanie’s own website.
kenneth m cale Greater Vegas Bleeds into the Dreams of my Cryogenic Slumber
steel incisors, 2022 Paperback, 38 pgs.
Greater Vegas Bleeds into the Dreams of my Cryogenic Slumber (steel incisors, 2022) is an outstanding title that lives up to its name. Part dreamscape, part landscape, kenneth m cale’s slim paperback is full of different visual, concrete, and free verse poems that blend like a sandwich with all the poetic fixings.
The “landscape(s)” of the book are “through the shaft of The Strip” covered in “rain slats.” There are also references to the market gains and the as well as “murmurs of dissent” that echo through the pages. The dreamscape is the smoke and blood crusted alleyways of the mind accompanied by “braying” animals take the reader on a thrilling tour of “greenzones” and “portents” that make one think that they are living the nightlife without having to travel to Las Vegas.
The different images are blends of what appear to be encryption code meets collage. Many of the pages are tinged with sultry legs or lips, partially hidden faces that make one believe that they are among the forgotten eye candy that walk the streets at night.
There is a lot happening in cale’s book, and it is a lot to sum up in thirty-eight pages, but it is done with gusto.
Samuel Strathman is a poet, visual artist, author, and custodian. His poetry has appeared in Cobra Milk, Bullshit Lit Mag, and Pinhole Poetry. His debut poetry collection, “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).
Book Review: Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems
If you happen to find yourself in Perth & Kincross in Scotland, it’s worth venturing out of your way to find the quiet hamlet of Trochry, near the town of Dunkeld. Near the River Braan, leading into the River Tay, you’ll find an unexpected literary treat in a country path: the Corbenic Poetry Path.
The path is 3.5 kilometres where “people, poetry and landscape meet”: the work of poets have been carved in stone, etched in glass, encased in resin, burned into wood and installed along the way, designed with a variety of surfaces to be as sensitive as possible to the wild terrain it passes through. Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems brings together the words and images from the trail, from the likes of John Glenday, Jon Plunkett (the path’s founder), Hazel B. Cameron, Jim Mackintosh, Stephanie Conn and more. Each poem is accompanied by an image of its location or corresponding marker along the path: we find words carved into the end of logs, pinned onto signposts, collected across fragments of flint, engraved into clusters of rock.
It’s clear that the photography in the collection offers a visual treat, and one can easily imagine the joy of wandering down the path, spotting these hidden (and not-so-hidden) verses. But what of the poems themselves? As expected, we are rich in the pastoral here: celebrations of landscape, of nature, of how both resonate in our imagination. Glenday gives us the image of canaries singing “back towards what little light there was”, a reminder that the light that nature provides can never be extinguished. Accompanied by this light, in the presence of natural surroundings, Margaret Gillies Brown’s poem The Inner Citadel invites us to pause and reflect, to realise that a forest park is perfect for practising mindfulness:
Eventually all of us Should adventure Down into ourselves: When the living and loving Has quietened We should take the journey Into the dark interior
Andy Jackson’s poem New World Order, beseeches the reader to get back to nature – perhaps more of our old ways than new – and cast off rules “derived from chilly mathematics”. Instead, we can celebrate the feelings of “running just to feel the wind” or “jumping up to feel the pull back down”. The whole poem carefully balancing a jaded adult voice with the want to rediscover the sweet innocence of a playful child, and stands as a powerful testament to the simple pleasures found along the path.
Elsewhere, we experience the straightforward rewards of walking (consider Plunkett’s denim “darkened to the knee” and “the booted pressure, | burst and pleasure”); the movement of seasons and weather (Brian Johnstone’s sheep tracks freezing over, “gloss mud to darkened, flesh-like textures”); and the restorative force of wildlife (Eileen Carney Hulme moving “close to earth | close to beginning” whilst in the sanctuary of a forest). The overall effect is moving: it makes you want to be close to nature too, to run out of the city and find a leaf-strewn trail to wander down.
As with any anthology bringing together poets of different experiences and perspectives, there is some rough within the smooth, some poems stronger than others, some not quite hitting their mark. But collectively, this is a very successful collection: a carnival of countryside that implores the reader to join in, to breath in the landscape and place yourself amidst the woodland and installations. At the very least, you’ll want to open an window and remove a degree of separation between yourself and the glorious outside, because these poems remind us that there is a bounty of glory and majesty to be found in nature, just awaiting our footfall, just awaiting the wanderer’s awe.