A Book Review of “The Keeper of Aeons” by Matthew MC Smith review from Spriha Kant

(Published by The Broken Spine) https://thebrokenspine.co.uk/product/the-keeper-of-aeons-matthew-m-c-smith/

Review of Matthew M. C. Smith’s book “The Keeper of Aeons”

                                                        Book Review by Spriha Kant

The title of the book “The Keeper of Aeons” speaks itself for the work the poet has done in this book.

The poet has beautifully painted all his poetries with metaphorical and personified strokes, influential to make the readers flow with them.

In a few poetries, the poet has recited mythological stories and beliefs, influential to drift readers into them, one of the poetries doing so is “Reunion,” quoting the following few stanzas from the poem:

“In the harbour, the sails are shrouds. The town 
  is a sleeping dog at its master’s feet. 
  They lie in the heat of night, dark forms 
  in silver light. With a gentle rise of wind, 
  the palace and Royal room are cooled 
  by the sea. She lies still, skin prickled, 
  her body barely betraying breath. 
  Her first finger rises, feels his ribs, 
  smooths a ridge of strung muscle 
  under his bow arm, a column of sinews.”

“Earlier, they crossed over, a pulsing, 
  a piling of limbs, a shine of two swords 
  clashing in Athena’s light; surging, 
  heaving, rhythms of rapture and fall”

The poet is from Swansea, Wales, and accomplished his Ph.D. in Robert Graves and Welsh Celticism from the University of Wales, Swansea in 2006. He has academic essays on Robert Graves published in The International Journal for Welsh writing in English. So, it is obvious to have a reflection of the Welsh culture, traditions, and customs, the beauties of the eminent landscapes, sacred places, and prehistoric caves present in Wales, and Welsh vocabulary in his poetries like a reflection of flora and sky in a pristine still river. The description of the beauties based on his keen observatory skills in his rivery poetries add the sun glitter by making the readers swim like ducks and wade like flamingos in his rivery poetries, showing a few shots of the sun glitter below:

“Is this the womb-temple, 
  the mouth of Annwn, 
  through ciphered rows of rocks?” 

“glint in glacier-ruins 
  where minnows flicker 
  in golden shallows”

“Step the green shelves – where shadows wind 
  and kinks of light kick as cupmarks bubble from a riven roof”

Showing glimpses of a few words used by the poet for one of the Welsh customs:  

“Horror a horse skull, bargain its bygone breath with death.
  The shock and shake of shell flays the air with its ribbon trail; 
  flails, tails, natters, rattles against glass, thumps, clunks doors ajar, 
  stealing heat to slate-sheen street.”

The poet’s attitude of flashing light on prehistoric species and objects while taking his readers on a ride to their prevailing state in the museums in synchronization with his emotions shows he is still a “fresh leaf,” on the fact that he completed his Ph.D. in 2006. However, this fresh leaf has also a deep love for prehistoric places and objects which is evident in the words he used in his poetry “Og of Coygan (Coygan Cave)”:

“When everything clears, eyes conjure images that twist in the spectrum.” 

The poet has also added different flavors in a few poems, including, satires, hard-hitting words, and recital of pathetic conditions influential to make the heart weep, quoting a few of the flavours below:

“Walk with cracked feet through heat 
  of the city. People cross as ghosts, drifting”

 “The low murmur of blood.”

“Tides are time’s erasure.”

“the paradox of human destruction versus quiet veneration”

A few poetries indicate the poet’s fascination towards “Space” which can be read in the following few stanzas from one of such poetries “What is Faith?”:

“It is knowing that nothing matters 
  that there is nothing else 

  but the dance of dust  
  around our bodies 

  and the speed 
  of light, impossibly fast 

  and far, which knows 
  no pain, an arrow without sentience. 

  That we were and are, 
  will be, so close 

  in moments uncounted, as we pass 
  through this carousel of space, 
  with hard laughter, 
  where lips are planets tilting 

  and limbs are luminous, 
  giant jets of cloud on axis, 

  against diamonds on black. 
  Our faith and belief are inside, 

  within, beyond each breath. 
  We, miracles of molecule, 

  with fingers that shape 
  and conduct our fervent whispers 

  to god.”

This book is a hair dyed in the streaks of archeology, nature, space, and mythology. However, there are a few poems vacuous of these streaks, such poems are scintillating like glittery hairpins in undyed black hair, one such poetry is “Winter Fever,” quoting a few following stanzas from the poetry:
“She kneels in silence, in a golden heart of light. 
  She is prayer, Angel. 

  Recovery is slow: veins blue, fingers white, 
  these hands, marmoreal.”

This book can be a reference for travel enthusiasts by giving them clues about the beautiful places to travel to in Wales. The poetries glittering with the beauties of the eminent landscapes present in Wales can prompt travel photographers to travel to Wales. This book can act as a root that can arouse interest in poetry and guide to writing poetry for all those untouched by poetry who are fascinated with space.  

Bios (Matthew M.C. Smith & Spriha Kant):

Matthew M. C. Smith (Poet):

Matthew M. C. Smith is a writer from Swansea, Wales. He completed a Ph.D. on Robert Graves and Welsh Celticism at the University of Wales, Swansea in 2006. He has academic essays on Robert Graves published in The International Journal for Welsh writing in English. 

Matthew is widely published with poetry and prose in Poetry Wales, The Lonely Crowd, Finished Creatures, Anti-Heroin Chic, Arachne Press, Atrium Poetry, Barren Magazine, Bold Magazine, Broken Spine Arts, Icefloe Press, Seventh Quarry, The Storms Journal, Fevers of the Mind, Bangor Literary Journal, Wales Haiku Journal, Green Ink, Twist in Time, and Acropolis Journal.
Matthew won the R.S. Thomas award for poetry at the Gwyl Cybi festival in 2018 and has been nominated for ‘Best of the Net’ three times by Icefloe Press, Acropolis Journal, and Broken Spine. He is the editor of Black Bough Poetry, the Silver Branch project, and the weekly online poetry platform TopTweetTuesday on Twitter. 
He published Origin: 21 Poems in 2018. The Keeper of Aeons is his second collection.

Spriha Kant (Poetess and Book Reviewer):

Spriha Kant is a poetess and a book reviewer. Her poetry "The Seashell" was first published online in the "Imaginary Land Stories." Her poetries have been published in anthologies including “Sing, Do the birds of Spring”, “A Whisper Of Your Love”, “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan”, and “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”. Her work has been featured in “SYNERGY: CALLING ALL WRITERS WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS” on thewombwellrainbow.com. She has been featured in the “Quick-9 interview” on feversofthemind.com. She has reviewed four poetry books, including, “Silence From The Shadows” by Stuart Matthews “Spaces” by Clive Gresswell, and “Washed Away- a collection of fragments” by Shiksha Dheda, and “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” by Jeff Flesch. She has been a part of the events celebrating the launches of the books, one by Jeff Flesch for “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” and the other one by Paul Brookes for “As FolkTaleTeller.”  She has collaborated with David L O’ Nan on the poetry “The Doorsteps Series.”

2 Poems from Oladejo Abdullah Feranmi : Mo(u)rning Candles & Highly Damned

(photo from pixabay)

Mo(u)rning candles

And these poems are a museum of me 
no matter how beautiful and ugly 
the prints fit your shoes. I carry my body 
an ocean so you can vast your wing 
about the blueness of my reflection. 
My body is a beach tiding grief 
even if I cough the yellowest sun. No matter 
how hard I burn bright, I can't put off 
these shadows. Or stop making teeth 
off their bones. How do I tell the world 
that y'all going to the same place 
you came from? From dawn to dawn again 
and everything melts into dew.

Highly damned

I hated happening to myself since 
I will have to pay my hands if the result
comes empty-handed. How holy can curl 
sharp on a tongue— how bitter I burnt 
when it broke chain off my voice box. 
I melted into a puddle and waved 
to dawn's peace— how much dust 
you can gather when your body 
is an hourglass 
my heart ticking me there. 
Every breath I take collapses a grain 
through the walls of my chest— I've seen 
enough of the past to call the window a mirror
—A reflection threw into the future 

Biography; Oladejo Abdullah Feranmi is a Veterinary medicine student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a submission reader at the sea glass literary magazine, and an editor for the incognito press. Pursuing his enthusiasm for poetry, He has his works published/forthcoming in Gone Lawn, Brave Voices Magazine, and a few more. He tweets from;@oaferanmi

A Poetry Showcase from Judge Santiago Burdon

Black Moon Promise

Bathroom confessions
backdoor redemption
Black moon promise
made to a leather winged Angel
Afterglow addict disciple of dawn
woman standing at the edge of love
listening for the silence in between the words
whispered by an ambidextrous tongue.
Loiterer in dim luminescence
under bloodshot skies.
beautiful visions reminding her of horrible things  
knowing the best part of truth are the lies
casualty of kindness twilight apostle
feeling what is not her favorite color
the song of flawed perfection 
its taste bitter on her lips
The melody fading with the last smile of summer

