Blog Archives

Touch My Head Softly

Touch My Head Softly by Eileen P. Kennedy is a heartbreaking but honest collection of poetry. The poems are a stirring reflection of emotions, both before and after, the death of her partner that detail love, sorrow, and frustration. Kennedy’s poetry portray heartbreak and sorrow in few, but powerful, words.

The opening piece to her collection, “The First Decade of the Twenty-First Century,” encapsulates the decade with not only current events like the first black president but also with events in her own personal life, like the death of her partner to Alzheimer’s. My personal favorite from her collection is “Year.” In this poem, Kennedy is vulnerable and open to what life became with her husband’s disease. Broken up by months, we are only able to get a glimpse of that pain, and yet it is still poignant. When comparing this poem to the first one, “Getting Through the Night,” I couldn’t help but tear up a little. In “Getting Through the Night,” we witness the love and connection she and her husband had, and to witness the shift in “Year” was striking. It is important to note that not all poems are dispirited, some capture a bright life in Mexico. Touch My Head Softly is a collection of emotionally-charged poetry that explore life with observant poems that will appeal to anyone who loves inspired poetry.

Pages: 46 | ISBN: 1646624076

Buy Now From B&N.com

TUZIBEBE KANGA ZETU

TUZIBEBE KANGA ZETU

Leo siku ya simanzi
tuzibebe kanga zetu.
Tusambaze kona zake nne
zikawe ngao ya uchungu wetu.
Kanga zetu zibebe faraja
hadharani na faraghani.
Magufuli katutoka
kama jua linalozama.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukasambaze matumaini.

Machozi yatutiririka
kwa kasi ya mto Ruvu.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukadeki nyuso zetu.
Kilio kimetutia kikwi
tujisitiri na kanga zetu.
Waliotangulia tuwaombee
heri iwavushe kwa maulana.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
kama mkeka wa sala.

Kanga zetu tuzifukize rehema
ili tujawe karama.
Vinyongo na visasi tupepee
vitoweke kwa haya na soni.
Marehemu wetu tuwaenzi
fedheha sio kanga yetu.
Tuilinde amani yetu
kwa umaridadi wa kanga.
Tuyavae maneno mema
kwa madaha ya utanashati.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukamuage baba yetu.

Tamati ya maisha imefika
buriani haitoshi pindo.
Kanga zetu ni vigawanyio
kati ya mauti na maisha.
Sare za kanga zetu
ni shada zenye thamani.
Tutandike kanga zetu
kwenye njia ya mazishi.
Waliolala wanafarijika
kusindikizwa kifahari.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
safari ya baba imekwisha.

Translation/Subtitles:

LET US CARRY OUR KANGAS

Today is a day of mourning
let us carry our kangas.
Let us spread its four corners
as a shield for our pain.
Our wraps should carry comfort
publicly and privately.
Magufuli has left us
like the setting sun.
Let us carry our kangas
to go spread hope.

Tears are welled up
like the speed of the Ruvu river.
Let us carry our kangas
to mop our faces.
Weeping has hiccupped us
let us shield ourselves with our kangas.
Let us pray for the gone ones
to cross over with blessings.
Let us carry our kangas
like a prayer mat.

Let us fragrance our kangas with mercy
so we may be gifted with deliverance.
Let us wave away bitterness and vengeance
that they depart ashamed and confounded.
Let us honour our late loved ones
for ridicule is not our kanga.
Let us protect our peace
with beauty of the wrap.
Let us wear good words
with pride of elegance.
Let us carry our kangas
to bid farewell to our father.

The end of life has come
farewell does not fit the hem.
Our kangas are a border
between death and life.
Our kangas as uniforms
are valuable wreaths.
Let us lay our kangas
on the road to the funeral.
Those gone are comforted
by this elegant escort.
Let us carry our kangas
our father’s journey is over.

Alchemy Using Words

Author Interview
Ruth Nakamura and Anna Griego Author Interview

Crow Moon is a book of poetry with a unique and vivid view of life and nature. What inspires you to write poetry?

Anna Griego: Writing for me is like a form of alchemy using words to evolve, and sypher through experiences and emotions. As a child writing was a form of escapism. Now it is necessary. I studied at the University of New Mexico.

Ruth Nakamura: I grew up surrounded by the natural world in the south valley of Albuquerque. I felt very in tune with creatures and plants, and had an imagination that lent that communion its own mythology. I also watched programs like Wild America and National Geographic with my Grandma Lucille. My mom was an artist and was always pointing out things like sunsets, migrating geese, as well as the concrete elements of the city. Ever since second grade, I loved writing stories and poems. It was my favorite part of school all the way into college at the University of New Mexico.

