Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet and blogger, Luanne Castle, and a review #poetry #poetrycommunity #bookreview

A lake with a hill behind it Text: Treasuring Poetry 2023 Hosted by Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle

Today, I am thrilled to introduce poet and blogger, Luanne Castle, as my May Treasuring Poetry Guest. Luanne has written four poetry books and had her work included in some anthologies too. I have read two of her four books and found her poetry to be unique and fascinating.

Welcome Luanne!

Why do you write poetry?

My connection to poetry feels as if it’s deeper than thought and precedes story. Until I was eight years old, I was an only child and spent time entertaining myself. Even before I could read, I listened to records of nursery rhymes and folk songs repeatedly, loving the rhythms and the magical way the words sounded. I started writing poetry when I was a child as it seemed a natural form of expression to me, possibly because of this nursery rhyme background. I still feel this same connection to poetry that I did as a child.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why? 

Poetry is very relevant because it can perform much of the same communication that prose does, but more besides! The music and delight in words found in poetry are memorable, even mnemonic. Poetry also tends to express on many levels, leaving gaps (ambiguity) where readers and listeners supply responses, emotions, and thoughts, thus making poetry the most active and interactive form. We need this activity as a guard against the increasing passivity of our culture.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read, do you relate to the most and why?

This is such a difficult question. In April I posted a favorite poem a day on Instagram, but being a favorite doesn’t mean the same thing as relating. Today’s choice for a poem I can really relate to is by Jane Kenyon. The beauty of the natural world, the shift of mood, and the comfort at the end are all very appealing to me.

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving   

up the bales as the sun moves down.

***

Let the cricket take up chafing   

as a woman takes up her needles   

and her yarn. Let evening come.

***

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her silver horn.

***

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   

Let the wind die down. Let the shed   

go black inside. Let evening come.

***

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   

in the oats, to air in the lung   

let evening come.

***

Let it come, as it will, and don’t   

be afraid. God does not leave us   

comfortless, so let evening come.

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I have a few favorites from each book, but today’s favorite is this one from Rooted and Winged about my maternal grandfather. He and my grandmother (a big part of my roots) show in several poems throughout the collection. This one is a prose poem and although the majority of poems I write are lyrical, I do enjoy prose poems for the mix of storytelling and poetic language and imagery.

How to Create a Family Myth

My grandfather built a city with his tongue. Houses and little shops, celery fields and sand lots all connected to each other without roads or sidewalks. Once or twice he showed me a map of sewer lines running like Arcadia Creek underneath the cobblestones and packed dirt. We stood outside and found tall buildings in the clouds overhead. His hands gestured how his grandfather placed the bricks and taught his men to shape upwards, each building higher than the one before. Out there on the stoop, he pointed out where his mother, the one he said I looked like, had witnessed a man beating his horse. I saw her calico skirt billow out behind her, her hands wiping across her apron stomach even as she ran. When she reached the man, she snatched the whip from his hand, his surprise at her actions slowing him, rendering him stupid. When she cracked the whip down on his back time did not go on for her as it did for the rest of the world. Not until a week later, when she went to the market, did she realize that the story ran, too. It kept running until it reached all of us, each child and grandchild and great grandchild taking just what is needed from the tale. In my case, I plucked a heart from the clouds and tucked it safely inside a brick house in the city where it keeps the city alive to this day.

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

I do edit and revise my poetry, but I can more quickly get to a finished poem than I used to be able to do. Practice really does improve speed. However, sometimes the fullest meaning doesn’t emerge for weeks after a poem is “finished,” so the best scenario is to put poem aside and look at it again later. As far as prose goes, I find prose fairly easy to write. Where I feel I would be out of my element would be in writing a novel. The plot intricacies and overall structure would drive me mad.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

Ah, that is such a good question. I think my blog is very effective for sharing poetry. I love interacting with blog readers and other bloggers about poetry. My books, of course, present a cohesive project to readers. I have a podcast hosted by Rebecca Budd coming up but have not done too much in that area to date. And I haven’t worked with YouTube yet other than some readings I have done have been posted by others. I would love to work more with YouTube and an audio format like Soundcloud in the future.

My review of Rooted and Winged by Luanne Castle

This is the second book of poetry and flash fiction by Luanne Castle I’ve read and I really like her style of writing.

Each piece is a reflection on a specific aspect of life and depicts the author’s thoughts and ideas about that particular aspect. It felt like a poetic journal of experiences and interpretations which I really appreciated. The poems are all freestyle and are written as a stream of consciousness without the restrictions imposed by strict sentence formation and punctuation. It flows well and suits the theme of the poetry.

An example of the thoughts and ideas expressed is this stanza from Gravity:
“Why are we only of the earth, Grandpa?
See your knees sunken in muck,
the sun sketching very plane of you.”

The imagery is rich and descriptive. An example of the language is as follows (extracted from Finding the House on Trimble Street):
“The house, once white and raw, has matured into gold. Ripened maples in October red temptingly frame the remembrance. The garage neatly unfolds from the side, the lawn edged in definition.”

My favourite piece is a slightly longer one entitled Today and Today and Today. It is about caregivers and is very poignant. The writer’s observations are so genuine and relatable.
“… She either ignores you or says mean things or praises you endlessly. Each response makes you sad.”

“He can wear only that one sweater. The others are too thin, too thick, too warm, too prickly, or pull over the head.”

Having recently had the experience of a close family member in intensive care in hospital for a period, completely dependent on the nurses who provide the medication and care, I felt as if this description had been pulled from my heart and mind:

“But you feel she knows you are at her side, joking with the staff, making sure that aides and nurses alike care for her as they would their mothers because her submissive form has been brushed with the glow of your personality.”

An extraordinary book of insightful poetry and prose.

Purchase Rooted and Winged: https://www.amazon.com/Rooted-Winged-Luanne-Castle/dp/1646628632

My review of Our Wolves by Luanne Castle

This book is an original and unique collection of poems that expose the wolves that appear in the lives of females during their formative years and through to maturity. The poet has linked many, but not all, of her poetic thoughts and interpretations of human predators to the wolf in the famous story Little Red Riding Hood or Le Petit Chaperon Rouge in the original French (which I have listed to with an English interpretation in my hand).

An example of this connection to the wolf is this extract from Our Old Wolves:

“But you will know how frightened they are
of the dark, shadowed forest and the abstruse mind.
Of human-like wolves concealed behind spruce and fir,
their shadows stretching out tentacles to grasp them
as they tremble past on their way to the locked river.”

Some of the poems turn the readers traditional idea of the hero and the predator on its head and force consideration of how misleading looks, perceptions of beauty and strength, and inbred prejudices can be. It highlights how frequently girls and young women walk right into trouble because of the messages drummed into them by their mothers and society. Women are not taught to accurately identify predators or ‘the wolf’.

Thanks for meeting me for coffee is a good example of this concept:

“I searched for the beginning
of your story and discovered you
were lost when you believed him.
All gone, One a milk carton missing.”

The poems in the book are mainly written in freestyle poetry and are filled with subtle meanings and innuendoes for the reader to consider. This book must be read with an alert and fresh mind in order to appreciate its full meaning and intrigue.

For me, the summary of the meaning and power of this book is set out in the following words from Your Sonnet:

“My mother taught me to be kind, to be helpful,
not to ignore the slow or less than able, the ones
who are different, the needy so I asked what
he needed from me and he misunderstood.
My story is not so very different from yours
and yours and yours and yours and yours.”

If you like interesting and thought provoking poetry, you will love Our Wolves.

Purchase Our Wolves: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Wolves-Luanne-Castle/dp/B0BTKNP31D

About Luanne Castle

Luanne Castle lives in Arizona, next to a wash that wildlife use as a thoroughfare. She has published two full-length poetry collections, Rooted and Winged (Finishing Line 2022), a Book Excellence Award Winner, and Doll God (Kelsay 2015), which won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Poetry. Her chapbooks are Our Wolves (Alien Buddha 2023) and Kin Types (Finishing Line 2017), a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Luanne’s Pushcart and Best of the Net-nominated poetry and prose have appeared in Copper Nickel, American Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, River Teeth, TAB, Verse Daily, Saranac Review, and other journals.

Find Luanne Castle

Blog: https://writersite.org/

Website: https://www.luannecastle.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writersitetweet

Luanne Castle Amazon Author Page

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/


WordCrafter News: Announcing Giveaway Winners, Approaching Deadline, and Preparations for Small Wonders

WordCrafter logo over newsprint.
Text: WordCrafter News

Poetry Treasures Giveaway Winners

WordCrafter "Poetry Treasures 3: Passions" Book Blog tour banner. The book on a sandy beach in front of treasure chest. Contributors are listed in text.

GiveAway Winners

We’ve just had a great book blog tour to send off Poetry Treasures 3: Passions and this is where we announce the winners for the Giveaway for that tour. I always love doing this post and then notifying the winners individually, because I get to make somone’s day with this announcement. Hopefully three someones.

I want to thank everyone who followed the tour or just dropped in to a stop or two, and of course my wonderful hosts. The hosts for this tour were Patty Fletcher and Patty’s Worlds, Miriam Hurdle and The Showers of Blessings, Carla Johnson-Hicks and Carla Loves to Read, Robbie Cheadle and Robbie’s Inspiration, and of course, Writing to be Read. And before I tell you who will be the recipients of the three digital copies of Poetry Treasures 3: Passions, I also want to give a big shout out to all of the contributing authors for this anthology, who all were great about doing their parts and helping to make the tour as fabulous as it was, with their audio/video poetry readings and guest posts. Every author participated and we couldn’t have had such a great tour without them.

And now, without further ado…

(Drumroll please)

The winners are…

Gwen M. Plano, John W. Howell, and Jacqui Murray!

Congratulations to all of you and thanks so much for following the tour. Please contact me at KLBWordCrafter@gmail.com, so I can send you a link for your digital copies of Poetry Treasures 3: Passions. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

 Passions treasures within.

Open the cover

and you will discover

the Poetry Treasures

of guests on

 Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s

2022 “Treasuring Poetry” blog series

on Writing to be Read.

Included are treasures from:

Patty Fletcher, D. Wallace Peach, Yvette Prior,

Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro, Abbie Taylor,

Yvette Calliero, , Smitha Vishwaneth,

Chris Hall, Willow Willers, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer,

and Roberta Eaton Cheadle

You can get your copy of Poetry Treasures 3: Passions from your favorite book distributor through Books2Read:

https://books2read.com/u/b5qnBR

The Clock is Ticking

Just a quick reminder. The submission deadline for the 2023 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest is April 30. So, if you haven’t turned in your scary story submission yet, you need to do it soon. Come on. Scare me. I dare you.

You can find full submission giudelines and submission instructions here: https://wp.me/pVw40-6VU

Assembling a Poetry Collection

Book Cover: Small Wonders: Reflective Poetry by Kaye Lynne Booth

I have been busy compiling my poetry collection, Small Wonders for a June release. I have a lifetime of poetry to go through, so this has been no small task. Never-the-less, I look on it as a bit of a breather from all the heavy promoting I’ve done so far this year for Delilah, and then for Poetry Treasures 3. May is the first month this year that I haven’t been actively promoting a book, so it gives me a chance to shift gears as I make the final preparations for the release of this collection, and move in to the final stretch on the writing of The Rock Star & The Outlaw. But let’s finish up the poetry first before I move back onto fiction.

_____________________________________________________________________

Head shot: Kaye Lynne Booth

For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.

__________________________________________________________

Want exclusive content? Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. She won’t flood your inbox, she NEVER sells her list, and you might get a freebie occasionally. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, just for joining.


Treasuring Poetry – Meet author and poet, Marcia Meara, and a book review #poetry #readingcommunity #TreasuringPoetry

A lake with a hill behind it Text: Treasuring Poetry 2023 Hosted by Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle

Today, I am delighted to welcome poet and author, Marcia Meara, as my April Treasuring Poetry guest. Marcia is sharing some of her thoughts about poetry and poems and I am sharing my reviews of A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 and

Why do you write poetry?

I’ve written poetry since I was 5-years old, when I filled legal tablets with page after page of verses about cowboys and horses. (As imagined by a little girl who’d seen a few movies.) I really can’t remember when I didn’t love writing, and poems were what got me started. The rhythm and musicality of poetry is what I love most, and the main reason I still write poems today.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why?

I think poems are very relevant, indeed. Poetry speaks of beauty and love and hate and danger and betrayal and every other human emotion, need, or failing. Do I think it’s as popular as it once was? No. Nor does it sell as well as novels and other works of fiction. But neither of those has any bearing on the actual relevance of poetry, and the more readers we poets manage to attract, the more likely folks are to understand exactly that.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read do you relate to the most and why?

That’s difficult to say, since I’ve been reading poetry for 75 years or so, including most of the greatest ones from poets like Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Amy Lowell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Edna St. Vincent Millay, John Keats, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, Carl Sandberg, T. S. Eliot, Sara Teasdale, Ogden Nash, and on and on. You get my drift, I’m sure. It’s very hard for me to choose a favorite, but one poem I have always loved and never tire of is Poe’s The Raven. It’s long, I know, but the rhythm is so perfect, and the painful sadness of the subject, so very, very POE.

The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe – 1809-1849

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
               Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
               Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
               This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
               Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
               Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
               ‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
               Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
               Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
               With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
               Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
               Of ‘Never—nevermore.'”

But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
               Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
               She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
               Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
               Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
               Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
               Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
               Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I could say whichever one I’m writing at the time, but that wouldn’t be fair. Nor likely true, either, though I do think each one is a favorite at least during the moments of creation. However, instead of going that route, I’m going to choose the poem which most depicts large portions of my own life, spent canoeing on the wild and scenic rivers and creeks of Central Florida. Fittingly, it’s called On the River, and is included in my book, Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love.

An extract from On The River by Marcia Meara

“Crystal green flows beneath me,

Leafy arches rise above,

Dip, glide.

Dip, glide.

Slide.

Duckweed parts as I float by.

I wonder where they went,

Those ducks?

Gone overnight, it seems.

Another parting, another loss,

And I slide by,

Under all that green.

Dip, glide.

Dip, glide.

Just there, in deepest shade,

Sleeping emeralds cling.

Tree frogs rest in their

Smooth, damp skins,

Waiting for the sliver moon.

They’ll open their eyes for the silver moon.

Sleeping now,

I pass him, too.

And on I go.

Dip, glide.

Dip, glide.”

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

Oddly enough, I seldom do much, if any, editing on my poetry. When I’m “in the zone” the words I want seem to come to me, sometimes surprising me by fitting together exactly the way I like. This is definitely not true when I’m writing prose. Then, I spend a lot of time cleaning up, tweaking, and cutting before sending it off to an editor for more of the same. With poetry, if I’m in the mood, the words seem to flow much more smoothly and easily.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

I’ve actually never done any real marketing with my work, be it poetry or prose, and that’s something I do hope to change soon. But all I did with my book of poetry was publish it on Amazon and share poems now and then on my blog, The Write Stuff. NOTE: This is NOT how I would recommend new writers get the word out, no matter what their genre or style might be!

My review of Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love by Marcia Meara

This book comprises the most beautiful freestyle poetry by Marcia Meara. The poetry is divided into two sections, the first is about the magic of life as experienced by a ten year old boy and the second is about love.

I loved both sections of the book but the poems about the joys and experiences of a ten year old boy were particularly poignant and meaningful for me as I have two sons who were ten years old in the not that distant past.

The two poems in this section that I enjoyed the most are, firstly, The Rope Swing which depicts the freedom and joy of swinging on a hot summer day. The depiction of a young boy of ten is very accurate and brings back lovely memories for me.

My second favourite poem is entitled Moccasins and describes the lovely and understanding relationship moms have with their sons.

The Rope Swing
The first stanza goes as follows:

“Sailing up, up into

Blue summer sky,

Hot rope rough against his hands,

He shouts with joy, and lets go.

For a crystal moment,

He hangs suspended,

Frozen in time

Like a fly in amber.”

Moccasins
“His dad smiles.

Moms are like that, Mac.

Moms always know what

Their children want most.

And Moms always want

Their children to have their

Heart’s desires.”

The poem I enjoyed the most in part two of the book describes the beauty of young love and the joy of watching small children play and develop.

The Sound of Dreams Coming True
“Listen, she says,

Kissing his fingers,

As a little girl laughs,

Chasing butterflies

With her big brother.”

Purchase Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love by Marcia Meara here: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Magic-Poems-Life-Love-ebook/dp/B00FNBLIPC

My review of A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 by Marcia Meara

Sarah Gray and MacKenzie Cole from book 1, Wake-Robin Ridge, are now married and living in Mac’s lovely home built near the top of the mountain. Sarah is pregnant with their first child and Mac is happy and managing to keep his deep anxiety following the deaths of his ex-wife and son, Ben, under control. Mac’s emotional state is still delicate and he is desperately determined to keep his wife and their baby safe.

Ten-year old Rabbit has grown up in the mountains under the guidance and care of his grandparents who have taught him survival skills. The trios lifestyle is rough and ready with Gran living in a makeshift tent and the young boy and his grandpa generally sleeping outdoors in all weathers. At Grandpa’s insistence, the family has nothing to do with any people who are all designated as ‘bad people’ by Grandpa.

Gran has a progressive lung illness and Grandpa leaves his wife and Rabbit on their own one morning to travel into town and purchase medicine for her. He never returns. Gran continues to decline and, knowing she is dying, tells Rabbit that all people are not bad. She explains that contrary to Grandpa’s comments, there are also good people and Rabbit needs to find the good people, in particular, a man with winter blue eyes and hair like a crow’s wing. Gran dies and Rabbit is left on his own in the wilderness. With no other option, Rabbit packs up his belongings and sets off to find the man with the winter blue eyes.

Rabbit is well depicted as an old soul with a high intelligence despite his lack of book learning. His upbringing has provided him with survival tools and also the ability to assess situations and react in a clear headed and calm way. He is very endearing to the reader with his interesting way of looking at situations while still retaining the need for love and emotional immaturity of a young boy. He is very loving and giving and the reader can’t help routing for a good outcome for Rabbit.

Mac’s character continues to grow in this second book as he is faced with having to face up to his fears and deal with unexpected and unplanned events and circumstances despite his fears and anxieties. It is an intriguing journey to watch Mac struggling internally to move forward despite his anxiety and it is impossible not to be delighted by his progress and small victories.

Sarah is even more generous and loving than I remembered from book 1, and is the perfect wife to Mac. It is obvious she has a huge heart which is big enough for Mac, her unborn child, and Rabbit.

As with all lives, especially in fiction, the trio are faced with adversity and obstacles which they need to try to overcome. The storyline is engaging and entertaining and brings out the best in the various characters.

Purchase A Boy Named Rabbit here: https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Named-Rabbit-Wake-Robin-Ridge-ebook/dp/B00SQ4PID6

About Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Purchase Marcia Meara’s books

Novels
Wake-Robin Ridge: Book 1
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

Riverbend Spinoff Novellas
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2 – To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3 – Love Hurts

Poetry
Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love

Reach Marcia on Social Media Here:

Blog: The Write Stuff
Facebook
Email: marciameara16[at]gmail[dot]com

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/


WordCrafter News

Open Submissions Deadline Approaching

Submissions are open for the 2023 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest, but the deadline of April 30th is fast approaching. This year I’m looking for the scariest story. So, send me your monsters, your zombies, your ghosts and your ghouls. Make me sweat. Keep me awake at night. Make me tremble in fear. And most importantly, make me think about your story long after I’ve put it down. The winner gets a $25 Amazon gift card and a guaranteed spot in WordCrafter’s annual anthology. You can find the full submission guidelines here.

April Release: Poetry Treasures 3: Passions

Each year WordCrafter Press puts out a poetry anthology, featuring the works of the previous year’s “Treasuring Poetry” blog series with Robbie Cheadle, which features poet/author guests from all around the globe. We release the anthology in the Poetry Treasures series in April each year, as a nod to National Poetry Month here in the U.S. This year’s anthology features the poetry of Robbie Cheadle, Smitha Vishwanath, Abbie Taylor, Chris Hall, Yvette M. Calleiro, Willow Willars, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Patty Fletcher, Yvette Prior, Judy Mastrangelo, Penny Wilson, Colleen M. Chesebro and D. Wallace Peach. If you follow the blog series, I know you’ll agree that this line-up of poets comprises an all star cast of contributors.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions will be released in April, in celebration of National Poetry Month, here in the U.S. Watch for updates on the release here,on Writing to be Read.

Delilah Tour Giveaway Winners

We had a great tour to celebrate the release of Delilah with most of your favorite distributors last week. You all gave it a great send off. I want to give a big round of applause for the hosts on this one; Robbie Cheadle, Miriam Hurdle and our brand new host, Kay Castenada, who did a fabulous debut tour stop. Also thanks so much to all those who participated and followed the tour. And now, the part of the tour where I get to give back a little. For this tour, we are giving away two digital copies and one signed print copy of Delilah.

So, without further ado…

The winners of the WordCrafter Delilah Book Blog Tour Giveaway are

The two digital copies go to Mae Clair and Jennie.

Jacqui Murray will recieve a signed print copy of Delilah.

All winners need to contact me at kayebooth@yahoo.com to claim their prize.

Congratulations to the winners!

_____________________________________________________________________

Want exclusive content? Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. She won’t flood your inbox, she NEVER sells her list, and you might get a freebie occasionally. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, just for joining.


Treasuring Poetry – Meet multi-genre author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, and a review #Poetry #writingcommunity #bookreview

Today, I am delighted to welcome author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg, as my March Treasuring Poetry guest.

Why do you write poetry?

To me, writing poetry is like being a flâneuse of the literary world.

The history and meaning of flâneuse (with its masculine form, flâneur) derive from the turn of the century, late 19th to early 20th. It defines those men and women who had the time, the inclination, the passion (and the finances, back then) to wonder along the streets of a big city and to observe and be a part of the daily city life. Those who enjoyed taking in the city.

It was after this past holiday, when my family and I covered about 200km on the streets of Romania, in Bucharest and Sibiu, that I learned this expression, flâneuse.

Writing poetry is my reaction to being a flâneuse in a city of words. Writing poetry is like strolling among literary creations, classical or modern (buildings made of words if you wish) and taking in their beauty and rhythm. A turn of the word here, a phrase there, they blend with the breeze, the song of bird, or the memories of my youth (like dappled shadows) – creating poetry.

Do you think poetry is still a relevant form of expressing ideas in our modern world? If yes, why?

Absolutely. Poetry permanently sheds a light on the world; it helps us see our everyday life through a different perspective. It adds colour to a world monotonous in its everyday violence. It also highlights, thus helping us remember, the forgotten beauty of life.

Poetry also creates bridges that unite us, past distances (and I mean social distances) or any other barriers. Poetry is that one constant in times of change. Because poetry helps us understand our emotions and communicate them. It helps us make sense of an uncertain future or of a tumultuous past. Poetry translates, by use of imagery that what – at first – is hard to comprehend and it appears scrambled.

Which poem by any other poet that you’ve read, do you relate to the most and why?

So many times I asked myself this question and the answer varied, but more often it was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” the poem I most relate with.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Life, the simple act of living and of leading a happy and fulfilled family life, are such a tremendous gift – but we tend to take it for granted. I think that contemplating the road that brought us here, as well as the ones followed by our ancestors, is a valuable exercise.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about the choices and the opportunities we encounter in life. But unlike Frost’s poem, I believe that it isn’t the regret over the roads not taken that should overshadow our future, but the excitement for further choices, born out of our past decisions. Life is a continuous maze, and a beautiful and exciting one.

Which of your own poems is your favourite and why?

I enjoyed following the antics of the puppies depicted in my poetry book “as Good as Gold”. There were times when I would write and laugh. When I grew up in Romania we would live in an apartment so we shared some pretty close living quarters with our dog. Whoever looked after a puppy will remember that, at the beginning, they hardly sleep through the night.

While writing “As Good as Gold” I enjoyed mentally watching a puppy conversing with the moon, or meeting an owl (during night-time, of course) for the very first time. Writing from experience… Today I look fondly on those memories. Thus, my favourite poem is “Why, Rain?”  where we follow a puppy on his first encounter with a surprise storm during what starts like a perfect summer day, just right for some nature exploration.

Is writing poetry easy for you compared to prose or do you do a lot of editing and revision of your poems?

I enjoy writing poetry for its free form and lack of constraints. Poetry allows my thoughts to roam unrestrained. For me, writing poetry is like finding shapes in the clouds – they can be anything and I won’t be wrong in writing them as such. The reader, in turn, can interpret them the way she sees them and none will be wrong for taking that what her / his heart chose to see.

Writing prose asks for much more structure, although I enjoy it just as much. Writing prose is like building a house.

Poetry is like writing a song. Sometimes you hum it for a long time before you get the melody out on paper just the way you heard it in your mind. Prose is more like writing a symphony. Just as rewarding, perhaps more demanding. Prose will confer a whole set of ideas, where poetry will distil the thought to a perfect, silky thread.

What mode (blog, books, YouTube, podcasts) do you find the most effective for sharing your poems with poetry lovers and readers?

As an independent author with self-published poetry books as well as poems published in various poetry anthologies I find that, today, readers show a fear of commitment towards poetry. I discovered that publishing my poems on my blog or into an online literary magazine I can reach a wider audience than publishing a poetry book.

My review of As Good as Gold, A dog’s life in poems by Patricia Furstenberg

As Good as Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems is a delightful and uplifting collection of poems about domestic dogs and puppies. Each poem is accompanied by a lovely photograph of the dog through whose eyes the poems is written. I liked that the poems were told from the perspective of the dogs and I thought the freestyle form of poetry suited this book well as each poem is a mini story or adventure.

The writing style is conversational and relaxed. The following few extracts give a feel for the style of the poetry:

“Puppy tiptoes,
Takes a peek.
Sniffs carefully …
What IS that squeak?”

“It’s oval, it bounces, it floats away,
It’s pink like his tongue, it wants to play!
“I’m coming!” barks pup and off he goes.
Down the hill the pink shape flows
And puppy follows suit. It’s just within his reach,”

For cat lovers, there are also a few poems told from the perspective of our feline friends and I loved those especially, as I am a cat owner.

I think this book is a lovely way of teaching children about animals as pets and the writing is appropriate for both children and adults, all of whom will adore the antics and curiosity displayed by the dogs, especially the puppies.

Purchase links

Amazon US

Patricia Furstenberg’s Amazon Author page

About Patricia Furstenberg

Writer and poet Patricia Furstenberg authored 18 books to date. Patricia grew up in Bucharest and was brought up listening to the legends and folktales of Romania’s past. She came to writing through reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. Her writing career followed a sinuous road that passed through a Medical Degree, practicing medicine, extensive traveling, and it also produced a happy marriage and two children. The recurrent motives in her writing are unconditional love and war, while Patricia’s keen interest for history and dogs brought her writing, through a perfect loop, to her native Romania. Today Patricia writes fiction and poetry. Her poems were published in anthologies by Green Ink Poetry, The Poem Magazine, and Lothlórien Poetry Journal as well as in over thirty online literary journals

Find Patricia Furstenberg

Author Website 

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn / Goodreads / Book Bub / AllAuthor

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/


Treasuring Poetry 2023 – Meet poet and author Andrew McDowell and a review #poetry #bookreview #Treasuring Poetry

Which famous poet has influenced your poetry the most?

When I was young, I admired William Shakespeare. I was impressed with how he used words to convey emotions and ideas, and I wanted to follow his example. In my junior year of high school, I participated in a Poetry Out Loud contest where we had to recite a poem. I chose Sonnet XVIII (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) and won third place. The Shakespearean sonnet was the first poetic form I tried to consistently write in beyond regular rhyming lines. It would not be until college that I began branching out to other forms and eventually free verse.

Which poem that you’ve read has impacted the way you see things in life?

This was a tough one, but one poem that has impacted me is Robert Frost’s famous “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

In what way has this poem influenced your viewpoint?

Most people interpret it as about making new trails, which is how I interpreted it as a child. Many times, when I’ve been walking, when I took a turn different from the norm, the last three lines presented themselves in my mind.

However, I’d heard that interpretation is accurate, so I looked it up, and to my surprise, it’s true. Frost wrote it as a joke regarding his friend and colleague Edward Thomas, who often hiked with him and had trouble deciding which way to go. The poem is not only about how choices we make determine where we go in life, but also that we often look back and wonder whether we’ve made the right choice. Though I did not grow up with that interpretation, I have found it to be true and profound.

Perhaps Frost’s way of telling poetry influenced me, too; I remember a professor in college, who taught a poetry class I was in, observed that I liked to end poems with a meaning or lesson, drawing a parallel to Frost.

What is your favorite of your own poems?

This was another tough one, because several have special meaning to me. But of those I have published so far, one that deeply resonates is “Lonely Wolf,” which appeared in the 2019 Spring Edition of And I Thought Literary Magazine. It was written in college as a failed attempt at a pantoum, but after a few rejections, I rewrote it as a villanelle. It speaks to the loneliness I have felt—socially and romantically.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

Amongst the tall pine trees and heavy snow,

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Young once within a den huddled tight.

The years passed and sadly I had to go.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

***

Embarking for the greatest peak tonight,

There shall I convey my long-held sorrow.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Though many have come within my sight,

Why they stand distant I can never know.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

***

Winter’s bitter cold reigns in silent might.

Dark silence only brings light to my woe.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Here I stand alone on this rocky height.

Here I do bay up where countless stars glow.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

What’s next for you in your writing career?

My focus right now is fiction. My fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood came out in a new edition, so my primary goal is to complete the sequel. I do have many unpublished poems, so I want to keep an eye out for publishing opportunities. A volume of poetry isn’t out of the question—if I can find a unifying theme (my poems touch on many unique ones).

About Andrew McDowell

Andrew McDowell became interested in writing at age 11, inspired by childhood passions for stories and make-believe. By the time he was 13, he knew he wanted to be a writer. He studied at St. Mary’s College and the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association.

In addition to his fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood, Andrew has written poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction, and he is interested in writing drama and lyrics. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, when he was 14.

Find Andrew McDowell

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

Review of Mystical Greenwood

What Amazon says

Dermot is a fifteen-year-old boy living in a remote village in the land of Denú. He has always longed for something more in his life. Now, everything changes after he sees a renowned creature–a gryphon–in the sky, and then crosses paths with a reclusive healer who harbors a secret.

Soon, he and his brother have no choice but to leave the only home they’ve ever known. They travel with new friends across the land through several great forests, along the way meeting an old man, a family of unicorns, and witnessing an important birth. They must evade fire-breathing dragons and dark-armored soldiers hunting them down, all serving an evil sorcerer determined to subjugate the kingdom, and who will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Denú’s only hope is if a renowned coven returns to face the enemy after years in hiding. Dermot, however, suspects their own role may be more significant than he thought, as he slowly discovers a power which exists amongst the trees and creatures of every greenwood. Can they save those they hold dear? Will Dermot find what he has sought? Or will all that’s free and good be consumed by darkness?

My review

Andrew McDowell has written an extraordinary fantasy tale which centres around the guardians of nature and the Greenwood, called driadors. The plot follows a typical good versus evil path, but the overlay of the protection versus the destruction of the natural environment was unusual, topical, and really fantastic.

Dermot and his brother, Brian, do not get on. Brian is the son who always does as he is asked by his parents and fits the mould of a pleaser, while Dermot is a dreamer and has always felt he was intended for more than his life as an apprentice blacksmith to his father. The rivalry between the two boys comes to a head when Dermot is carried away by a hunting gryphon. Dermot persuades the gryphon to drop him but he is injured during his fall. He wakes up in the care of a healer called Saershe, and her grandson, Ruairi. Dermot realises that they are not ordinary forest dwellers and, following his return home, he becomes obsessed with finding them again.

Brian becomes aware that Dermot has had some sort of unusual experience during his absence and uses this knowledge to stir up trouble for Dermot with their parents. Meanwhile, an evil force in the shape of a fallen driador called Taranis, is lurking just beyond the village, waiting for an opportunity to wreak havoc and destruction and restart an old battle against the driadors. Dermot and Brian will have to learn to trust and rely on each other, and harness the power of nature if they want to save the Greenwood, their friends, family, and themselves.

This is an unusual and well paced story with interesting characters, and these elements more than makes up for the odd moments in the book when Dermot and Brian’s emotional reactions to situations seem slightly lacking in depth or incongruent to the circumstances.

The author has great potential as a writer and I would love to read the next book in this series and find out what happens next in the battle for control between Taranis and the driadors.

Purchase Mystical Greenwood

Amazon US

Andrew McDowell Amazon Author Page

My review of As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

What amazon says

As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad is an anthology of poetry, prose, essay, and art inspired by the unprecedented events of the year 2020. It embraces fierce and raw creative works relating to life during the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, and the economic uncertainty and horror of the last eight months. One hundred and fourteen writers and artists spanning ten countries and 30 states are represented in this powerful volume. It is both a story of survival and an act of resistance.

“We speak with many voices, to the damage wrought in these violent, fevered months. Let us never forget or turn away, from what is just, what is necessary, to keep light alive in this world.”

My review

This is an interesting recording by numerous contributors, of the status of the world and society in the run up to the Covid lockdowns, and during the subsequent on-going pandemic. The writings, which comprise of mainly poetry, but also some essays and visual art pieces, also cover events that ran parallel to the lockdowns and pandemic that had an impact on society and politics.

Reading this anthology is an adventure as the messages are intense and vivid and the styles of writing hugely varied due to the significant number of contributors. Although not all the styles of poetry appealed to me, they were all memorable due to the strong emotional messaging, and well worth reading.

My favourite poems are as follows: Falls the Shadow by John W. Leys, I Think the Birds don’t Care by Kelsey Hontz (the words “Somebody has mixed up the two themes of apocalypse and paradise, which would be a fireable offense if anybody were still in the director’s chair for this year of hindsight.” really resonated with me.), Lately by L. Stevens, Quarantine by Andrew McDowell, Upon Waking in a Pandemic by Christine E. Ray, Choice Perhaps by Jane Dougherty, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Life before the Virus by Leslea Newman, Am I Angry? by John W. Leys, Virus by Erik Klingenberg (nightpoet), and Tumbling by Merril D. Smith.

Two of the essays, were particularly interesting to me. I-Soul-Ation by Dr. Sneha Rooh. The closing words of this essay have sadly not come to fruition, in my opinion:

“I would like to think that we will hug people longer, be grateful to be able to work, that we will smile brighter when the masks come off and we’ll let the smiles fully enter our hearts, that we will be careful abut the lies sold to us and remember that we are precious mortals with precious lives and an immense ability to connect and care.”

I am of the view, that the world has returned to its previous status quo with alarming speed and that as a species, we have learned nothing from the lockdowns and the pandemic.

The other essay I particularly enjoyed was Serendipity by Kim D. Bailey.

This book is an important documenting of life during this difficult and stressful time of life when the entire world united to face a common enemy. Sadly, we have still not learned our lesson, as I mentioned above, but perhaps some of us have found more courage to fight for a better eventual outcome for our planet and for humanity.

Purchase As the World Burns

Amazon US

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/


Treasuring Poetry – A tribute to poet and author, Sue Vincent, plus some reviews #SueVincent #Poetrycommunity

I am using this last Treasuring Poetry post for 2022 to celebrate the writing talent of Sue Vincent who passed in March 2021. Sue was an incredible blogger who did a huge amount to support her fellow bloggers, authors, and poets. Her poetry, books, and blog are still close to many of our hearts which is an incredible tribute to her talent and personal charisma.

I am sharing Sue’s responses to a Poetry Readathon I ran on Robbie’s Inspiration in December 2018, two years after I first met Sue.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a Yorkshire lass with two grown sons and two granddaughters. I live with the notorious Small Dog, in a village in rural Buckinghamshire, England. I write daily for my own blog, the Daily Echo, which is an eclectic mix of personal reflections, poetry, history and folklore. I help run the Silent Eye, an international organisation that helps people realise their potential through awareness, and write for our website too. As a writer, I have several books published, including one written with G. Michael Vasey, but most of the time I write in partnership with Stuart France, exploring ancient sites, myths and symbolism in a semi-fictional way.

When ever I think of Yorkshire it reminds me of the book, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Sue and Stuart’s separate and combined blog posts also remind me of this book with their amazing and wonder inducing sights and ideas. 

Sue’s blog is still available to readers who share her love of poetry and fascinating places in the United Kingdom.

Who is your favourite poet?

That has to be an unfair question! It all depends on the moment and the mood. If I had to choose, I would say Omar Khayyam, whose poetry I have carried in my handbag and re-read for many years.

On the other hand, and completely at the other end of the literary scale, there is Marriot Edgar, whose rhyming monologues, written and recited in the vernacular, were so much a part of my childhood that even now, when I write humorous verse, it is to his rhythm.

As I lived in France for many years and learned the language as well as my own, I learned to love French poetry too, and while I could say my favourite is Alfred de Musset or Victor Hugo, I will be honest and say that the poet that moves me the most is the Belgian singer/songwriter, Jacques Brel. The lyrics of his songs are poems in their own right and have a good deal to say and to teach.

The idea of the book of poetry you carry in your handbag, Sue, is completely wonderful to me. It has quite captured my imagination and I think I may start a tradition like this with my son, Gregory.

What is your favourite poem?

Omar Khayyam is easy… Fitzgerald translated his work from the original Farsi, and the quatrains are all in one book, the Rubaiyat…

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

But then, there is Marriot Edgar to consider… and although The Lion and Albert is probably his best-known work, which I can still recite by heart, I do have a fondness for his take on various events in British history. Particular favourites are The Battle of Hastings, where King Harold confronted William of Normandy:

King ‘Arold came up as they landed –

His face full of venom and ‘ate –

He said ‘lf you’ve come for t’Regatta

You’ve got here just six weeks too late.’

At this William rose, cool but ‘aughty,

And said ‘Give us none of your cheek;

You’d best have your throne re-upholstered,

I’ll be wanting to use it next week.’

Though if I had to pick one, it would be Magna Charter, which recounts how King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta, even if he did dip his pen in the jam…

“And it’s through that there Magna Charter,

As were made by the Barons of old,

That in England today we can do what we like,

So long as we do what we’re told.”

Thank you for introducing me and my readers to these poems, Sue. They are lovely and memorable.

What do you appreciate most in a poem?

The first word that sprang to mind in answer to this question was ‘integrity’, and that, I think, can be applied to all forms of poetry. With humorous verses, I want to laugh. With narrative poems, I want a story that has a beginning, middle and end. With short forms, like the haiku and tanka that are now so popular, I want the capture of a moment and layers of possible interpretation that make me think. With classic poetry, I want to feel what the writer felt, understand the elusive thought or emotion that made them write.

Whether it is free verse, rhyme or one of the many recognised forms, it is not enough to simply string words and phrases together across the lines and beats, arranging it to look like a poem. A poem has to flow; it should sing its own music as it is read, even free verse should have its own rhythm and inner shape. And, whether it is humorous, romantic, spiritual or dramatic, it should have something to say that will leave the reader the richer for having read.

You have summed up beautifully what I also think, Sue. A poem should be meaningful and leave a lasting impression upon the reader.

Why do you write poetry?

I grew up around poetry. My mother’s notebooks introduced me early to how odd incidents and fleeting emotions could be captured in verse. There were the monologues shared with my great-grandparents, and always books… even my first Sunday School Prize was written in verse, and I have loved Dr Seuss ever since.

Things that amuse me tend to be written in my head, as they happen, in Edgar-esque verses, but there are other, deeper things that seem as if they can only be conveyed by poetry. You cannot capture them in everyday words… transient realisations, fleeting emotions, inspiration half-understood. Thoughts and feelings too wide to condense into speech find a home in poetry, where the unspeakable can be spoken and the uncontainable contained in such a way that others might share and glimpse an elusive idea. That is why I read and write poetry.

Would you see Eden in a withered bough?

Sunlight in shadows, or flowers bloom in frost?

Beauty in sorrow, or gifts in the dark?

Ask the Earth and the song of wild water

To whisper their secrets.

Follow the moon-path to the horizon

And look within.

I feel you have written your reasons like a true poet, Sue. Writing poetry is something we are compelled to do as part of the communication of our deepest feelings and thoughts. It is really the only way some things can be said for some people.

Sue Vincent’s poetry books

My review of Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two

Where to start with a review of Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two by Sue Vincent? I loved this books so much and so did Michael. It became a bit of a contentious book between Mike and I as I sneakily read ahead and Michael realised that I wasn’t starting where I had finished reading to him and made me go back. He was very determined not to miss a single word. I love this type of story, told mainly through the eyes of a small and very cute dog called Ani. Sue depicts day to day life in such a humorous and fun filled way and I found it a wonderful way to end each stress filled day to sit down and read a few chapters of Ani’s antics to Michael [and to myself of course thereby sparking Mike’s intense displeasure as mentioned above]. Sue writes beautiful descriptions of the natural environment where she lives and her depictions of some of Ani’s learning experiences are very funny. I can just picture the surprise of a small dog taking a flying leap into a pond that has frozen overnight. Sue describes Ani’s anxiety and attention when she is ill and her concern and caring when Ani is ill. This book is altogether completely delightful and tells a beautiful story of the special relationship that can develop between man and his best friend. There are also a few of Sue’s humorous and clever Ani poems thrown in for good measure. This genre of book is just up my street and I rated this book five out of five on Goodreads and Amazon.

Purchase Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Notes-Small-Dog-Four-Legs-ebook/dp/B00GNHTIAW

Laughter Lines, Life from the Tail End

Michael and I are firm Ani addicts so another whole book about Ani’s antics is a real treat. The goings on of Ani’s two legs, sets Michael off into gales of laughter so we are really happy to read about the trials and tribulations of “Her” too.

The book is written in rhyming verse and tells all sorts of tales. To coin a phrase, Ani says:

“The time has come,” the doglet said,

“to talk of many things;

Of tennis balls and squeaky ducks,

and sneaky bees with stings; …”

In this book, Laughter Lines, Life from the Tail End, you will meet some of Ani’s friends, OR NOT:

The cat likes to sit on the roof of the shed

While the dog views this as an intrusion,

It’s all fur and teeth

As the dog growls beneath

And the birds flutter round in confusion.

We get some insights into Ani’s diet:

Its cream cheese and crackers for me and the dog,

While I’m more the epicure… she’s just a hog…

AND

Me and the dog had a sandwich for brunch

(Well, for me it was breakfast, for her it was lunch.)

NOT TO MENTION

The ham disappeared without leaving a trace

Except for the grin upon one small dog’s face.

So if you like to enjoy life and have a good giggle, pick up this delightful book of light-hearted poems and jump right in. There are also some lovely photographs in the book for the reader to enjoy.

You can purchase Laughter Lines, Life from the Tail End here: https://www.amazon.com/Laughter-Lines-Life-Tail-End-ebook/dp/B00USCYJ20

Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog

Ani, or the Small Dog, as she is referred to in this delightful collection of poetry, is a rescue dog whose mother and father were found living together in an Irish field, awaiting the birth of their litter of puppies. Ani’s two legs is named Sue Vincent and she is a Yorkshire born writer, a teacher and a director of The Silent Eye. Both Ani and Sue write highly entertaining blogs.

So what is life like for a Small Dog who blogs and writes poetry, living with another writer who is obsessed with bathing her? Ani tells us all about her life with Sue in a collection of hilarious and poignant poems, largely written in rhyming verse

Well, to start of with, Ani makes it quite clear she does not enjoy being tricked into bathing:
“I got them back on exit
When I shook my dripping fur…
(I didn’t get my boy too much,
But aimed it all at her.)”

“To add insult to injury…
All guilt upon her head…
When I went off to sulk a bit
I found she’d washed my bed!”
Both from Touche.

Ani also does not like having to diet:
“Now this works a treat, if you’ll pardon the pun,
‘Cause she either forgets, gives me treats or a bun
Or more likely she will not go in there at all
‘Cause, “You’ve put on a pound or two, girlie, since fall…”
from In hiding…

Of course, Ani is the first to worry if her Two-Legs gets sick:
“My two-legs has broken down again,
Or maybe she’s still broke,
I think she’s cute with hamster cheeks…
She says it’s not a joke.”
from Karma

Ani is also the first to admit that when she is sick, her Two-Legs nurses her with devoted care:
“Being poorly does have compensations;
‘Cause she’s worried to death, I can tell.
But now she is just so attentive…
I’m not in a rush to get well.”
from Sleeping Dogs Lie…?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book of poetry about the antics and life experiences of the Small Dog. I would recommend it to anyone who loves dogs and who enjoys having a good giggle about life in general.

You can purchase Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog here: https://www.amazon.com/Doggerel-Life-Small-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B081B8BSFC

Pass the Turkey: The Small Dog’s Christmas

Pass the Turkey: The Small Dog’s Christmas is a delightful book full of Christmas cheer. Ani, the small dog, is reflecting on Christmas’ past, present and future through a combination of letters to Santa and poems. The perplexities of ‘fake’ Santas, the ‘theft’ of a favourite sofa, and gifts of tennis balls and a chicken flavoured biscuit, all require Ani’s consideration. Her naughty secrets are also revealed such as the time she ate all the left over turkey and salmon and fell through the ice in the pond [it was shallow]. The indignities of baths and having to wear reindeer antlers are also shared.

Join Ani and her two legs, Sue Vincent, for a glorious romp through advent and Christmas Day.

A few of my favourite verses:
“I’ve tried to help with household chores,
I’ve laundered all my balls,
I’ve chased the pigeons form the shed
And spiders from the walls.” from Request

“She’s like a puppy when it snows
We just go out to play…
And if she wraps up warm enough
We might stay out all day.” from Wishing for the White Stuff

“The windows are all closed at night
The keyhole seems to small
To wriggle through with turkey
And a brand new tennis ball.” from Chimneys.

Purchase Pass the Turkey: The Small Dog’s Christmas here: https://www.amazon.com/Pass-Turkey-Small-Dogs-Christmas-ebook/dp/B081ZBR2GZ

Life Lines: Poems from a Reflection

I love poetry and I read a lot of poems and poetry books and I found the poems in this amazing little book to be quite profound. Sue Vincent touches on all aspects of life, including the sadder and more emotionally difficult aspects such as loss of a loved one, in a beautifully poignant and yet positive and uplifting way which make them satisfying and wonderfully uplifting.

Most of these poems are written in freestyle form with a couple in rhyming verse. The poet has matched the style well to the content of the poem and the rhyming verse poems present the more light hearted and upbeat toned poems.

A few short extracts that I found particularly impactful are as follows:

“The pen paints the souls longing
In jewel tones.” from Purpose

“There were flowers,
Three red roses,
Red as life,
Placed in a cold hand,
One for each heart
Saying a final farewell.
When the tears fall,
There are always flowers.” from Flowers

“Two ravens whisper in my ear,
As Thought and Memory begin.

Within the darkness of their wings
Stir images, both dark and bright,
That dance within the secret heart
And quiet hours of the night.” from Odin’s Ravens [my favourite poem in this collection]

“My pillow held the hollow where you lay,
With love glazed eyes that held me,
Watching as the wildness took me,
Smiling up at me.” from Memory [intensely poignant poem]

Purchase Life Lines: Poems from a Reflection here: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Lines-Reflection-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B00PJSPLI4

Midnight Haiku: A Year in Contemplation

Sue Vincent is well know for her poetry. Some is poignant and sad, some is humorous, some is incredibly beautiful, and all is emotional, insightful, and meaningful. Sue has mastered many forms of poetry, including freestyle, rhyming verse, tankas, and haikus.

Her haikus, only 17 syllables long, are among the most powerful of her many poems. This book is a collection of 365 days of haikus and loosely follows the seasons.

The best way of demonstrating the beauty and power of these haikus is by sharing a few of my favourites:

“earth captures heaven

holding stars in tender hands

that the blind may see”

***

“a flaming chalice

raising itself to the sun

accepting the light”

***

“beyond the roses

colouring a summer sky

a smiling god paints”

***

“defiant colour

sparking through the fading days

celebrating joys”

***

“memory’s pictures

neatly framed in timeless rolls

colouring the day”

These five haiku are the ones that moved me the most and I hope they have illustrated the magnificence of this beautiful book.

Purchase Midnight Haiku: A Year in Contemplation here: https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Haiku-Contemplation-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B08YM9KBNJ

Poetry Treasures

Sue Vincent was also a contributor to Poetry Treasures, a WordCrafter anthology of poetry.

A review of Poetry Treasures

A sweet short read and a collaboration of a variety of poems written in various forms of poetry by some talented poets. I feel like this book was an introduction to the poets as well as a sampling of their creativity in poetry. I especially enjoyed the poetry of Colleen Chesebro and a delicious sampling of intrinsic poetry by the talented and missed, the late, Sue Vincent.

You can purchase Poetry Treasures here: https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Treasures-Sue-Vincent-ebook/product-reviews/B0933KSJR9

More about Sue Vincent

You can read my Treasuring Poetry interview with Sue Vincent here: https://writingtoberead.com/2020/04/25/sue-vincent-shares-her-thoughts-on-poetry-and-a-review/

Diana Peach shared a most beautiful poem by the late Sue Vincent as a tribute to her mother who sadly passed from our Earthly world in late November 2022. You can read it here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2022/11/13/go-gently-into-that-good-night-2/

Colleen Chesebro shared a lovely poem in celebration of the late Sue Vincent in her latest poetry book, which I reviewed here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/12/11/robbies-inspiration-book-blog-tour-fairies-myths-magic-ii-by-colleen-m-chesebro-and-a-review-poetry-shortstories-readingcommunity/

You can find out more about Colleen Chesebro’s book here: https://colleenmchesebro.com/category/colleens-books/

Find Sue Vincent’s books and poetry

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Blog: https://scvincent.com/about/

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9 about Count Sugular and his family who hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to https://writingtoberead.com, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to https://writingtoberead.com called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com. where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVyFo_OJLPqFa9ZhHnCfHUA

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

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Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Treasuring Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.


Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet and author, Yvette Prior and a book review #Poetrylovers #readingcommunity @bookreview

Today, I am very excited to welcome Yvette Prior from Priorhouse blog as my September Treasuring Poetry guest. Yvette is among the first bloggers I met when I started Robbie’s Inspiration and she was always encouraging and supportive of my artwork and writing. Thank you, Yvette.

Today, Yvette, a talented poet and author herself and a huge supporter of other writers and bloggers, is going to share some of her thoughts about poetry and some readings from her lovely poetry book, Avian Friends.

What is your favourite poem and why?

Winter Chill

Stood and listened

to birds tweet and whistle

had breakfast to make

day to begin

stuff to do

but standing

in winter chill

at the back door

harmony

stopped me

hope flew in

melodious infusing during a winter chill

trees still bare

yet birds were there

dulcet air

momentary loss of care

cold days

soon to part ways

winter hard is exiting

birds returning

spring soon erupting

green grass, pleasant breeze

flowers, butterflies, bees

replacing freeze

shivering, I shut the door

musical deliverance once more

Behind the poem

Winter Chillwas written about a brief experience I had when I opened the backdoor one winter’s day. I was stopped in my tracks. It was the first time I had heard the birds in a long time and their “harmony stopped me” as “hope flew in.” I am not what people would refer to as a “birder.” I do not put out seeds and we don’t have any feeders on our property (although I might add some later). The birds have just found a nice little habitat on their own and I am grateful. In this poem, I described the scene exactly as it unfolded -opened the door, heard the birds, and I was reminded that a better season was on its way. This idea could apply to more than just a cold weather season ending – it could also apply to the trials and heavy times in life. Challenging times do not last forever and sometimes we might just need to pause – in the midst of a difficult season – and find small (healthy) ways to enjoy “momentary loss of care.” Hope can mean so much too – and so anytime we have Hope fly in – let’s embrace it. 

Please share a poem you enjoy and why you enjoy it

This is just to say by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

***

and which

you were probably

saving for breakfast

***

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

Williams’ poem whispers so much to me and one takeaway is the freedom someone felt to indulge in the plum. There are times we sacrifice times we do outreach and hold back – but this depicts the opposite – it shows us someone so comfortable with the other person where they ate the plum (while knowing the person was saving it). The poem makes me smile because I can imagine how juicy and tasty it was. And the title and tone of the poem lets us know that the consumer here is not apologizing for eating it either. That’s my take. 

What are your plans for your poetry going forward?

I try to write every day, in a paper notebook, and most of this year I have been busy working on non-poetry projects so I only wrote a handful of poems this year. My goal is to get back to my musings with poetry. Even if all of the poems do not make it into a future book, I enjoy writing them.

 I started writing in middle school but really got into poetry while in college. In between classes, I created free verse poems. I moved words around andenjoyed simple rhyming schemes. 

I know that folks sometimes put down the easy rhymes, but I like them.  It is not about creating difficult poetry for me – it really is a type of solitude with words and ideas. 

Thank you, Yvette, for your lovely answers and for being my guest today.

Yvette has shared a lovely YouTube video recital of some of her poems from Avian Friends.

My review of Avian Friends by Yvette Prior

What Amazon says

In Avian Friends, you will find more than forty poems that offer encouragement and uplifting stories. The poems are free rhyme and connect to different life scenarios. Each poem also includes a “behind the poem” section, which provides personal reflections, teaching tidbits, and ideas for wellness. Backyard birds inspired the poems and the topic of faith has been gently woven in (not in a religious way) with the hope that diverse readers can enjoy the content.

The poems in this book are not complicated poems; instead, they are light and can lift the reader’s mood. The poems are for those who do not always read poetry – as well as for the poetry lover.

My review

Avian Friends is a delightful book of poetry that centres around the author’s interactions with birds in her personal life. In the reactions and interactions of her avian friends, the author finds threads of similarity to human reactions to circumstances and experiences and in relationships. She weaves these thoughts into the observations expressed in her poems.

One of the most interesting section of poems for me where the ones written following the death of a young and close relative. The author’s grief is palpable and her understanding of nature and the role of all creatures in the cycle of life help her come to terms with her sorrow and emotions.

An verse from Part III Life and Death:
“The nest was found
on the ground after the storm
nestlings didn’t make it
we mourned
fuzzy little creatures
oversized eyes
chests without air
buried with care
patting down soil
reminded me that we, too, will die …”

I have referred to the poet as the author because there is a lot of reflective prose in this book. Each poem is followed by a discussion which provides the poet’s inspiration for the poem, and includes quotes and information about birds and other aspects of life that contribute to the meaning behind the poem. I really enjoyed these explanatory sections and gleaned a lot of insight into the poet’s emotions and thought process from it.

Enjoyment of this book is certainly not limited to people who love birds as, in many instances, the birds are a metaphor for human life. This book will be enjoyed by all lovers of poetry.

Purchase Avian Friends

Amazon paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Avian-Friends-Yvette-Prior-Ph-D/dp/1973831228

Amazon kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Avian-Friends-Encouraging-inspired-Backyard-ebook/dp/B07QHNZF81

About Yvette Prior

Yvette Prior lives on the East Coast of the United States with her spouse, Chris, and together they have three adult children, two grandchildren, and no pets (after having many dogs over the years).

Yvette enjoys working with people and her varied work background includes education, social work, hospitality management, and lots of outreach. Her passion area is studying about health and wellness and after earning a Ph.D. in I-O Psychology, she poured into waiting book projects and she has not stopped writing since.

Her goal as a writer is to educate, edify, and encourage readers. Her personal blog can be found at priorhouse.wordpress.com

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9 about Count Sugular and his family who hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to https://writingtoberead.com, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to https://writingtoberead.com called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com. where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVyFo_OJLPqFa9ZhHnCfHUA

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Treasuring Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.


Treasuring Poetry – Welcome poet and author, Patty Fletcher and a review #poetry #bookreview #poetrycommunity

Today, I am delighted to feature poet, author, and blogger, Patty Fletcher and share her thoughts about poetry and her favourite poems. I really enjoyed the poems included in this post, those written by Patty herself, and those included in A Poetic Apostrophe. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

What is your favourite poem?

Hello, Robbie. Before I begin, I’d like to thank you for including me in Treasuring Poetry.

Honestly, poetry isn’t my forte. I do, however dabble some and in fact this poem, Ever Lost in the Moment was eventually published in an issue of The Avocet Nature Magazine.

It is a favorite because writing it allowed me to put words to a fantasy which played out in my head.

What inspired you to write this particular poem?

In the poem, Ever Lost to the Moment you see two lovers who have longed for one another for many years finally come together. This, along with the raw bones of nature roaring around them makes it magical to me and since I’m a huge believer in manifestation I still read this poem with the belief that one day it might come true, and I like the lady in the poem may be reunited with someone I love and we would come together as the lovers in the poem do.

Here it is below for your reading enjoyment.

Ever Lost in the Moment

By Patty L. Fletcher

The scorching wind roared angrily across the jagged peaks above. The thundering waves pounded the steep cliffs below.

 Standing, their bare toes clinging to the rocks, naked in the fading day. Faces moist with the ocean spray.  The sunset a ball of fiery molten liquid melting into the churning sea.

He, seeing her there, dangerously close to the edge. She, breathing the dank salty air. Her ebony hair streaming long and beautiful round her there.

He, drinking her in, his senses catching fire with want and desire, she, like a deer, sensing danger in the wind, felt him there.

Turning to him her mouth parting in a gorgeous smile, they stood, the only sound the roaring of the wind, pounding of the waves, and song of the gulls. Their hearts beat as one. In perfect time with the rhythmic sea, they knew, they would be, ever lost in the moment.

Ever Lost in the Moment was originally written in 2018 and the rewriting of it was inspired by:  http://scvincent.com/2019/02/14/thursday-photo-prompt-new-writephoto/ .

Another of my favorites, I happened upon while putting this interview together is called Ice Cream on the Fly. I wrote it after a visit from my daughter and six grandchildren after eight years of separation.

It tells the tale of our last day together and still makes me laugh until I’m near tears.

I hope you enjoy it too.

“Ice Cream on the Fly”

By Patty L. Fletcher

May 14, 2021

Ice Cream on the fly.

Sun shining bright in the sky.

Laughter on the air.

Happiness everywhere.

Kids got a sugar high.

Go to the park, let them swing, run, and slide.

Ride the merry-go-round round and round.

Oh, jeez if I did that after ice cream, well, I’d be sick on the ground.

Finally, momma says time to go. Must go home to ready ourselves so on the second part of our road trip we may go.

Back in the van rolling home with the setting sun.

WOW! We’ve had a great week of visiting and fun.

Home again, out we all flow.

Into the house we troop. Just one, big happy chattering group.

Eddy, we’re back nearly in unison we call. Eddy, no longer put off by our noise at all.

Meow! Jeez, what’s a cat to do. Nearly starved waiting for you.

“Who needs the bathroom?” I call. But though several said they did no one makes a move.

“OK, you snooze you lose.” I call to the room at large and then into the bathroom I barge.

Just when I think we’re gonna make it through the week with no serious issue. My beliefs are quickly washed away.

I flush and ready myself to leave the room when suddenly, Oh! What from yonder toilet breaks? What the… not to curse in several languages, all of my strength it takes.

Water is flowing across the floor, with every second which passes there is more and more.

Then, as I try to flee with my very life, the door refuses to budge and I fear I’m to be washed away.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! I scream! And yet, the water continues to stream.

“What the…” I demand of the air. This flipping water is everywhere.

“Turn it off! Make it stop!” Polly commands. Yet dumbfounded I continue to stand. “Turn it off! Turn it off!” She continues to insist, but in my brain, I continue to resist.

“I don’t know how.” I hear myself say. All the while knowing it’s not what I mean to state.

Suddenly my brain and fingers, they won’t connect. I’m panicked, what would one expect?

I am shoved aside, and Polly flashes past with a mighty cry.

“Here, in the back, turn it quick!” Still the words in my mind will not stick.

Then I see the water is everywhere. And all we can do is stand and stare.

Finally, with me and the others tucked safely out of the way, my oldest granddaughter begins to wipe the flood waters away.

After a time, all is set to right. We sit having supper in the deepening night.

Sweet Eddy hovers near, in hopes a morsel to his paw will drop near.

All too soon we’re calling good night. For they must rise with the early morning’s light.

Into the van sleepily Polly’s six-pack of kids, my beautiful grands they will fall.

As sure as the sun will warmly rise into the morning’s sky. I already know tears of good-bye I shall cry.

So, my friends I say to you wherever you go or what you do, be sure to hold those nearest and dearest to you.

Because you never know when they will return to you.

What are your plans for your poetry going forward?

Until recently, I never gave it much thought but while rummaging around in folders looking for some pieces, I could use in a Paranormal Romance Science Fiction manuscript I’m working on I ran upon a few more poems I’d written while dreaming of love lost so, I’ve been thinking more about trying to learn how to correctly write poetry.

I can write it but I’m never certain if I’m writing in the correct form. But as with a lot of things I want to learn, I keep putting it onto the back burner to simmer while other works bubble happily on the front of the stove.

Here, is one of the poems which was written after an encounter with someone with whom I used to have a secret relationship with.

I hope it’s OK to share.

If Only a Moment

Patty L. Fletcher

 January 22 2018

They stood, their backs to the world, safe.

 Even if only for a moment, happy and content.

Their arms round each other, her head on his shoulder.

His body, strong and lien. Muscles at the ready, hands like a cloud of thunder.

His voice, deep and rich.

They move through the house, talking in each room.

Stopping in the hall for a kiss.

Going onward into the study.

There, only a moment.

Moving as one to the bed.

Tumbling together, in a tangle of hands, arms, and legs.

Fire between his fingers, cold, as ice, yet somehow flames on her skin.

As they flow together, their passion runs deep.

Her mouth on his.

Their bodies become one.

They melt together in the molten lava of their sex.

Their hearts fly.

Their passions rise.

Her need peeks.

His fullness she seeks.

Together they explode, the white-hot throbbing, hums low.

After, they stand.

 Their backs to the world. safe, if only for a moment, happy and content.

What is your favorite poem?

Robbie, had you asked me this a month ago, I’m not certain I’d have had a great answer. Though several of my clients are poets and some of their poetry does speak to me nothing has spoken to me quite like A Poetic Apostrophe by Joan Myles, Annie Chiappetta and Winslow Parker.

Here it is below for you.

A Poetic Apostrophe

By Joan Myles, Annie Chiappetta and Winslow Parker

Good poetry is the expression of an open heart and a creative spirit. The ability to fashion these qualities into moving and meaningful word images develops with practice of course. Practice rooted in honest self-reflection.  And sometimes, the honest mirror of self-reflection resides in another poet.

Several months ago, Annie, Win and Joan started coming together to be that mirror for one another. In weekly sessions they alternate between reading and analyzing famous poetry and creating their own. They use the craft of such notables as Robert Bly, Amy Lowell, and Wallace Stevens as tutor and springboard for experimentation with word choice, rhythm and style.  The three are dedicated to the process of learning as they write, grounding their exchanged feedback in honesty– for the sake of the poem only.

When the trio found Edgar Allen Poe’s    piece, A Valentine less than pleasing, they used Billy Collins’s poem Workshop as inspiration to devise a suitable response.  While each response relates to a specific element in the poem, all of them acknowledge  Poe’s use of the apostrophe.

The apostrophe isn’t only a punctuation mark used in writing. It’s also a form or style of poetry. The Poetry Foundation defines an apostrophe poem as An address to a dead or absent person, or personification as if he or she were present. An apostrophe may provide a structure or reason for the poem. It can also provide tonal and figurative effects such as giving the poem an intimate or ironic tone.

The literary apostrophe is a tonal element of Poe’s poem, to be sure. But the essence of the piece feels more like a riddle. You see, “A Valentine is an acrostic wherein the letters of the poet’s love interest are to be discovered.

Now for the Poe poem the trio studied

A Valentine

Edgar Allan Poe – 1809-1849

     For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,

         Brightly expressive as the twins of Loeda,

     Shall find her own sweet name, that, nestling lies

         Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.

     Search narrowly the lines! —they hold a treasure

         Divine—a talisman—an amulet

     That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure—

         The words—the syllables! Do not forget

     The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor!

         And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

     Which one might not undo without a sabre,

         If one could merely comprehend the plot.

     Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering

         Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus

     Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing

         Of poets, by poets—as the name is a poet’s, too.

     Its letters, although naturally lying

         Like the knight Pinto—Mendez Ferdinando—

     Still form a synonym for Truth—Cease trying!

         You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

This poem is in the public domain.

And below are the individual apostrophe poems written in response:

A Raven’s Dark Valentine

By Ann Chiappetta

There is only one poem I like, the

One with chilled somberness and a raven

This one, though, bores me

Taunts and jabs my intelligence 

like the ebon beak

of the more Popular poem.

When I think of you

The sitcom comes to mind, you know

The one, with the altered family

Who lives on Mockingbird Lane. 

And I snicker, recalling

the family’s clock that should have

held a   black forest cuckoo.

I only wish what was once thought clever

Will never be more.

The Tell Tale Valentine

by Joan Myles

right off the rhythm grabs me line by line

a beating heart of sorts this valentine

but just as quick a mystery you pose

the name of your beloved to disclose

Greek allusions bleak confusions play

as I attempt the task and lose my way

I must confess I find it all a bore 

your raven spoke with wisdom” Never More”

Poe’s Poem

By Winslow Parker

So, Mr. Poe,

Acknowledged mournful poet and macabre storyteller,

You wrote a love poem to Miss Frances,

Who died young,

Just like your tragic heroines.

You hid her name,

In the heart of your poem,

A clever way of declaring your love.

But then you spoiled it all with:

“You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do,”

Did you think so little of her intellect,

Her knot untying skills,

That you could not resist the impulse to make her feel small

In the presence of your mighty wit?

Is that love?

4/26/22

©2022 Winslow E. Parker All Rights Reserved

Annie, Win, and Joan encourage you to read poems wherever you may find them. Take your time to linger over the poet’s choice of words and images, to delight in shifting rhythms and rhymes, to let your mind and spirit play. And if you should find your thoughts stirred by an unexpected turn of phrase, or bedazzled by a sudden insight, a simple smile will do. For that’s the poet’s gift to you!

Why do you like this poem?

As you can see, not only is this an incredible piece of work by three poets but it’s as if the universe heard me grumbling about what I don’t know concerning the writing of poetry and WHAM! Just like that, a lesson appeared.

As I’m reading over this before sending to you, it occurs to me, I might have a poet somewhere within waiting to emerge.

Before I leave you today, I’d like to ask you indulge me with the privilege of sharing one more poem I wrote. This was written shortly after I returned from The Seeing Eye® with my first guide dog Campbell.

The Puppy Grew Up and Became

Once upon a time long ago,

When you were very small you know.

In the morning’s early dawn you were born,

But all too soon from your mother you were torn.

You were sent to live far away with a family you thought forever you would stay.

You learned the neatest and  most awesome tricks.

So much more than chasing sticks.

You learned to sit to rest to lay,

You learned to obey in every way.

You did all these things so very well,

And every day you grew.

All too soon your life changed again,

And you made another new friend.

He was your teacher, your very own guide.

Would you forever walk by his side?

No! This was not to be.

You learned all you could from him,

And then,

You were given to me.

Fast we became best of friends,

And it is with me you will now stay until our work together ends.

In honor of Guide Dogs, puppy raisers, Trainers, and Handlers Everywhere!

Thank you, Robbie for allowing me to share a bit of my poetry with you. Though I’m sure you have more talented poets than I among your guests it’s been a pleasure.

Review of Pathway to Freedom – Book One: Broken and Healed – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life

What Amazon Says

In this, the first book in her memoir trilogy, Pathway to Freedom – Broken and Healed: Book One – How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, Patty shares how her decision to gain complete independence with the help of ‘The Seeing Eye Guide Dog’ school in Morris Town, New Jersey, reveals to her a glimpse into worlds she had never before known existed. Once home from ‘The Seeing Eye’ she soon begins to realize all is not right in her world. Watch your step as you journey down the pathway with Patty and Campbell, for there are many obstacles along the way. There are triumphs and tribulations, tears and fears, but through it all that forever guide by her side, King Campbell works tirelessly to keep her safe from harm.

My review

When I started reading this book I thought it was a memoir of the author’s experiences being trained as a guide dog handler by the Seeing Eye Institution in the USA. I was keen to read about Patty’s experiences and learn more about the process of both training a guide dog and also the handler of the guide dog. I’d realised from conversations and correspondence with a few non-sighted friends that the handler develops a very close relationship with the guide dog and I wanted to learn more.

This book did offer that insight into the training process offered by Seeing Eye and I followed Patty on her informative and wonderful journey of gaining independence through becoming a handler. I was interested in all the detailed including the different types of training the pair undergo including a trip to New York.

Right from the beginning of the book it was obvious that Patty was in a difficult relationship with a man who did not have her best interests at heart. This flawed relationship is also a major theme in the book and the negative impact on Patty of having to walk on eggshells around her partner in many areas of her life was evident and upsetting. Certain details about Donnie were also revealed that make him quite a difficult character to like the least of which was his ill-treatment of his own two dogs.

The last section of the book was a little unfulfilling for me as I didn’t really understand why Patty’s relationship with her trainer from Silent Eye and her daughter broke down completely. I could make a reasonable assumption about it based on the information provided, but I would have like a little more clarity. I would also have liked to have known a little more about Patty’s father and how he recovered from his ill health.

All in all, this is an interesting and compelling story and certainly a worthy read.

Purchase links

Amazon US

About Patty L Fletcher

Patty Fletcher is a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom she is enormously proud. She has a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April 2011 through September 2020, she owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020, King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. In July 2021, she returned to The Seeing Eye® and was paired with a Black Labrador Golden Retriever cross named Blue.

PATTY’S BLINDNESS…

Patty was born one and a half months premature. Her blindness was caused by her being given too much oxygen in the incubator. She was partially sighted until 1991, at which time she lost her sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. She used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

WHERE SHE LIVES AND WORKS…

Currently, Patty lives and works in Kingsport, Tenn.

She’s the creator and owner of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), The Writer’s Grapevine Online Magazine and the creator and host of the Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing Podcast.

WRITING GOAL…

Patty writes with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disabled from the non-disabled.

HOBBIES…

Patty’s hobbies include reading, music, and attending book clubs via Zoom.

FAVORITE TUNES…

Some of her favorite types of tunes are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country.

FAVORITE READS…

Patty enjoys fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. She loves books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Norah Roberts, and many more. Some favorite books include Norah Roberts’ Hide Away, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

SPIRITUAL FAITH…

Patty describes herself as a spiritual Walker. She says she knows both Mother Goddess and Father God and embraces all they have to offer.

CONTACT…

Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

Visit:  https://pattysworlds.com/

About Robbie Cheadle

IMG_9902

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

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Treasuring Poetry – Meet writer and poet, Willow from Willowdot21

Today, I am delighted to feature writer and poet, Willow Willers, as my Treasuring Poetry guest. Willow blogs at willowdot21.

Which of your own stories is your favourite?

Well Robbie, my real first favourite is a trilogy I wrote about young boys who get caught up in drug running gangs and knife crime. My real ambition would be to have a chance to read this to young people at clubs and schools.

The death

The bench was hard but he could take that, it was the pain in his side and chest which filled his being, everything else was flat.

Fear gripped his mind, he was so cold inside yet a sweat was rippling down his back. His sight was blurred, was he going blind?

Slowly a long hidden memory came to the fore. His mother had taught him it long before he had changed. “Gentle Jesus meek and mild look upon me a little child.”

OH! Jesus if you are there help me now, I did not need you then but I do now. Jesus this pain is f###ing killing me, help me help me please. Slowly he slipped forward onto the floor and darkness washed over him and he knew no more.
***
“Where are you going son. No, out, will not do! Listen to me boy I am asking you. Why must you run with that pack it seems to me now there is no coming back. What has happened to you, you were such a good boy at school I had hopes that you’d go far but your just like your brother playing the fool.

No your not wicked but you are not a fool and I am telling you this, in my book you’re not cool.”

“What are you doing with that? Give it me back , don’t you threaten me son I’ll give you a smack. OH! Please will you listen to me don’t take that knife it will not set you free from the boredom in your life. It will not get you a job, it won’t make you a man what has happened to you and your world changing plan? You had vision and hunger for work as a decent and pleasant boy not as you are now , just a jerk.”
***
Clearing up quietly the priest approached the last row when something on the floor that caught the suns last glow. Red and sticky he knew what it was but he prayed to his God that it would not be true. The boy lying his arms out wide, blood flowing from his side. A thought crossed his mind but he dismissed immediately. He looked like Jesus did, you see. Arms out wide , blood from his side a cut round his forehead dripping, blood in his eyes.

He took out his mobile and took a deep breath as he dialled, ambulance, police he begged his mind running wild. The operator was telling him what to do, “Keep him warm and stem the blood is what I want you to do.” He ripped off his cassock and swaddled the lad he then noticed blood on his jeans ( the best ones he had) He cradled the boy and prayed in his ear “keep trying to stay ask now, Jesus will hear.”

It was half an hour until anyone arrived the paramedic crew gently moved the priest to one side. It was too late the boy was gone, then with their radios crackling loud, the police taped the area off, people from everywhere arriving, such a crowd.

Standing back and looking around the priest said a prayer without making a sound. “Dear God take the soul of this boy who died here today and give him some peace, and if you have time help me find words to soothe his family, at least ” Then he sat down exhausted, he was just a man even though he was called a priest.

A woman on her way home from work regretting an argument at the start of her day was wondering how to fix things and what she could say. She always said never give up, never leave a good word unsaid. Never leave things, sort them before you go to bed. Passing the church she saw her youngest boys friends , he wasn’t there perhaps they could make amends.

The Cause
He awoke with a jump. It was his brother rolling in drunk! Damn only 4am please don’t go over what’s to happen again. I know I must do this. I must prove myself.

It was all too easy a year ago when his best friend introduced him to the boys “you need to know” It had been simple things at first making old ladies jump, stealing traffic cones all laughing fit to burst.

When he was really trusted, got himself a name.Things became more serious it suddenly was a whole new game. They met the older boys, the ones with big fast cars. They all wore hoodies, bling and they all had facial scars.

It was money and messages that he had to run he was fit and had a bike.Now that is how easily it had begun. He often skipped school though not always willingly. There really was not any choice, what the big boys said, had to be.

His teachers all asked him why his work had slipped away he had a brilliant future and he had thrown it all away. He was a little worried but he shrugged his shoulders and wandered off, his teachers called him back but his friends told them to f### off.

Mum, she was desperate working on her own doing all she could to keep the house, the boys and to make  them a home. The oldest she had lost him he had gone to drugs. She had tried so hard but he just robbed her blind and made her look a mug.The young one she had dreams for she had prayed to the Lord each day but now he was on the wrong track, he was slipping the same way.

He knew he had become a waster, he knew that he was bad . It was the only way to be accepted and safe but the pain in Mum’s eyes made him feel sad. So he just avoided contact and hardened to her pleas. He was knocked back the other day when she begged him to stay home down on her knees.

He tried to ask his brother who ran with an older crew but he was useless as he was trapped there too. What chance was there, his brother asked, what was there for them to do there was no work or opportunities running with lads was at least something to do. It was all about status and how hard you are , what clothes you wore , what trainers and did you have a scar.

His brother had one, on his face, from a fight with a rival gang. Okay it hurt , six days in hospital 17 stitches but he was now a big man??

Today was his chance to join the glorious crew. To take part in the big ruck was all he had to do.

Two weeks he had known about the fight , where and exactly when. It was on his mind both day and night . His thoughts were full of dread , through his blood ran pure fear it was nearly six now, the day was finally here.

Later in the kitchen when he was taking the knife , his mother caught him and shouted at him. He raised his hand to her for the first and last time in his life. Luckily she was small so he pushed her to one side as he crashed through the door and out the gate . His mother sat on the floor and cried.
***
Later he met the guys when mum had gone to work, they knew a squat they could use to complete their plan. By 4pm they were jumpy they were ready to a man.They left the squat and through the railings ran. Jumping , punching the air and making feral calls they had it now they all knew the plan, they had all the balls.

He wished he’d picked a smaller knife this one was too large . As he was changing it’s position. Into him a couple of the lads all barged. At once he felt a sharp and stinging pain as he fell to the floor, it felt worse again. His side felt wet and his forehead was cut where he had scraped along the floor..

What’s wrong man, stop messing we haven’t got the time it’s 5 o’clock now hear those church bells chime. Oh! hey you’re hurt man what did you do. You stupid f### you stabbed yourself. We have to leave you here, no good to have a burden on the crew.

His best friend helped him into the church and sat him at the back , hold on, he said, laters. then ran off to join the pack.

So he alone now, life ebbing from his side thoughts of mum, school, his brother and he cried. He asked the lord for comfort but comfort did not come. He prayed a childhood prayer from deep inside his mind. The priest found him,and he was very kind. He wrapped his chest and held him and asked him not to go . He tried to but he couldn’t stay he felt too tired, too low.

He heard the priests’ desperate call as he slipped away forget the ambulance he though and just pray for me today. The priest felt him go, but he would not lose his grip he felt he needed to guide this lost boy, some mothers pride and joy.
The Effect
Getting off the bus and heading home, she was tired her feet aching but she was determined not to moan. This was important, it had to be done she needed to put her whole being into saving her youngest son!

Pushing the front door shut behind her putting the bags down on the kitchen floor she looked into the living room but there was no one there. No television no shoot’em’up games standing in the hallway she called out both boys names.

OH! well, she put the kettle on and maybe she’d ring around she had both their mobile numbers but they did not always want to be found. The doorbell rings , damn she had only just sat down, walking toward the door the phone begins to ring.

There it is the sight every mother dreads, a policeman and a policewoman , OH! god she thinks someone must be dead.

The hospital was noisy but she didn’t hear a sound her lungs were filling up as she were about to drown. She had been waiting for an age now, would no one take her in. She was feeling really sick now and felt like things were crawling on her skin.

It was so cold in there and he only had a sheet on . God he looked so pale but she supposed that was what you would look like when all your blood was gone.
***
She woke up with the headache she had, had since that day, the shock of the police visit and what they had to say.

She  knew she had to get up she knew she must today, it was the funeral and that would not go away.

Things had been different her elder boy had stayed home he seemed to want to help his mother and not leave her on her own. She dared not to hope he had changed but she was glad that he was there.

She slowly put her face on and then she brushed her hair.

His friends were at the church like they had been that day , he was not with them. Would this pain ever go away.

The priest seemed glad to see her and he offered his support, she felt close to this man who was with her boy when for his life he fought.
***
His favourite track finished and the last notes drifted away she stood up and looked at everyone and said she had something to say.

She knew that there was no work and that there was not much hope but joining gangs and using guns and knives was not the way to cope. Please listen, she pleaded you are slipping away too many lives are wasted too many die this way. Something must be done and it must be soon we are losing a generation it might be two if something is not done soon.

How many more mothers have to suffer like she.

We really need to sort this out……… her voice trailed off to silence as she repeated, how many more mothers like me?

What inspired you to write this particular poem?

I wrote this story in 2014 but with the news of yet so many gang related killings in London in fact all our towns and cities lately. There have been so many knife crimes these last years. In light of this I felt compelled to write about how easily you people regardless of their ethnic background get sucked into gang culture. I felt the need to show how far the ripples spread and how even the innocent are touched.

What are your plans for your poetry going forward?

I love my poetry and I hope to continue to write until I die. I would love to publish a book of poetry but something is holding me back. I don’t know what really.

What is your favourite poem?

My favourite poem is High Flight. by John Gillespie Magee JR.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Why do you like this poem?

It always makes me cry. It’s the fact that this young man born in Shanghai, China, to an American father and a British mother, who both worked as Anglican missionaries who flew Spitfires for Great Britain during WW2. died not long after qualifying in 1941 in a routine training accident.

The beautiful words are so prophetic, I hope he got to touch the face of God.

A poem by Willow: Broken Angel

My wings are clipped my feet are tied.
I need to scream, but I can not cry.
I need to run I need to hide,
Afraid to stay , too tired to fly
Alone under a moon lit sky.
Can I run, can I hide,
Can I beat this pain inside
Will it end, will I be no more
Will I find the key to the locked door.
Broken angel that is me
No longer blessed no longer free.
Shackled, so harshly tied down
Lost to all, now bound to the ground.

Find out more about Willow here: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/about/

About Robbie Cheadle

IMG_9902

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Treasuring Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.