An Addicts Lament

I'll just have to start over 
After ten months of being sober
My weakness proved to be stronger 
than my determination to stay clean
Searched for a valid reason to get high
That didn't sound like an excuse
Resulted in a list of lies 
I used to bribe the truth 
I deserve a  reward 
for all the progress I'd made.
Listen to me trying to justify my actions
for what I had just thrown away 
I'll blame my sponsor say 
it's all his fault 
For being out of town 
When I needed his help most 
he wasn't around 
Temptation befriended me 
encouraging my decision
Where the hell is it now 
That I've become guilt ridden.
What am I thinking 
who's gonna know
That I relapsed and got high
Unless I tell them so.
I can live with the lie  
Big deal it's not the first time
After all I'm just a junkie and addict
Fighting a losing battle
with my habit 

The Hole In My Life

There's a hole in my life 
where all the happiness leaks out 
Doctors tried to fix it with medication                             
Which produced poor results     
So I made a hole in my arm 
to replace what I had lost            
Used all of everything I could find                                    
Nothing succeeded to fill the void.
Next ambition, compassion gratitude and pride                   
also spilled out and exited my life.                                              
A toxic depression filled the  emptiness inside
What remains is a hole I made in my arm                                   
And an addiction I struggle to satisfy                                   
created from a madness            that I prescribed

Temporary Sherry

The diamond in her wedding ring has lost its glimmer
Gone is the sparkle that once danced in her eyes
Left with a basket full of  laundry
Every memory a thief that has robbed her smile
A hostage of irresistible misfortune
She keeps telling herself it's a bad dream 
The sink full of dirty dishes
her laughter trapped in a scream
She stares out the kitchen window
sees a future of muffled thunder in broken skies
Her conversation with silence disrupted
By the sound of the baby's demanding cry

Two Dollar Talisman

I have never professed to know much, although what I do know,
is the distance between want and need is measured in sacrifice, the road that must be traveled to obtain this awareness is plagued with fierce storms, lightning crackles with Catatumbo intensity, rain slowly rusts your ambition, the wind's sharp corners cut through a frail confidence, causing your ego to bleed, your desire starves for just a morsel of encouragement, but your hunger doesn't entitle you to take part in the soul feast, you believe no one's pain is greater than your own, convinced you've paid your dues, now fate owes you, but you've defaulted on the loan, your want is a demand, its sole purpose is to please the image reflected in a selfish mirror,  you're damned to keep counting blessings, coming up short, then feeling cheated, out of what was never yours, yet you ask why your prayers go unanswered, your self-indulgent wishes are ignored, worshiping a two dollar Talisman, purchased at a thrift store, it has exhausted any cosmic goodwill it never had  before, turns out to be just another poor choice, as your last resort, if a line between  right and wrong ever existed, you snorted it long ago, and conscience you considered an encumbrance, was shedd in liabilities shadow.
I've lived a deplorable existence  inside the underbelly of life, my reward for addiction and a twisted mind, been in places where Satan would be afraid to visit, acting on some drug's bad advice, I've learned the more I denied my want, I discovered how little I need, I've heard it rains diamonds on Neptune, there's blue sunsets on Mars, but as I mentioned, I don't know much, I'm just an imitation of me.


A Poem inspired by Andy Warhol from Lynn White

Off the Wall

“Ceci n’est pas de la soupe de tomates”
Magritte might have said with irony.
But even off the wall 
straight from the can 
the same may be said!
And language spills out
with the contents.
“Quelle horreur!” 
say the gourmets in French.
But Warhol was as American
as Magritte was Belgian.
Irony on irony.

Bio: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

Poems inspired by Prince from Jackie Chou

Starfish and Coffee
(inspired by Prince's Starfish and Coffee)

I wake up to coffee I make,
Nestle instant with green tea,
powdered creamer,
and a dash of Sweet and Low.
It tastes crappy,
but I love the feeling it brings.

I cannot afford Starbucks,
miss the whipped cream,
the caramel swirls.
Don't like maple syrup and jam,
or ham, or tangerine,
but orange marmalade with butter,
on crusty biscuits from KFC.

My mother clothed me 
in mildewed sweaters.
I wouldn't be surprised,
if she fed me starfish for breakfast.
She'd pack it in a grimy tin box,
for all my classmates to see,
just like the song goes.

Raspberry Parade: A Ghazal for Prince

On my way home from the cabaret,
I realize I've lost my beret.

The street is an endless parade,
raspberries on my float, not a beret. 

Vagabonds crowd the sidewalks,
wrapped in colorful rags, but no beret.

I wear a red dress my mother bought,
with a crystal tiara, not a beret.

She passed away in 1994, 
and the song isn't about me but a beret.

Bio Note: I write free verses, rhyming poems, and Japanese short form poetry, some of which saw the light of day in journals like Alien Buddha Zine, Spillwords, and Cajun Mutt Press, Fevers of the Mind Press. I am also a Jeopardy fan.