What was the collaboration process like between Ruth Nakamura and Anna Griego?

Anna Griego: Ruth and I have been collaborating our writing since the college days. We enjoy each other’s growth and evolution.

Ruth Nakamura: Anna and I met each other in college because we are so similar we kept finding ourselves enrolled in many of the same classes, from poetry to Chicano studies courses. From there we discovered we also shared many life experiences, from being single mothers, having drug addicted exes, to finding joy and healing in the writing process. I think at the time we were both beginning our healing journeys, rediscovering ourselves.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in your poetry?

Anna Griego: Healing was an important theme for my section. The idea of molting, Ecdysis of old skin and the growth of new skin. Shedding of past hurts to become something new.

Ruth Nakamura: Just like Anna, the theme of healing is very prevalent in my part of the book, and the healing journey at first becomes a dark and shadowed underworld. I loved the idea of Persephone’s journey below, and back again to the light. All this entwined with the seasons metaphorically correlating with the moods and feelings of the narrator.

Do you plan to publish more works of poetry?

Anna Griego: Yes! Publishing is a very important career move for both of us. You can find me on Facebook under Anna Griego and on Instagram at Dreamingintheyellow as well as Blackberry Bramble Books.

Ruth Nakamura: Yes! There is plenty more to work on. We have another collab coming soon, centered on the landscape of dreams. We decided to kickstart by publishing Crow Moon as an indie book, but we have hopes for publishing traditionally, as well. I have another several manuscripts waiting in the wings for editing and revising. The whole process brings such joy. I can be found on Instagram at veranotaos and at Blackberry Bramble Books.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

A book of poetry by two Chicana women from the southwest U.S. Life in the desert.

Let’s Go Walking in the Storm

Let's Go Walking in the Storm: A Collection of Poetry and Reflections for Soul and Spirit by [Gloria D. Gonsalves]

Let’s Go Walking in the Storm: A Collection of Poetry and Reflections for Soul and Spirit, by Gloria D. Gonsalves contains over one hundred poems, including more than a dozen reflections on various topics. This anthology of poetry is comprised of poems about tolerance and inclusionappreciating life, holding on to dreams, overcoming obstacles, protecting the earth, preserving nature, the COVID-19 pandemic, and death. The quantity of poems in this book ensures that each reader can find ones that speak to them personally.

I liked the poems with uplifting messages, that made me feel like we don’t have to be the perfect image that society depicts, and we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people or what others expect us to be. I think it’s important for people to realize that they don’t have to be like everyone else, that we should embrace our own individual uniqueness.

The structures of the poems varied, which helped to make them feel distinct even though similar themes were used in multiple poems. For example, one of the poems was structured so that the first letter of each line spelled out a word that was the theme of the poem, some poems had very short verses of only two or three words, while other poems were broken up in to sections, and one poem was written in Swahili. Some of my favorite poems were the ones about nature. Like the author, I’ve always found joy in being outdoors. It was interesting to read the author’s notes at the end of some of the poems and reflections, which gave insight into the inspiration for writing them, or additional information about certain aspects of the prose. I enjoyed reading the reflections that asked questions of the reader to encourage thinking about and rethinking our own perceptions and considering how the concepts could be applied to our own lives.

Pages: 160 | ASIN: B08NVGY6NV

Buy Now From B&N.com

A POEM IS LIKE A TREE – Gloria D. Gonsalves

A poem is like a tree:
stuck where it was created, waiting
while receiving what passersby give.
Sometimes, whoever squats on it
gives not suitable compost for growing,
a causal act for sloping to the ground—
the roots ready for the wind death.

A poem is like a tree:
swaying this way and that way
nodding its approval and disapproval
if taken to where the branches meet
the crown or not, for lessons and admiration.
Whoever rushes it to the top,
the branches won’t be there to save it.

A poem is like a tree:
sometimes thin, sometimes thick,
the diameter of its body promises not
of being understood or scolded
by the light necessary to photosynthesize
the human condition as a diet,
for life to be relished and respected.

A poem is like a tree:
it will leave you rooted where you are
or extend your branches for the unknown.
What you grasp or not in the stretch of verses
will thin or thicken the trunk of your soul.
Either way, the wind of trials will bend you
and the triumph is to keep swaying towards life.

