Book review

Every month, I read and review one ‘Amazon first read’ but have never shared the reviews here despite some fabulous books that I’ve read. This month I happened to pick up a book, which I would like to talk about, as it comments on the most relevant topic – a disturbing fact that nobody likes to discuss.

Before I share my review of the book, I would like to quote a few lines from William Blake’s poem ‘The Little Black Boy,’ written in 1789:

My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
……. 

My mother taught me underneath a tree 
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say. 

Look on the rising sun: there God does live 
And gives his light, and gives his heat away. 
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning joy in the noonday.
……Read full poem

Sadly, little seems to have changed!!

Under Color of Law (Trevor Finnegan, #1) by Aaron Philip Clark is a chilling and riveting account of the plight of black recruits and officers, so reminiscent of recent protests against the police department. This is an inside story of what goes behind the scene, an eye-opener about how some officers are brutal enough to indulge in violent means to eliminate those they don’t like. This fictional story smacks of stark realism, often brushed aside in connection with the high-handedness of cops.

Trevor joins LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) with dreams of becoming a top-ranking officer and doesn’t give an ear to his father’s warnings that the system is rotten. He is ready to take all the pressure and has to lock horns with the corrupt and selfish persons around him. Does he succeed? Could he get justice for Brandon whose body has been found with no clues? Clark’s power-packed style of writing keeps you turning the pages and my heart sank with each development. I could feel the pain, the frustration, the yearning and the hope of Trevor who refuses to give up.

Clark’s characters are believable, crafted with incisive detail as if he has met them. Trevor’s confidence, determination and resilience shines through out the story. Joey Garcia and Boston Walsh have been handled brilliantly but it is Trevor’s relationship with Sarada that adds a touch of tenderness to the story. The book remains inconclusive but I could understand that the issues that have been raised can’t be resolved in a day and it would take years to see the change of attitudes. I would eagerly look forward to the next book in the series. Highly recommended!

Balroop Singh.

Respect Or Love?

“He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.”

“Choose one,” the command was loud and clear.

I was confused. How could I choose one? I didn’t know love and was too young to understand respect but I was argumentative and would always rise against the commands.

“I want both.” I spoke with immense confidence.

I was pushed aside. My turn was over. 

One by one each person was given a choice and they left the arena with the group they opted for. I kept on waiting. My blood boiled at the authoritative voice of the leader who took pleasure in his arbitrary designs on us. Who gave him this power to rule over our emotions? Why are we here? 

I looked around, trying to figure out the place. How did I reach here? Strange, stern faces stared at me.

“This is your last chance to choose,” I could hear some kindness in this voice.

“But why?” Before I could speak another word, I was dragged away into a dark alley and my sobs could be heard.

*****

Some dreams keep coming back probably because some notions remain dormant in our subconscious minds. Whenever I read a disturbing book about injustice, my mind hurtles back and transports me into unimaginable lands that I could have seen in movies.

Love – the basic emotion that connects us with life and people.

Respect – the essential trait that raises man to his civilized state.

How could anyone survive without them? This question has always haunted my mind and keeps coming back whenever I see or hear about any atrocities being inflicted on fellow human beings.

Love can still be pretended but respect can’t be faked. It reveals itself through our body language. 

“I love you.” “You are my best friend.” I have heard many such refrains from people around me but I could make out from their body language and actions how selfish their love was. It changes its contours according to the situation.

Respect cannot be claimed. It shows itself, it reflects in the eyes. It is an offshoot of love.

Can you choose one? Yet there are people who have none. 

Thank you for reading and pondering. Please share your thoughts.

 Check my latest book

Guardians

watchers
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

Frozen faces?
Don’t mistake them for stones
They are the faces of humanity
They tell the untold misery.

Sunburnt and sunken?
Don’t judge their color
They are unsung heroes
Tortured souls who refused to give up.

Ask the village elders
Their valor shines in their faces
They earned your freedom
They exemplify human values.

Sacrosanct sentinels of eons
Conceal sagas of savagery
Living reminders of venom
That is fed into human blood.

Wild flowers bloom around them
Comforting their distressed hearts
That still beat for those
Who value free thoughts.
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #writephoto prompt Guardian

You can click here for more poetry.

Check my latest book: Moments We Love

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

The Land Of The Dead

The Land Of The Dead

They lived in the land of the dead
Nodding to whatever was said
Muttering to themselves…
‘His word is law…he is the lord
A God sent messiah…
He has given us all’.

Content with their muted state
Always ready to bite the bait.
They crept into their graves
And the institution thrived.
The devil exulted at his success
The dead never speak, he surmised.

Someone entered the land of the dead
Dragged life along ahead
Stirred them out of their slumber
But before muffled voices
Could be heard, he was yelled at
Cursed, chastised, forced to quit

Could anyone force out fortitude?
Could he ever be booed?
When people learn to understand
Submission to injustice
Is akin to living
In self-created graves…

They wake up before it is too late
Speak out their mind with berate
Break the fetters of intimidation
Rise from the graves and look around
The sun is shining splendidly
And they are still alive!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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

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