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.

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– Balroop Singh

 

 

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Waiting…

Darkness
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto Waiting

 A part of me got lost
                           In darkness…
                      I have been waiting
                           To identify it

Shadows of solace
                    Streaks of moonlight
                        Keep me awake
                Heavy footsteps keep vigil

                 Endless night – a longing
                       Reminiscent of
                     A recurring dream
                    A haunting journey

               With eagerness to emerge
               Into an enlightened world
                Abandoning attachment
                  Of this dark domain

                Waiting for the whisper
                Of stars, the warmth of
                   Eternal exuberance
               A binding that is timeless.
               © Balroop Singh

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday photo prompt #writephoto. 

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

Balroop Singh.

Could You Please Guide Me?

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A long road…Empty!
As I walk through the road
Strange fears confuse me
I stare into wilderness
Straining my eyes,
Full of expectations….
I trudge on.
Is this journey endless?
Is there no destination?

I took this path
I knew it was thorny
I stumbled, I moved on…
Enduring all the pricks, the pain
Undeterred, hoping….
We’ll surely meet…One day….
You will recognize my face
You will acknowledge my contribution
You will welcome me to my destination.

I reached…I waited…
When will I enter?
I wondered…
‘Keep the baggage out!’
I looked around
‘But I don’t have any!’
Confounded, I looked around
The door didn’t open.
I waited………
When will I enter?
‘Have patience’,
A fleeting thought…

So I stood at His door.
I looked around
Why am I alone?
I couldn’t find anyone familiar
A sea of faces,
A whirlpool…kept pulling me
‘Calm down’
I told myself.
Could you please guide me?
I asked a stranger
A smile, a pat…
The only reassurance!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

One of my earliest poems, this is an excerpt from my book Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh. Please click on the link to read more such poems.

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Eternal love

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Like soft flowers under our feet
Like lovely drops of first rain
Like moonlight soothing our eyes
Love tiptoes into our life

It carries us far into wilderness,
Its magic magnifies with trust
Its gentle caresses mesmerize
Its fragrance ferries amorous delight

Love is that exquisite emotion
Which remains deeply dormant
Till that irresistible urge beckons
And it becomes a force to reckon

Love ignites a fire within us
A fire of passion, of quest, of possession
It leads us into new adventures
It makes life so exhilarating

Love drowns dreary thoughts
It gives wings to our heart,
It transports us into another world
A domain of blissful choice

True love keeps smiling in our eyes
Like a fountain that never dries
It instills hope, respect, patience
The journey of love is so elating.
© Balroop Singh

You can read many more such poems in my book ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’ Please click on the link for more poetry.
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Dead End?

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Attracted by the rosy path
Littered with little primroses
On both the sides…
I took this journey.

It seemed so fascinating
To tread the unknown trail
How could I forget the elation…
The warm words of assurance!

Words…empty words?
Leading me into unknown ventures
Little help, just soft silence…
Pretense of leading, guiding.

This seems to be the dead end
Alone in the wilderness…
Staring at the desolate way
Congregating courage to trudge.

I sit gagged, staring into space
Towards the wilderness
The horizon so close
The rainbow so alluring

Forgetting that rainbow is transitory
And the horizon – a delusion
I still move on!
Who can question my mettle?

Who can doubt my optimism?
Who can distrust my capabilities?
Of making new pathways
Dead end is nothing but an illusion.

©Balroop Singh

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You can click on Sublime Shadows Of Life to read more such poems.

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