Tyranny of Time

Today, I am trying a new form of poetry.

#Shardoma is a new form for me, as I have never tried to write it. Here are three of them (my first experiment) but all credit goes to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge #Poet’s choice, which inspires “to experiment with freestyle poetry, as long as you also add a syllabic form to your poem.” 

Image from: Pixaby

In a crowd 
searching for someone 
Didn’t know who! 
Mute faces  
wondering: why are we here? 
Trapped by conditions

Narrow paths
Resounding chaos
Strange echoes
No outlet
to escape the tyranny 
of time that stood still

Glow of light
A sliver of hope
for millions
Fragmented
by self-centered autocrats
to prove their power

© Balroop Singh

Thank you for the inspiration Colleen. 

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

 

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.

Seeking…

Photo credit: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) 

Despair and suffering has been the fate of women for centuries. I am dismayed that it still is in many parts of the globe. The long, endless battle against conservative forces that take pleasure in subjugation continues! The following poem is inspired from this thought.

We don’t want to mother a son
In this land of Taliban
We don’t want a daughter either
It’s better to end this race
If they can’t keep pace with the world.

Let the seeds dry even if they are forced into us
Let’s pledge not to nurture them
Let our wombs wither – our only weapon
To gain control over servitude of centuries
Our hope is still alive.

Is there any need to look elsewhere?
Is it fair to wait for outside help?
When our own spirit is enough.
Muted faces convey profound message:
Silent storms sway the earth.

Our shrieks search a new world
Equitable and enlightened.
Our dreams are no longer monochromatic
Warped by societal norms
Red ink is all over them, seeking justice.
© Balroop Singh, September 2021.

It’s poet’s choice at Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge this week. You too can join with the image and form of your own choice. Thanks.

#BookReviews 5 #stars for each one

Some books inspire me to write a review midway and I usually makes notes on my Kindle, more so if it is poetry. There are others, which elicit no response from me even after I’ve finished it. I’ve been thinking what could be the reason for lack of inspiration – monotonous characters or jaded story line?

The books I share today are the ones that belong to the first category – I made so many notes that the reviews were almost ready by the time I finished reading them.

Keeper Tyree by S. Cox – My Review:

If you’ve read and enjoyed ‘Gwen Slade,’ ‘Keeper Tyree’ is even better and steamier than that, with some delightful characters thrown in to keep the interest alive. In her captivating style, S. Cox grips you right in the beginning and moves at a breathtaking speed. When Cathleen O’ Donnell hires Keeper to take revenge from the killer of her son, he appears to be a detached, hardened killer but the way his character evolves with the story, is incredible! The power of a strong, obdurate woman floors him and he has to remind himself that he is just with her for business. He knows his soul is blackened yet he yearns for the tender touch of a woman.

I have read many books of Cox and each one is extremely readable, with strong women characters who define their goals out of free will and refuse to be influenced by circumstances. This one mentions women as “wondrous creatures” and Cathleen as well as Maybell shine through out the story. A page-turner, without a dull moment, replete with continuous action, this book is one of her best. Highly recommended.

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle – My Review:

Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle is an assortment of various styles – haiku, tanka, haibun and free style of poetry that is realistic; it touches upon various facets of life and captures many emotions in a subtle manner. Having read her ‘Open a New Door,’ I am quite familiar with Robbie’s poetry but some of the poems in this collection left me spellbound! 

Inspiring you to rise from “hot ashes” to face new challenges, develop a new perspective and “break your shackles” to reach the improbable, there are many poems dripping with such positivity. ‘Stars in Her Eyes’ brilliantly reveals her “glittering world” when she soars on the “gossamer wings, empowered by the hope to gather the “fairy dust.” Beautiful imagery! The metaphorical poems ‘Contrasting Colors’ and ‘A Fairy-tale Come True’ are superbly written.

‘He Walks Away’ took my heart away, as a mother’s pride and pain has been captured so well in this poem. I could relate to Robbie’s words:

“Her kiss is no longer wanted as he seeks the lips of the other. It’s heart-wrenching to let go…”

‘Can you see the Butterflies’ is another masterpiece, rich with imagery, impelling you to rush outside to watch the wonders of nature. Read this collection and find answers in “sweet dreams.” Such is the magic of poetry!