 

Gloria-Gonsalves.com

 

Crow Moon

Crow Moon by Ruth Nakamura and Anna Griego is a collection of thought-provoking poetry that gives readers vivid insights into life, mexicana, and nature by taking them on a literary journey. Each poem is descriptive and expresses how nature is apart of our spiritual being. The author’s descriptive stanzas helped me to envision myself in the author’s shoes. These poems are a tour of the beauty found in the world through darkness. Because I digested these poems with two lenses, I was able to read from two perspectives. A part of me fell deep into the poems that touched on womanhood and sorrow. Another part of me lived in the moments on the beautiful days. I loved how the author’s used the crow and the moon in a symbolic form in this collection.

Ruth Nakamura and Anna Griego have created poems that are beautifully written from several creative perspectives. I was delighted that I didn’t get lost in these stanzas because both authors crafted them in a clear direction. I was also able to feel the raw emotions behind these poems.

Although I enjoyed the collection, I felt that the placement of acknowledgments and author bios was at an odd place, but this is a minor issue. Crow Moon is filled with evocative and contemplative poetry that explores nature and humanity through a unique lens.

Pages: 121 | ISBN: 1733793925

Buy Now From B&N.com

The First Collection – Book Trailer

A lyrically bardic first collection from accomplished poet, Sarah Lipton-Sidibeh.

Spanning the ages across Britain’s colonial landscape, Sidibeh explores not only the body, but the body politic. With unflinching intimacy, Sidibeh illustrates the vagaries of ageing and loving in a body caught by endless possibilities and boundaries. Through the same critical eyes, she undresses Britain’s colonial past and criminal present, laying bare society’s ills and inequities.

A comprehensive collection of humanity’s collective struggles and radiant joys, The First Collection is an ambitious accomplishment.

Book Depository

 

Love Is The Ultimate Letting Go

Jennifer Leigh Pezzano
Jennifer Leigh Pezzano Author Interview

Awakening follows a woman with a tragic past who meets someone who expands her heart and soul and opens a new world to her. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Well, I have always been fascination by the vampire archetype, but was never fully satisfied with how they were portrayed. I wanted to explore another avenue of possibility with this story, to pull in more elements of spirituality, sexuality, and healing because I believe that these things are all so intrinsically connected to one another. The character of August, and of him “being of sacred blood” in my book, in a way represents the aspects of wholeness held within us. We all have the profound ability to tap into a deeper way of living. To discover something richer and more meaningful in our lives. But we have to let go first… and love is the ultimate letting go.

Jezebel and August have a deep and enthralling emotional connection. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with their relationship?

All of my work dives into the human condition, the darker and more fractured aspects of ourselves, the things we are hiding or running from. But beneath all that lies so much beauty. I wanted to explore all the different layers of rebirth that can occur when two people learn to surrender to one another. Love is the driving force in everything that we do, whether it is romantic, platonic, or familial. It is the glue that binds us together and gives us purpose.

I really enjoyed the various ideas shared in the book, and how intricately it was all woven together. Was the novel planned before writing or did things develop organically?

This novel originally started out as a short story of sorts, but then evolved and grew into something much more. I had no idea where this story was going to go beyond part 1, and it was such an exciting journey for me to go on, one in which I became both the writer and the reader. How I managed to wrap it all up cohesively without plotting is still beyond me. Writing is a lot like alchemy.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

 My next book is very different than this one. I’m a bit of a genre bender, and I enjoy exploring all avenues of narration, but I always keep the central theme of love in place. My current novel “Light Among the Shadows” is more of a contemporary romance about a woman trying to live after the loss of her child, and a blind man trapped in the darkness of his disability.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“I suppose in a way I had always felt that the veil of this reality was thinly drawn, that if I were to only reach out my hand, it would part before me, revealing a world much more complex than I ever could imagine.”

Jezebel is a solitary woman with a haunted past. Running a business in a small coastal town, she clings to the predictability of her days, seeking refuge in the silence. When an enigmatic new client comes into her life, she is drawn to him, unaware of the link she holds to his own tangled history.
He offers her a seductive proposal, and she is propelled into an entrancing world of pleasure that shatters her reality, and deeply alters her sense of self.
But underneath all his magnetism and power lies the human complexities of a grieving man running from his shadows. Will August surrender his centuries of pain and allow Jezebel fully into his life? And will Jezebel be able to navigate the landscape of what he has to offer?
Delivering a new meaning to the vampire archetype, Awakening is a multi-layered, sensuous, paranormal love story that reaches through the curtain of time. The intricate ties that connect these two to one another will forever transform the course of their lives, stretch the fabric of their reality, and awaken within them something deeper and more profound.
%d bloggers like this: