Silence

Silence on my page

like the long shadow

of a bare tree

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Small Stones-The Mall

After: The clang of the cash registers, the snaking queues, the feigned patience of shoppers, tapping feet, glances at mobile screens, children tugging at adults’ clothes, the candy by the counter.

Before: Shuffling down the aisle, picking, peering, tossing into baskets, wheeling the overloaded beasts to the neon blinking counters.

Much Before: Fresh air, cool breeze, vibrant outdoors, a step inside the gargantuan building, deodorised interiors and a blast of air-conditioning.

What are small stones?

A small stone is a short piece of writing (any style) that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment for you. The process of discovering small stones is as significant as the finished creation. Searching for small stones encourages you to keep your senses on the “alive and alert” status. Involve yourself with a new set of eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind. This is Mindful Writing at its best. 

Derek Walcott: Poet and Creator of breathtaking beauty. 

Sir Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize-winning poet, playwright and essayist, died on March 17, 2017, aged 87. 

This post is written in the memory of Derek Walcott, of whom I have no memories at all, neither of the man himself, nor of reading his poetry. With the news of the passing away of the Nobel laureate, his poetry has surfaced and being read and analyzed and remembered all over the world. 

I now learn of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia that he belonged to, that shaped his poetry and that he borrowed from, all his life. I only knew of the other Nobel laureate from the Trinidad and Tobago islands, the inimitable V. S.Naipaul. There must be something about the islands that begets so much poetry and literary excellence. Incidentally, the two of them have been contemporaries, knowing each other well and later, falling out and having an acrimonious relationship. 

Derek wrote majorly of the Caribbean, of the landscape and the topography, of its colonial past and its rich and varied culture, which came about due to the intermingling of influences over the centuries. 
In reading his poetry, I learn of the pull of the native places and their place in our psyches, the ways they shape our narratives and the ways we go back to them in our memories, if in no other way. 

In his poetry, Derek turns back again and again to St. Lucia… 

…Didn’t I prefer a road

from which tracks climbed into the thickening syntax
of colonial travellers, the measured prose I read

as a schoolboy? 

– Omeros

I also learn of the anguish and the muse of a creative spirit, at the empty days, of the pain of not being able to create. 

… I am a musician without his piano

with emptiness ahead as clear and grotesque

as another spring? 

– In the Village 

Walcott was prolific, but he would still wait for inspiration, perhaps, waiting for the poems to arrive, without trying to force them. 

If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be average.

I learn of the power of the creation that is brought about anew, when things break and the ways they are then glued together. The pieces are better than the whole; it is the healing power of love that brings life to it. 

Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. The glue that fits the pieces is the sealing of its original shape.

 -Nobel Acceptance speech. 

I learn what home is and how exile affects the person with its pain and longing. All through his work, Derek talks of places and of being away from them, exploring them in his memory and the memories being even stronger than reality. There is a poignant nostalgia in his poetry. 

I also learn of lives and of journeys… 

Verandahs, where the pages of the sea

are a book left open by an absent 

master 

in the middle of another life –

I begin here again, 

begin until this ocean’s 

a shut book, and like a bulb 

the white moon’s filaments wane.

-Another Life

I learn about the beauty of greeting myself at the doorstep, waiting eagerly for me to walk through the door, to hear about my day, to smile at the good fortune I had and the little things that went wrong. About knowing myself, as I have known my fears and struggles and desires; the unfulfilled ones and the unrequited passion. 

…with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door…

– Love after Love. 

Derek’s lyrical poetry is a sensory extravaganza. 

…I lived there with every sense.

I smelt with my eyes, I could see with my nostrils.

-Omeros 

There is not just his home that is in his poetry, it is the deep sense of the places he is in, the painting of a picture through words. Being a trained artist and expected to be a painter when he was young, his skill of seeing things as paintings and pictures comes through as breathtaking beauty. 

Roads shouldered by enclosing walls with narrow

cobbled tracks for streets, those hill towns with their

stamp-sized squares and a sea pinned by the arrow

of a quivering horizon, with names that never wither

for centuries and shadows that are the dial of time. Light

older than wine and a cloud like a tablecloth

spread for lunch under the leaves.

-In Italy

Derek talks of age that is no longer youth, 

I have come this late

to Italy, but better now, perhaps, than in youth

that is never satisfied, whose joys are treacherous,
while my hair rhymes with those far crests, and the bells

of the hilltop towers number my errors,

because we are never where we are, but somewhere else
– In Italy

In White Egrets, published in 2010, Derek muses on his own mortality. Beautifully, he says, 

be grateful that you wrote well in this place,

let the torn poems sail from you like a flock

of white egrets in a long last sigh of relief. 

And, as he famously said, 

No poems. No Birds. 

– In the Village. 

Small Stones – Book

The cracked spine of the book 

digs through my palm 

The rustle of the pages 

brittle with age 

The musty odour wafting up 

Yellowing pages and faded words 

mingle with the bitter coffee 


What are small stones?

A small stone is a short piece of writing (any style) that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment for you. The process of discovering small stones is as significant as the finished creation. Searching for small stones encourages you to keep your senses on the “alive and alert” status. Involve yourself with a new set of eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind. This is Mindful Writing at its best. 

Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves : Review of a poetry collection 


Title
: Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves 

Author : Jasmine Farrell 

Genre : Poetry 

Synopsis 

Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a collection of poetry that draws the reader into the world of personal identity, inner growth and the complexity of human relationships. Ordinary and common images, especially ones found in nature, are used to card poems that appeal to the uncommon, the suppressed and the others. Filled with incredible grace and accessible wisdom, the poems explore a wide range of complex emotional themes. With unexpected metaphors and sparkling similes, the pieces varying in rhythm and theme, making each one like a foul wrapped candy : something to savour, enjoying each new bright colour on the tongue. 

Summary 
Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is the poet’s second collection of poems to be published. Jasmine Farrell is a writer and a blogger, living in Brooklyn, New York. 

The book chronicles a journey of personal transition over a span of two years, from unwanted dogmas to faith and peace. The angst gives way to questions and affirmations, seeking leads to finding and the various experiences touching upon love, racism, spiritual beliefs ultimately lead to an understanding in the poet’s heart. 

Review 

There are 80+ poems in this poetry collection. There are many themes, moods and emotions and the simpler wonderings in the poems at the beginning give way to complex issues such as love, spirituality and social inequality as we read on. 

This is a journey of the poet from self doubt and bitterness to faith and peace. It touches upon the search for identity, walking the true path and finding the life’s purpose to infatuation, love and betrayal moving on to feminism, racism and her personal idols. The difference in tone for the different themes is striking although there is a constant undertone of personification and of using metaphors and similes to her advantage. 

I’ve always wanted to be a Poet‘ sets out the reasons this volume came into being. She talks of the complete reasons of how an artist chooses the art, how poetry helps her to express her deepest emotions and how she can get others to relate to her experiences. 

Followed by ‘Letter to the Pretentious Poets ‘, the poet makes clear the ways she would not want her poetry to be. And thus follows a stream of poetry that is not bound to a structure. Some of the poems have a stream of consciousness feel and the others sound like affirmations. Many sound like narration, telling a story. 

The struggle from the now to the new comes up again and again in her poems. In ‘There will be Days ‘, 

The war between old, new and true 

reigns heavily within my thoughts on these days. 

There is a joy gushing forth in ‘I’m livin’ (To Zora)’. 

Capturing peace with wild spins and heavy slides. 

I dip to the down beats ’cause joy is hidden there. 

Verdict 

There is a lack of structure in the poems. Sometimes the lines are short and sometimes they are long and complex. It feels like prose packed as a poetic form. 

The metaphors seem mixed up and the contrasts are put in the wrong places and for the wrong reasons. 
There are also a few grammatical errors and editorial slip ups. 

Incoherence shows up in some places. A poem starts on a premise and yet ends on a very different note. Some poems pull multiple threads from many other pieces, making it a mish mash of emotions. 

At the same time, the themes are good and the range of feeling is very broad. There is no pretention in her poetry. It is straight from the heart. 

The emotions are deep felt and come through in ‘black ink’, bleeding on paper. There are gems shining through. There is a marked maturity in the treatment of subjects and in her inner universe from the beginning to the end. From self doubt to celebrating the exuberance of life, it is a fruitful journey. 

Rating 

I rate the book 3 stars. 🌠🌠🌠 

I received an ebook of the poetry collection for an honest review. 

Small Stones 

mild breeze 

the rain of tiny leaves 

from the tree 
​What are small stones?

A small stone is a short piece of writing (any style) that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment for you. The process of discovering small stones is as significant as the finished creation. Searching for small stones encourages you to keep your senses on the “alive and alert” status. Involve yourself with a new set of eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind. This is Mindful Writing at its best. 

Small Stones (8)-Temple

​cool damp floor

bell sounds like a gong

reverberating incessantly

brass shiny and catching the sunlight
What are small stones?

A small stone is a short piece of writing (any style) that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment for you. The process of discovering small stones is as significant as the finished creation. Searching for small stones encourages you to keep your senses on the “alive and alert” status. Involve yourself with a new set of eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind. This is Mindful Writing at its best.