Secrets, Lies & Alibis by Jacquie Biggar – My Review:

Secrets, Lies & Alibis, written in the signature style of Jacquie, is a short, fast-paced read that leaves you craving for more. I was rooting for Amanda all the time, waiting for the right moment to dawn for the estranged couple. While Amanda is planning to go ahead with her baby all alone, Adam wants to come back to her. It gets exciting with each page, as quick action is thrown in which brings back old unresolved challenges. Some secrets need to be shared!

Relationships and respect remain significant in this book too. Though this is book 8 of the series and I haven’t read all of them but each time I read one, I get inspired to read more.

Thank you. Happy reading

If you like poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

#BookReviews: Prose & Poetry

This week I would like to share three different genres – a historical laced with paranormal, a prehistoric fiction and poetry about love. Each book enchanted me with its style and characterization.

A Ghost and His Gold: My Review

A Ghost and His Gold is loaded with historical details of the second Boer War in South Africa and I must confess I had no knowledge about this war. This book lays bare the atrocities and the brutalities that are considered to be a part of such conflicts; it also chronicles the long-term effects that they cause on human psyche. It is the powerful presence of the supernatural that keeps you captivated despite the heavy details of the war.

 Cheadle has meticulously put together the poignant plight of the families of the soldiers who dared to defy the British and fight for their rights. It is interesting to note that both perspectives of the war are represented through Pieter and Robert. The story jumps from one time-line to another various times and is told through several POV’s; also switches tenses whenever convenient – it hampers the spontaneous flow of the book. I like the footnotes that clarify local words and expressions.

What impressed me most is how well the emotions have been handled and how adroitly the characters have been developed that they sound realistic, trapped in the circumstances beyond their control. I hate Marta and my heart goes out to Estelle, I didn’t like Tom right from the beginning and developed a soft corner for Pieter – such connections can only be felt with powerful characters.

There are certain absurd expectations: like Michelle asking Estelle “you need to promise me that you’ll not harm him regardless of whether you can forgive him or not.” Who could trust a ghost? However, this is not just a simple ghost story, it highlights serious themes connected with antagonism, avarice, insensitivity and humanity. Well-done!

Laws of Nature: My Review

Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) continues the story of Lucy and it is better to read ‘Born in a Treacherous Time’ to understand the challenges in the journey of primeval humans. Most of their time was spent in finding food and safety from other tribes and animals. Prehistoric fiction is intriguing and in the hands of Jacqui, it becomes convincing as well as enlightening. Her meticulous search shines through all her books. She shows the life of people of those times through fictional characters who handled all their problems with immense hope.

 Lucy’s mission is the search for a home base. She has to deal with predators; earth changes, freezing temperatures, harsh weather and difficult terrain. Her tribe has been decimated and she could sense that she is being followed but her determination is admirable. Xhosa from the ‘Crossroads Trilogy’ makes an appearance in her dreams to guide and boost her confidence. She promises change would come soon and makes Lucy promise she wouldn’t quit. Packed with action and a new challenge at each step, this book is uniquely different from usual thrillers.

Crossroads: My Review

Crossroads (Winds of Love) takes you through various corridors, which you may have visited yet missed the intense moments of exhilaration; it explores many more aspects of love, compels you to ponder and cultivate resilience. A resilient love is open to maturity but also vulnerable. 

Written in a simple and straightforward style, Jude’s poetry is seeped in ecstasy of sensual love as well as yearning to find love’s freedom; loneliness and wisdom are the rewards – paradoxical? But that is love!

“Loneliness has wrapped me in its embrace, A broken heart has tamed me with wisdom.” How true!

“Once a joy, now an ache” – that is the price of love!

This may be Jude’s debut book but his poetry is so powerful that it draws on your emotions, stirring bittersweet memories and awakens you to “love’s deceptive light.” If you like free verse and want to understand love, this is a perfect book for you.

Thank you. Happy reading!

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry