Win a Book #NationalPoetryMonth

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Dell and Dale

Two rivulets flow side by side
Emerging from the same womb
Having grown in the same milieus
With dreams of devotedness,

With promises of holding together
Singing the song of love for others
Dell and Dale flowed on and on
Oblivious of boulders ahead.

The tide of time tossed them around
One found the valley, deep and sound
Accomplished heights,
Found happiness, even disseminated it.

The other found mountains high and mighty
Injudicious track changed all reflections
The flow was warped, adrift, crooked
Promises broke, dreams grew dreary

Slowly it grew shallow, self-centered.
So Dale lost identity,
The watery grave could not be traced
Barren land, choked throats were insignificant.

When love wanes, well- wishers are kicked off.
Incognito efforts fail miserably
The façade soon stands exposed.
© Balroop Singh

The above poem, an excerpt from my debut book ‘Sublime Shadows of Life’ has often been shrugged off as insignificant.

Answer the following questions about this poem and win my latest poetry book ‘Timeless Echoes’:

Who are Dell and Dale? Why are they so different?

Thank you for reading this poem. Please share your answers in the comments section. The most appropriate answer would receive a free ebook.

Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

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Poetry Books with a Difference

I would like to share these poetry books with you, which touched me deeply:

41NExciOU6L._SR126,200_Stranger Paths: The Magic in the Madness Poetry Collection by R.J. Zarkani speaks eloquently about war-torn Iraq and the eternal emotional bruises that a little girl carried within her, wondering why her father told her to get inside when she wanted to see the “fireworks making a day out of night,” – a child’s perspective about war.

All the pearls in this book belong to the same string that broke and scattered. Zarkani’s yearning to meet the child who “swallowed the smoke” and got lost in the explosions didn’t wane years after she migrated to an alien land, in search of peace and freedom. Roots pull her; stars and the clouds appear familiar but there is a strange disconnect that seems inexplicable, as she was told “you don’t look like a terrorist!”

Superb imagery that R.J. uses blends in her reflections about “creatures crawled out of her book,” a book that calls her, visions that haunt her, images of the past linger, fairies that lived on her kitchen sink still sing; memories stand before her, trying to sweep her away into the world she still loves… ‘shoes filled with mud’ seem dearer… ‘rain in the desert’ – a childhood memory returns as Raghad writes the poignant story of the moments she treasures.

41TYVhHDryL._SR133,200_Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey by Forrest Stepnowski is a brilliant anthology of blank verse and a short story that dwells on the hope of being accepted the way one is… “To be my own star.” It gives voice to all those persons of LGBTQ community, who slip into the abyss of self-loathing because of orthodox, judgmental society that spews hatred against them, declaring them “gay,” “immoral” and “abnormal.”

Each poem in this collection makes a poignant appeal to the society to understand the pain and ridicule that they have to undergo because of the apathetic attitude of the people around them, who push them into the closet, compelling them to face “The silent horror of being” and are forced to snub “the darkest secrets” but who crave for love to lead a normal life.

This is a distressing journey of emotional upheavals, a clarion call to find their own voice and light by breaking free from the shackles that threaten to suffocate them, by accepting that strength lies within. This book must be read by everybody as it contains profound words for those who look down upon other human beings.

51h1UkHNvmL._SR125,200_‘Open a New Door’ by Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle is a collection of poems, inspired from life in Africa and people who make it good, bad or ugly. All aspects are portrayed in a plausible manner.

Both Kim and Robbie have a similar style of writing blank verse, some of the themes too are identical. Realism is the hallmark of their poetry, as they talk about life and people in clear words; imagination takes a back seat. Deeply moved by poverty around her, Robbie has highlighted it in many poems. If ‘The Boys under the Bridge’ brings out the plight of the homeless youth, The Silver Lining underlines the uplifting spirits of a youngster carrying a load of recyclables with abandon, The Beggar’s Child mocks at the apathy of the passers-by but ‘The Golden Light’ focuses on helping the underprivileged children of a school in a squatter camp with books – a wonder gift for them.

Kim seems to be an ardent animal lover because many of her poems celebrate wild life and give a vivid description of how a cheetah hunts its prey, how mother cheetah nurtures her cubs, how a lion lies on golden grass, even her Utopia mentions “stamping buffalo.” Iconic South African birds too catch her attention to inspire a poem. The opening lines of ‘Lessons Learned in a rural village’ seem to be inspired from William Blake’s poem ‘The Little Black Boy.’

Some of the poems are too personal and comment on how life unfolds, offering unforgettable memories, moments of exhilaration and dismay, travails of a working mother and insecurities of an empty nest but they all make life worth living. Heaviness of this book would linger around you even when you finish and put it away.

Thank you for reading this post. Do you have a book in mind that has touched you deeply? Please share your reflections.

You can click here for more poetry.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

– Balroop Singh

 

 

Why People Believe in Illogical Things?

Beliefs and logic

We live in a complex world, driven by galloping technology that has opened vistas beyond our imagination yet the vice-like grip of mythology, superstitions, religion, and mysticism has not waned.

Why do we believe in the empty words of spiritual gurus who talk in circles, entrapping people in their words?

Why are we fascinated by paranormal world of fairies, mermaids, werewolves, ghosts and dragons? Why do we read books that take us into unknown realms, which we know don’t exist?

Why do we derive pleasure out of irrational movies and shows?

Why do people bow down to so many deities, offering flowers and money to get their prayers answered?

You may be having your own answers to my questions but they may seem illogical to me.

It all depends on the way you have been raised.

If you were allowed to ask questions, if they were answered convincingly; if you could dig deeper to satisfy yourself; if beliefs were never imposed on you; if your critical thinking was encouraged and nurtured, you would never believe in illogical thoughts.

How beliefs develop:

We tend to believe what we are told by our parents and peer group. All children don’t possess discerning thoughts; some can be easily led and molded. In a class of 40 students that I taught, 39 raised their hands when they were asked whether they went to a place of worship every weekend. Why? The answer was that their parents took them along. One student who didn’t raise his hand was the one who was never told to go.

Belief in Santa is created till we grow up to realize the truth of the magic that fascinates children.

Self-beliefs are created by our own mind, depending on the kind of treatment we get from friends, family and society. Once they get embedded in our minds, they become a part of our personality. We refuse to change them unless something drastic compels us to reconsider.

Books
Fantasy that carries us away…

Books we read:

Books leave a lasting impression on our minds. As children we get carried away by fantasy and believe each word we read till we start questioning the authenticity of the worlds created in those books. I have often wondered how could Alice go down the rabbit hole and find so many friends and potions there! When we grow up with such books, we think everything is possible.

Respect for others:

We don’t want to hurt the sentiments of those who believe that Feng Shui could bring harmony in our relationships and peace into our homes. I have never told cat lovers that a black cat is considered to be inauspicious if she cuts your way. The superstition of never calling a person from behind when he is leaving his home has always been respected for his wellbeing and security.

Fear of repercussions:

Many people continue the traditions, which serve no useful purpose for fear of upsetting the elders of the house. I know a friend whose grandmother had placed an idol in one auspicious corner of the house and just because she showered and worshipped it every morning before entering the kitchen, the belief had to be followed by everyone. No one could think of moving the idol to another corner. Even the direction of the beds could not be changed, however illogical it may seem!

Political beliefs too can be illogical but they can cause serious rifts between friends and partners. So it is better to keep them out of discussion.

Do you know such people who harbor illogical beliefs?

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Just Her Poetry #NewRelease

Just Her Poetry

I am delighted to welcome my blogger friend D.L.Finn to celebrate the release of her first poetry book, “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul.”  You would be touched by realism in her poetry, which is inspired from Nature and seasons.

Finn Facts:

  1. I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, even when I announce I’m not going to. I hope for love to win, even in the strangest of circumstances.
  2. My favorite flower is a rose. Its beauty mesmerizes me, while its scent relaxes me. I always keep a bottle of rosewater with me.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt FROM THE BOOK WORLD:

EVILDWELS MOVE ON

(based on This Second Chance and The Button)

Evildwels cannot exist where there is love.

But if there is doubt, fear, and hate they thrive.

They do their best to extinguish any love,

While feeding on the absence of it.

They only win with their own conquests.

Their hunger fed as they discard their victim.

Time is irrelevant to them…

As they search for the rage they need.

It seems to be in abundance for them.

They can pick their cream of the crop

…And then wipe it out.

The battle can be bleak and boundless

…Between good and evil.

But ultimately, it is evil that loses,

When good repairs the broken soul

…It is the stronger of the two.

It may lose the battle but always wins the war,

Then the good in love becomes the happy ending.

Evildwels move on…searching and waiting

For the cruel satisfaction of temporary hosts

In a moment where love is wiped away

Until love re-emerges…and the evildwel moves on.

Amazon Purchase Link

author_pic_smaller_sizeMeet the author:

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Thank you for your support dear readers. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

Do You Respect Books?

Respect for books

This post is inspired from some images that have been created by book enthusiasts to emphasize the importance of books.

Who can deny the role of books in our lives? But reading comes with book ethics, which have either deteriorated or are not inculcated these days.

We grew up with respect for books. We were told books acquaint us with the goddess of knowledge and we should be thankful that she chose to smile at us. She would stay with us only if we respect her pals. This belief was instilled from a very early age and books were no less than treasures for us.

In school, if a book or a notebook would fall down inadvertently, we would apologize by paying obeisance to it by touching it to our forehead three times. Such a respect for books could be linked to The Bible, Shree Bhagavad Gita, Guru Granth Sahib and The Holy Quran.

We were told that books could never be put on the floor, never under the bed or the couch.

We were told to treat books like sagacious friends who could guide and absorb all our emotions, friends who loved without demanding anything, who could fill our hours with delight, and were like a warm wrap around our shoulders.

We believed all this and learned to respect our books.

When I read, “a book is a window on the world,” I knew that I couldn’t sit on this window to watch the beauty but have to peep through it to discover the massive difference that exists within the societies and the people living in them.

DpY-Bt5UcAA5gjrI am sharing some deplorable pictures, which disrespect books. They have been shared on social sites but are distasteful. Who walks on books? What message are we passing on to kids?

Books may be ‘a doorway’ to another land but we can’t step on the door, we have to open it gently with our hands and enter that kingdom.

44077932_1880701278709277_4875350547445579776_nThis picture may be having some cute factor but I wonder who thought of photo shopping such a picture! I disliked it the moment I saw it yet I have put this image here to highlight my point.

And here is another!!

How_to_Read_a_Pile_of_Books

 

This image speaks volumes about the attitude of modern generation   towards books!

 

What do you say for this one?DrBw9AMWkAEzVUR Are you sure you would create such a library and step on it everyday ten times in a day? I may seem old-fashioned but there is nothing modern about placing books at your feet. These pictures seem to have been created but they pass on an egregious message.

I have picked up all these images from social sites and haven’t checked whom do they belong to. If they infringe the rights of somebody, please feel free to mention and I would remove them.

Do you respect books? Checklist:

  • Do you sit on them?
  • Do you put them on the floor?
  • Do you admire pictures that show both of above?
  • Do you fold the corners of pages as book marks?
  • Do you highlight the important points in books with a marker?
  • Do you borrow them and forget to return?

I am waiting for your reflections and please share this post at your favorite social networks to convey the message. Thank you.

Balroop Singh.