Book Review of “25 Atonements” from John Chinaka Onyeche (reviewed by Aondonengen Jacob Kwaghkule)

GRIEF IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY: AN AFTERMATH OF MALADMINISTRATION OF MOST 21ST CENTURY SOCIETIES; A GLANCE AT JOHN CHINAKA ONYECHE’S 25 ATONEMENTS.

BY: Kwaghkule Aondonengen Jacob.

25 Atonements is a forty paged poetry book penned by John Chinaka Onyeche. It is embedded with a lot of literal and figurative accurately engineered aesthetics. All the poems in the said collection are stylistically titled and numbered in Atonements from one to the twenty-fifth Atonement. Of a truth, all these poems are wow-stricken as well as mind-blowing considering the tone and the era in which they have been rendered.

Grief, according to English Dictionary means suffering, hardship. Grief is also defined as pain of mind arising from misfortune, significant personal loss, bereavement, misconduct of oneself or others, etc.; sorrow; sadness. Grief is the cause or instance of sorrow or pain; that which afflicts or distresses; trial.

In the poetry book, 25 Atonements, John China Onyeche has deliberately portrayed grief like sellers do display their wares in market squares_the picture of a girl captured in the early pages of the book speaks volumes_although, not minding the different view of the poet as seen in “Atonement Seven”. It is undoubtedly verifiable, that most 21st Century Societies, Nigeria inclusive, have failed their citizens just like the world always disappoints new born babies resulting into their cries immediately after being born.

Nigeria is one of the underdeveloped 21st Century societies_so to say. The level of maladministration in this country makes her to be termed an underdeveloped [if not undeveloped] nation till date. The question is how can a poet living in such a ruined society think straight other than being constantly interrupted by grief? With this, John Chinaka Onyeche has vindicated and bears no blames for having penning down grief in ‘poetrical’ lines.

Beginning from the interlude anchored by Tares Oburumu to the last Atonement, it can be inferred that this society has caused this grief  made visible in many poems of these poets today. For Tares openly says:  “I know of a happiness that doesn’t include me in its typical home. So I create one and rub it on my body. Does it smell? Am I the scent only my mirror understands?” No wonder, till date, Nigerians still seek homes on the shores of other societies…

One of the key amenities of life is shelter. This when it’s lacked, peace is lost and grief is activated. John Chinaka Onyeche has been /longing for a home in a home/ all this while. He captures this disillusionment in his second Atonement thus;

“When I stare into the face of yesterday
Home whispers hope to live on
But how else should I live
Atoning for yester-longings?” (Pg.14).

The question of homelessness in this society has promoted Onyeche to asking that /Where can be more home, than where the heart already lives, without leaving?/ In this poem, the author has succinctly explained what grief is, that:

“Grief, you’re a kin, bestriding the threshold
I know you, I know your story
—of a river holding a large whale
I know your story of a winter breeze
Scrubbing away light
You are a cloudy sky without rain
You are a shell without snail” (Pg.16).

The futility of many a citizen’s efforts in this Society is unfathomable. In different sectors, the Government of the people has kept denying being for the people. It contradicts what the poet has believed in. In his belief, it is biblically asserted that /“Ask and it shall be given,/Knock and the door shall be opened/For whosoever inquires shall find”/

Yet, here, a poet prays:

God save a poet atoning for the clouds
Gathering them from a blue sky with sun (Pg.21).

In a society filled with dysfunctional mayhems, a poet is left with nothing but his pen putting down pains to paper. It is evident as Onyeche puts; /My grief is clothed in the garb of rhetoric/(Pg.26). As /Words have galloped on our tongues/Pulling even the last pinch of steel/(Pg.32) and all that is made of this society is likened to;

A broken bucket
A broken water pot
A city of broken walls
A broken metaphor (Pg.31).

Indeed,  /This society has become a fire that burns me/[emphasis mine] and /I breathe here like a saltwater tide, coming in in the mornings and returning in the evenings/(Pg.34). Sadly, we only live to groan about /the wishes which dressed my good old days/(Pg.36).  For;

The stories told from a broken wall

Have held us bound a thousand times

If we don’t return to retell our tales of old

The days shall go by and not let us go on

Conclusively, it is what the society tells a poet to write he writes. John Chinaka Onyeche has done so. Poetry has therefore, been used here as a tool for exposng the cause of many a poet’s grief amidst this contemporary turmoil; the failure of the Government at all levels.

https://tinyurl.com/562pkrc4

Bio:

John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc” (he/his) is an author of three poetry collections “Echoes Across The Atlantic”, a husband, father and poet from Nigeria. He writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State.

John Chinaka can be reached through the following means:

Rememberajc.wordpress.com

Facebook.com/jehovahisgood 

Twitter.com/apostlejohnchin

Apostlejohnchinaka@gmail.com

https://linktr.ee/Rememberajc

Poetry Showcase June 2022 for John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc”

New poem “Journey of Love” by John Chinaka Onyeche

Poetry Focus on John Chinaka Onyeche (Rememberajc) 8 poems

Bio for Reviewer:

Kwaghkule, Aondonengen Jacob is popularly known by his pen name “Mr Kvip”. He’s an awarded Nigerian poet with multiple online and traditional publications.  A two time finalist for Pengician Chapbook Poetry Prize, 2021 and 2022, an Entrant for NSPP, 2021, and a Longlist, African Human Right Playwriting Prize, 2021. Kwaghkule Aondonengen Jacob bagged a B.A Honours in English and Literary Studies from the prestigious Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria, where he serves as the Poetry Editor for Insights. If he’s not writing, he’s admiring the beauty around him.

Book Reviews by Spriha Kant: “These Random Acts of Wildness” by Paul Brookes

Review of Paul Brookes’s book “These Random Acts of Wildness” by “Spriha Kant”

This book consists of a collection of poetries. 

The poet in some poetries makes his readers travel in, around, and out of the different portions of the home including lawns, backyards, kitchen, etc., in some of which he shows glimpses of the chores and concludes the bitter truth of the world and/or one of the fundamental truths of existence that whatever is created is meant to be destroyed the one or the other day. Quoting the following few words and stanzas from a few such poetries:

“His toy won't 
  cut grass but safely glides over its length, 
  so he stamps and bawls when his world don't 
  conform to his straight lines, because it's bent. 

  My wife says “Better” to our short shorn lawn. 
  We all want the wild to be uniform.”

“Organic time tamed, all about decay 
  not growth. Imagine accurate time based 
  on a gradually emerging way. 
  However, all things reduce to waste. 

  Our Dandelion's blown clocks are seeds
  to be uprooted as unwanted weeds.”

“A wave that washes away proof 
 that any effort has taken place, stacks 
 temporarily, finds another use, 
 
 elsewhere that is not always clear, and might 
 be mistaken for anarchy, or loss 
 of control, not wise, sensible foresight, 
 briefly anthologises summer's floss. 
 
 Never enough time to read the new 
 collections before gust edits the view.”
In a few of his poems, the poet has described the cruel and violent behavior of birds and animals such as in the poetry “The Hedgehog,” the intense fighting sequences can be seen. However, a few words from the poetry “Inhale Dappled Sun” are influential to bring tears to a compassionate heart, as quoted below:

“Bigger birds to feed their young snatch 
  open beaked fluffy kids from nests”

The poet has mixed many different horrible flavors in his different poetries, such as the poem “Polishing Me” which has a blood-curdling hysterical flavor. Similarly, the acerbic flavor in the last stanza of the poem “I Put My Bins Out” can be felt, and many other different flavors are worth reading in this book. 
    
Both poets and poetesses sometimes do work like abstract painters by leaving their poetries to the interpretation of readers. The poet has done so in his poetry “My Vacuuming” by concealing many stygian truths beneath it. The comprehension of the quantity or quantities of stygian truth(s) and the stygian truth(s) comprehended varies from reader to reader. 

Apart from concealing stygian truths beneath the poetry, the poet has also directly pointed to the messes encompassing the world in his poetry “My Window Cleaning” and a few words he used in this poetry are very deep and hard-hitting and, in the end, he states the question whose answer is unknown to him that shall remain unknown to everyone forever. 

The title of this book “These Random Acts of Wildness” kept by the poet is apropos to the shades the poet has used to paint his poems and he just wants to see the wildness vanish from this world that he stated in a few poems. Quoting a few words from the poem “Ironing” depicting the efforts the poet makes to reduce the wildness of this world:

“My hard weight tames the uneven and wild, 
  makes it all proper, gentle, meek and mild.”

However, merely, a shade is not appealing to the eyes in any painting. So, to add beauty to this poetry book, the poet also added tints in a few poems. The next two stanzas unfurl a few tints the poet added to a few poems. The pan containing shades was meant to be heavier than the tints in the beam balance of the poetries in this book as the poet desires to see the world without wildness and hence constantly tries to reduce the wildness. 

Personification is usually used to make the readers visualize the beauty of nature in the poems but the poet in his poetry “In Washing Up” has beautifully used personification to add enthusiasm and to motivate the spirit of readers. 

As it has been stated in the few words from the preceding stanza that “Personification is usually used to make the readers visualize the beauty of nature in the poems” so is the case in the poetry “Wildlife Map” except that the beauty is about the interaction between the light and slug windows. 

The poet has shone a very few poems with a beauty whose intensity is high with the size of a tiny thermocol ball, quoting such few beauties from different poems below:

“Butterfly briefly stainglasses our window.”

“A specialist shop 
 had a bud float in my clear cup unfurled 
 before my eyes.”
 
The poet has used very easy words with brevity to express the message he wants to convey to his readers. The use of easy words with brevity being one of the peculiarities of this book makes it suitable to be easily understandable by even non-poetic minds. 

Bios (Spriha Kant and Paul Brookes):

Spriha Kant:

Spriha Kant is a poetess and a book reviewer.

Her poetry The Seashell was published online at Imaginary Land Stories for the first time.

The poetries of Spriha have been published in five anthologies till now:

Sing, Do The Birds of Spring

A Whisper Of Your Love

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan

Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the mind

Hidden in Childhood

Spriha has done seven book reviews till now:

The Keeper of Aeons by Matthew MC Smith

Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch

Washed Away: A Collection of Fragments by Shiksha Dheda

Spaces by Clive Gresswell

Silence From the Shadows by Stuart Matthews

Breathe by Helen Laycock

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose by Gabriela Marie Milton

Spriha has collaborated on the poetry The Doorsteps Series with David L O’ Nan.

Spriha has been a part of the two events celebrating the launches of the books till now:

Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch

As FolkTaleTeller by Paul Brookes

Her poetic quote “An orphic wind storm blew away a sand dune that heaped all our love memories upon one another.” has been published as the epigraph in the book Magkasintahan Volume VI By Poets and Writers from the Philippines under Ukiyoto Publishing in the year 2022.

Spriha has been featured in the two interviews till now:

Quick-9 Interview on feversofthemind.com

#BrokenAsides with Spriha Kant on the brokenspine.co.uk

Spriha has been featured in Creative Achievements in 2022 on thewombwellrainbow.com.

The links to the features of Spriha Kant are:

Paul Brookes:

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Speernbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk onder (Afterworld Books, 2019). He is the editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews, and challenges. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and, videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions. A poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell resulted in “Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing”, (JCStudio Press, 2021). Recent sonnet collections of his: “As Folktaleteller”, (ImpSpired, 2022), “These Random Acts of Wildness”, (Glass Head Press, 2023), and “Othernesses”, (JC Studio Press, 2023).

Twitter: @PaulDragonwolf1

WordPress: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/PaulBrookesWriter/

Amazon:

Book Reviews from Spriha Kant: “Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetric Prose” by Gabriela Marie Milton

Review of Gabriela Marie Milton’s Poetry Book 
“Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose” by “Spriha Kant”

https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Splendor-Sorrow-Poems-Poetic/dp/1737296500

The beautifully gracious and wise poetess Gabriela Marie Milton needs no introduction so obviously, there is no room for any doubt that this book is mesmerizingly beautiful and has deeply heartfelt vibes. This book is a cradle of two clusters— Love Poems and Poetic Prose. 
A fragment of words from the poetry “Henrhyd Falls (Annwn)” of the Welsh poet “Matthew MC Smith” contained in his poetry book “The Keeper of Aeons” is fit to evince the beauty with which this book shimmers and this shimmer has a thrust to mesmerize its readers:

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

The poetess has used personifications, similes, and metaphors in both poetries and poetic prose in different expressions.
 
She has adorned her few poetries and poetic prose with personifications, similes, and metaphors like a bride with jewel ornaments. Displaying a few jewel ornaments below:

“your voice moves stones in a lonely graveyard 
  to bury the tears I cry”

“Shadows tremble on the silence of the tombs like 
  virgins under the touch of their first lover.”

“A pink conch tolls the waves announcing the homecoming of   
  the chrysanthemums”

“stars rise over old memories of purple seas 
  like cherry buds”

“when cotton candy sunsets sing 
  I’ll deliver myself 
  in the arms of Morpheus 
  forever 
  and ever”

“During the nights 
  in which the moon is glossy and crisp like the crust 
  of a country bread, the woman’s body gives birth to 
  mountain chains and fragrant valleys.”

“I know he loved me. Yet his mind was too pedestrian 
  to understand.”

In the poetic prose “Of Wounds,” the poetess has personified the feelings of humans from a pessimistic angle. Through this personification, she pointed to human vices and the extremities of the adversities pushing humans towards vices. The words she used for pointing to the extremities of the adversities are like melting furnaces for kind hearts.
Quoting below the stanzas consisting of the personification of feelings of humans by the poetess:


“The Envy wears red lipstick and high heels. She 
  dances naked on a wooden table. At every turn, 
  she spreads poisonous confetti in the air, and she 
  lowers her eyes. I try to decipher the meaning of her 
  gestures. I cannot.”

“The Greed, with her childbearing hips, indulges 
  herself with poor souls who live at the margins of 
  the city. The children are hungry, and the mother is 
  long exhausted. The beds are cold, and the moonlight 
  enters the rooms through broken windows.”

Contrary to the pessimistic angle of the personified feelings of humans, the poetess has also shed a light on an optimistic angle. Showing below the optimistic face:

“Love and sacrifice are the consummation of all acts 
  that lead to the warm meal that one hands to an old 
  man who dwells in the streets during cold winters. 
  They are the sum of all unknowns. They are the 
  fingers that draw the light of stars in the darkest of
  the skies.”

Each poem is a love poem with an ambiance of its own like chocolate with different flavors. 

The poetess in her poetry “The Ides of October” added the flavour of the love of a mother by showing beautifully and in-depth how a woman reaches the seventh sky on giving birth to a baby. Replaying below one of the scenes containing a dialogue spoken by the poetess on the behalf of every mother:

“When I see cocoons of the larvae, I think silk as 
  soft as the hair of the child.”

The poetess in some of her poetries has added a philosophical flavour. In one such poem “You and I,” the poetess wrapped a new cover printed with her words around the fundamental nature of existence. Showing the cover below:

“a baby star looks down 
  impermanence of flesh”

In some of the love poetries, the poetess has added a gloomy flavour by including melancholy, hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, regret, suffering, and tragedy in personal life and by also concealing the portion of the world submerged in the murky sea beneath the layers both through her few words and/or stanzas. 
These represent the sensitivity, compassion, and awareness the poetess has.
Quoting below a few words and stanzas representing the sensitivity, compassion, and awareness of the poetess: 

“I am neither a gift 
  nor something you can keep 
  I am the syllable forgotten on your lip”

“Eyes become the locus where the desert and the sea 
  meet.”

“I return to find the pardon of the sands 
  to kiss your dust left on your mother’s hand”

“your tired feet have walked the desert 
  thorns and thistles scarred your skin 
  squirming in a mire 
  enraged by liars 
  your nights of passions 
  felt like the apocalypse”

“Your face grows washerwoman skin.”

“kerf cuts your words left in my heart”

“I am as insignificant as a drop of blood floating 
  through the arteries of night. 
  Lost at sea the loneliness of sandcastles.”

“Roberto’s guitar sells cheap dreams by the sea 
  young girls are ready for harvest like flowers of lust”

“For three thousand years, sung by the poets of this 
  land, 
  the naked shoulder of the mountain reigned in 
  stillness.”

“you, my adulterated love 
  I light your fire 
  blindfolded I seek a buyer 
  for all my sins 
  for this September blood that I resold 
  and for the girl who once was me”

The poetess has added sensual flavour in some of her poems. She has picturized the sensuality beautifully, however, the expression differs in each sensual poem. Showing below the whole scene picturized in one of the sensual-flavoured poetries “Love Numbers”:

“We laid in the grass, shadows of poppies playing on 
  our faces with the same rhythmicity of the waves 
  on tranquil days.  
  At times we could feel the pulse of the new grains.
  The line of my décolleté – as you used to say – nothing 
  else but the demarcation between inexorable 
  sins and the blushing tones of the sunsets.”  
  
The poetess has recited a few of the prose in the form of a leaf with very few tiny dews. The leaf is the story and the dew is a tiny tinge of surrealism. 
Showing a few words from one of the dewy leaves “Autumn Reflections” below: 

“You waited for me at the end of the road. I felt your 
  hungry fingers unbuttoning my raincoat. 

 The children approached. Their little voices 
 pinched my brain like needles. Their thin bodies reflected 
 in your blue eyes.   

I asked:  

 Can you see the children? 

 What children? 

 The children dressed in white. They are in your eyes. Why can’t   
 you see them? 

 Your fingers continued to unbutton my raincoat. 

 Lord, I must have been born on the day of children 
 who cannot be seen and cannot be heard. 

 I choked.”

There are a few tiny glints of woman empowerment in this book though but the poetess transmogrified into a tigress in the poetries “On Women’s Writings” and “Feminine Submissiveness.” She in her transmogrified form stripped the critical issues of feminism and woman empowerment nude through her daggering words echoing as bellows and roars from her spirit, influential to ignite the fire in her feminine readers’ hearts to not let any of their glass ceilings go without smashes. 

Apart from all the previously mentioned peculiarities, this book has a lot more in it.

This book does not need any recommendation from anyone as the words in this book are fully presentable in themselves.  

Bios (Gabriela Marie Milton and Spriha Kant):

Gabriela Marie Milton:

Gabriela Marie Milton is the #1 Amazon bestselling poet and an internationally published author. She is a 2022 Pushcart Prize nominee, the author of the #1 best-selling poetry collection Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose (Vita Brevis Press, 2021), and the author of Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings (Vita Brevis Press, 2020). She is also the editor of the #1 Amazon bestselling anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (Experiments in Fiction, 2022).
Her poetry and short prose have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. Under the pen name Gabriela M, she was awarded 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press (NYC). Her piece “If I say I love you” was nominated for 2020 Spillwords Press Publication of the Year (Poetic). 

On July 6, 2021, she was featured in New York Glamour Magazine. Her interview can be read at the following link:

https://nyglamour.net/keep-going-greatness-always-encounters-resistance-gabriela-marie-milton

Spriha Kant:

Spriha Kant is a poetess and a book reviewer.

Her poetry The Seashell was published online at Imaginary Land Stories for the first time.

The poetries of Spriha have been published in four anthologies till now:

Sing, Do The Birds of Spring

A Whisper Of Your Love

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan

Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the mind

Spriha has done six book reviews till now:

The Keeper of Aeons by Matthew MC Smith

Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch

Washed Away: A Collection of Fragments by Shiksha Dheda

Spaces by Clive Gresswell

Silence From the Shadows by Stuart Matthews

Breathe by Helen Laycock

Spriha has collaborated on the poetry The Doorsteps Series with David L O’ Nan.

Spriha has been a part of the two events celebrating the launches of the books till now:

Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow by Jeff Flesch 

As FolkTaleTeller by Paul Brookes

Her poetic quote “An orphic wind storm blew away a sand dune that heaped all our love memories upon one another.” has been published as the epigraph in the book Magkasintahan Volume VI By Poets and Writers from the Philippines under Ukiyoto Publishing in the year 2022. 

Spriha has been featured in the two interviews till now:

Quick-9 Interview on feversofthemind.com 

#BrokenAsides with Spriha Kant on the brokenspine.co.uk

Spriha has been featured in Creative Achievements in 2022 on thewombwellrainbow.com.

The links to the features of Spriha Kant are:

https://feversofthemind.com/2022/09/13/a-fevers-of-the-mind-quick-9-interview-with-poetess-spriha-kant/

https://thebrokenspine.co.uk/2022/12/07/brokenasides-with-spriha-kant/

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2022/12/27/celebrateyourcreativeachievementsof2022-calling-all-poets-short-prose-writers-artworkers-between-26-31st-december-i-want-to-celebrate-your-creativity-over-the-last-year-please-email-me-a-list-plus/













Book Reviews from Spriha Kant: “Breathe” by Helen Laycock

Review of Helen Laycock’s Poetry Book “Breathe”

                                                              Book Review by Spriha Kant

The sagacious poetess “Helen Laycock” needs no introduction. She has shown varied phizzogs in her writings, all influential to make the readers submerge deeply in them. 

In this book, the poetess has filled her certain set of poetries in a cell, and each cell is followed by a quote. 

The poetess in this book has expressed different feelings and has stated different circumstances through nature using personifications, metaphors, and similes. 

It is always said, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” Some poetries describing beauties of others unfurl the magnificent beauty lying in the eyes of the poetess, showing a few glimpses seen by the beautiful eyes of this poetess from one of the poetries “Dragonfly” below:

“you share
your iridescence
when you alight
on the fence,
flashing bright
your oiled magic”

“wings silver-strutted veils”
                                       
The poetess has created some poetries as frames, each inserting a picture of death, some pictures are of tragic death that can strike the hearts of sensible readers to bloody tears, one such tragic death can be seen in her poetry “Wisdom,” in one of the frames, the death in the picture is a ravenous vampire standing on the threshold, this picturization is in her poetry “Wolf.”
Quoting below a few stanzas from the poetry “Wisdom”:
              “Once white under 
                  a bright moon, 
                 ghost of dusk, 
               the love-faced barn owl, 
                   will soon be a husk, 
                its flight forever silent, 
              its round light shuttered, 
                              strewn. 

                    You fired, you goon.”
The poetess is the light in the darkness in some of her poems. This can be cited from the following stanza from her poetry “Virus” in which she acted as a pearl diver by taking out positive aspects from all the negativities of the world:

               “Two still worlds 
                   hugging quiet 
                  as nature unfurls 
               on the peopleless stage. 
                      Softly, it heals, 
               waiting for the creep 
                     of gentle feet 
                   and the whisper 
               of heartfelt promises 
               now we understand.”

Apart from acting as a pearl diver, she has also acted as a live painter by painting beautiful poetries based on her keen observations. Showing below one of the live paintings “Pinked” drawn by the poetess: 

“In the shimmer of sunset on rippling lakes 
             a flamboyance of flamingos 
                   are blushing lilies.”

The poetess in some of her poetries has also worked as a boatwoman by propelling personifications in her rivery-poetries. The words of the poetess Gabriela Marie Milton “A banquet of candles floods the streets” from her poetry “Professions” in her book “Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: Love Poems and Poetic Prose” fits to be used as a metaphor for the beauty of these rivery poetries. 

Quoting below a few stanzas from a few rivery poetries:

“The light begins to slumber, 
 and the rosy windows kindle, 
and the water strokes the barge 
        with soothing calm.”

“Gulping its way down the valley 
            of her slanted palm, 
a tawny brush sweeps and drags, 
sags between finger and thumb, 
for inspection and settlement.”

“Little glinting messengers, 
              marooned”

“Wind breathes fragile waves
        into saffron dunes”

However, the poetess has also swelled a few rivery poetries with pride by hoisting the flag of the glorious victory. This swelling is influential to motivate the readers to remain optimistic proving that the poetess is a light in the darkness. Showing the swelling in the following stanza from the poetry “Focus”: 

“Grey armour succumbs, 
  curls into a shot pellet, 
       rolls into the treasure trove”

The poetess has also worked as an intimacy director in her poetries “Tomorrow’s Bonfire” and “Moon Eyes.” 
The poetry “Tomorrow’s Bonfire” shows physical intimacy. Her direction to her   words is influential enough to make the readers visualize as if they are watching an erotic movie, showing the teaser of this erotic movie below:
 
“She bends her neck and gazes through the dark. 
 Her curling tongue begins its careful sweep, 
 maps contours, sampling the bond. 
 The slippery mass, inert, lies in a pool, 
 as limp as his discarded sodden shirt.” 
The poetry “Moon Eyes” depicts emotional intimacy, quoting the following words glittering with emotional intimacy:

   “we were together, 
            faces lit, 
     little moons 
      in our eyes 
like lucky pennies 
          glowing 
    in the darkness” 

The poetess has also worked as a tailor by beautifully sewing the metaphors and similes in her poetries like a sequin on a cloth. Showing a few sequins below:

           “blanch wintry night”
 
           “diluted sun”

          “frail as moon-thrown lemon-barley light”

                 “as chrome
             breaks a hole 
         in the chalky sky, 
              they are lit 
              like tinder.”             

                     “fleeting furrows  
             falling like chiffon festoons”

                                          “Bats 
                wrap up in overlapped, buttonless macs, 
                     peering over their collars like spies. 
                Some are the discarded gloves of thieves, 
                      balled-up leather in untidy pairs. 
                         They drape: grey, collapsed umbrellas 
                      broken by the windy commute 
                              and flung onto pegs.”

The poetess, on the one hand, has urged her readers to embrace the beauty of nature and interact with nature in a few poetries and has also paid tribute to nature in her poetry “Earth Mother” while on the other hand has shown nature’s inhospitable attitude in the poetry “Pines” which is commendable. 

This is a mesmerizing book for those wise poetic souls who are nature lovers and have beautiful hearts with a good sensibility as well as sensitivity. 

Bios (Helen Laycock and Spriha Kant):

Helen Laycock

Poetess and storyteller, Helen Laycock’s writing encompasses poetry, microfiction, flash fiction, short stories, plays, and children’s novels.
Former recipient of the David St. John Thomas Award, and nominee for the Dai Fry Award, Helen Laycock has been a competition judge and a lead writer at Visual Verse. Her poetry has been incorporated into a U.S. art exhibition and her collection Frame was featured as Book of the Month by the East Ridge Review in 2022. 

Most recent publications are in Sun-Tipped Pillars of Our Heart and Afterfeather, both published by Black Bough.

Her poetry appears online and in numerous writing magazines and anthologies such as Popshot, The Caterpillar, Writing Magazine, Poems for Grenfell (Onslaught), Full Moon and Foxglove (Three Drops Press), Silver Lining (Baer Books Press) and From One Line (Kobayaashi Studios). 

Imminent publications are The Storms Journal, Issue Two and Hidden in Childhood (Literary Revelations)

Current poetry collections available are Frame, Breathe and 13 (poems written in just thirteen words); she is also in the process of compiling several more themed collections.

Many of her poems can be purchased as postcards at Pillar Box Poetry.

Her website Conjuring Marble into Cloud showcases some of her work.

Laycock’s flash fiction has featured in several editions of The Best of CafeLit. Pieces also appear in the Cabinet of Heed, Reflex Fiction, The Beach Hut, the Ekphrastic Review, Serious Flash Fiction, Paragraph Planet, An Earthless Melting Pot (Quinn) and Lucent Dreaming – whose inaugural flash competition she won. She was longlisted in Mslexia’s 2019 flash fiction competition and her work has several times appeared in the Flash Flood as part of National Flash Fiction Day.

She is currently compiling a second volume of microfiction, Ink Spills, to complement Wind Blown, a collection which came about because of the Twitter #vss365 challenge.

She has also written several short story collections as a result of competition success.

These fall distinctly into one or other of the categories, Dark or Light

Dark:

The Darkening

Minor Discord

Peace and Disquiet

Light:

Wingin’ It… Tall Tales of (Fully-Grown) Fairies with Issues

Confessions

Light Bites

More of her short stories and flash can be found at her website Fiction in a Flash

Formerly a teacher and a writer of educational text, Helen’s children’s fiction is suitable for readers of 8+ The stories are mainly mysteries, but a bit of humour has crept in, too, with a new book about to make an appearance shortly. You can find out more on her children’s website.

You can follow Helen at Facebook or at Twitter

All her books are available on Amazon.

Spriha Kant

Spriha Kant is a poetess and a book reviewer.

Spriha’s poetry “The Seashell” was published online at Imaginary Land Stories.

The poetries of Spriha have been published in four 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”.

Spriha has done five book reviews, including, “The Keeper of Aeons” by Matthew MC Smith, “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” by Jeff Flesch, “Washed Away: A Collection of Fragments” by Shiksha Dheda, “Spaces” by Clive Gresswell, and “Silence From the Shadows” by Stuart Matthews.

Spriha has collaborated on the poetry “The Doorsteps Series” with David L O’ Nan.

Spriha has been a part of the events celebrating the launches of the books “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” by Jeff Flesch and “As FolkTaleTeller.”

Spriha has been featured in interviews, including, “Quick-9 Interview” on feversofthemind.com and “#BrokenAsides with Spriha Kant” on thebrokenspine.co.uk.

Spriha has been featured in “Creative Achievements in 2022” on thewombwellrainbow.com.

The links to the features of Spriha Kant are:

Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

Our twitter is @feversof eic @davidLONan1 Facebook Group: http://www.feversofthemind.com Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group

Submissions e-mail: feversofthemind@gmail.com 

Please send in word doc format and mostly traditional styles for easier translation to the page if possible. If not pdf will work. Google docs don’t always work so well.

Donate to our paypal also at feversofthemind@gmail.com (anything helps to keep the site going)

*WEB SUBMISSIONS ONLY*

We are doing an online anthology on the blog for Langston Hughes. Send poetry submissions inspired by Langston to us by February 10th.

In addition We are open for Poetry Showcases for anyone to send 3-5 poems/prose. If not all pieces are accepted. I will post the 1 or 2 poems but will not be considered a showcase.

We are unable to provide compensation at this time contributors. We have to reach out through the year for donations just to keep the site going. This is for the art of poetry, music, art & other creatives.

Some poetry/art published on this site will periodically be taken down if space is running low. You will be guaranteed at least 6-8 months exposure on our website. No promises after that and don’t take it personal.

Themes we are Looking for Poetry/prose/articles/other styles of writing are for Adhd Awareness, Mental Health, Anxiety, Culture, History, Social Justice, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Love, Poem series, sonnets, physical health, pandemic themes, Trauma, Retro/pop culture, inspired by music/songwriters, artist, inspired by classic & current writers, frustrations.

Online Submissions could include Poetry, Art, submitted Book Reviews, culture pieces, rants, pre-published poetry from self-published materials, defunct lit mags, pieces from other lit mags/books/blogs with permissions. We prefer 3-5 poems sent unless you are sending for a writing prompt. There could be exceptions to this rule of course. If we take 3-5 or more poems from you will we feature you as a poetry showcase on the website.

We prefer submissions with a bio to help promote your work. Please let us know if something has been previously published, we will make a judgment call on whether able to include. I don’t love the idea of sending rejection letters.  If you don’t receive acceptance assume we passed up this time and send something else. If you have simultaneous submissions out there, please keep this in mind. If not accepted at first, Just try again…We will not accept pieces that we deem racist, sexist, homophobic, or have pornographic themes, photos, or any type of nudity in submissions.

About writer/editor David L O’Nan

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

My newest book released October 2022 “Cursed Houses”

https://amzn.to/3TPIPAv

Out now the Deluxe Edition of “Before the Bridges Fell”

https://amzn.to/3ftkxNX for a copy on paperback or kindle (U.S.) please check availability in your country. Some countries take awhile for the paperback to be released. It could be a few days to a couple months until available.