For The LOVE Of POETRY

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“It has been said that art is a tryst;
for in the joy of it, maker and beholder meet.”
― Kojiro Tomita

Poetry is a very personal thing. It becomes a thing of beauty only in the eyes of the beholder. No two eyes see the same thing in the same way, and that is true for art as well. What I like might not touch your heart at all and I might be totally indifferent to what makes your heart sing.

So, what is good poetry?

Now, here is the catch. Most people, when asked to name their favourite artist, poet, writer, will always spout the names that sound like the latest edition of “who is who”. Are we scared to show our own choices to the world? Do we even have our own choices? Why do we assume that the writings that have been labelled as “classics” are the only ones we should quote? Does a poet become admirable a hundred years after he passed away? Does not publishing your poem in paperback by a big publishing house make it unworthy?

While reviewing a poetry book by Mark Kloss, I read this on his website that got me thinking.

Why when a book is made up of our favourite poems are the majority made up from ages past? Why when asked to remember your favourite poem do you mostly think of an earlier classic? 
Mark Kloss

Since then, I have been wanting to put these question to the world to answer. I want to ask you what, in your opinion, makes a poem worthy of your love and attention. I want to know if there’s a criterion that a poem must pass to be able to touch your heart.

Love classics, by all means. They are great works of art that have been a source of joy for millions over the years. But give all art its due, be it poetry, painting, stories, photography, or any other form of creative expression. judge a poem by how it makes you feel, not by the name inscribed at the bottom.

For me, the greatest impact on my life and poetry has been by some of the poets I have read online. I love Maya Angelou and William Wordsworth and Pablo Neruda, but I love Ink Stitution, Joe Barca, Fiery, Erin Hanson and Darren Wilson more. My favourite stories come from Robin Cook and Scott Wood. I accept that I would prefer to read Owain Glyn’s book more than Lord Byron’s because that is more my cup of tea. This list is not exhaustive, neither is this a shout-out post. I am not naming my friends. In fact, most of the ones I have named don’t read my blog and will never know about it, and that’s how I want it. Consider it more like-
“Did you listen to the latest song by LP? It is fabulous!”
“No, but I will today. Thanks for letting me know.”

So tell me who your favourite poets and writers are. Name the well known, or the unknown, or mix up the two, but be honest about it. Or talk about your favourite poem. Let us honour the words that have touched our hearts, no holds barred!

To all my favourite poets online

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
Pablo Neruda

 

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THE TOP SPOT an’ I’m Lovin’ it!

I’m on the top of the world la la lalala lalalala…

Remember this beautiful oldie by Carpenters? I love that song, but that’s not the only reason why I am singing it. My book “Breathless” came up for pre-order a few days ago, ready to be launched on 21st January.

“Breathless” was supposed to be my first book, but something kept coming up, and it ended up being my fifth. Perhaps it was prudently waiting for the right time, while I was foolishly trying to hurry it up because it seems it had its own ideas about being the first. YES! Soon after it showed up on Amazon, it went straight to the #1 New Release spot and it is still sitting pretty on its throne, wearing a tangerine sash…I am delirious with joy and a million other feelings!!

Screenshot of the book Breathless showing #1New Release tag on Amazon

I am grateful to God for giving me this very beautiful New Year’s gift, and my heartfelt thanks to all my supporters, readers and followers who made this happen.

Love you all!

You can preorder “Breathless” now on Amazon and Google Play at a fabulous discounted price. Paperback version will be launched on 21st January along with the delivery of the pre-order eBook.

THE YEAR THAT WAS and the year that will be…

 

Another new year around the corner…

Sometimes, it seems the year has flashed by in an instant. At others, even a moment seems neverending. However, another 365 days of life gone by, and the thought of a new year does make me ponder upon what has been achieved. Life is a rather difficult balancing act, and I often wonder if contentment is the aim, or does contentment breed lethargy and slows down progress. To be honest, my answer to that would be different on different days. It all depends on the mood, and the mood is a writer’s prerogative. After all, if we don’t give ourselves up to the feelings of the moment, where are the words going to come from?

Turning pages 2

Each year has its rough moments, but I would say, in retrospect, that this year has seen more smiles than tears, and I am grateful. I have lost some loved ones, whose absence will always be felt, and I have gained many new friends who are like stars in my brightly lit sky. To all of you who have touched my life in any way, my heartfelt thanks for being here and walking along with me. You are loved and needed!

As a writer, this year has been one of accomplishment. My writer’s life was coasting along at a happy, comfortable pace when suddenly, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go for my dreams. What triggered it? I really don’t know. One day, I just looked at a book and thought, why not me? What do I have to lose? And I ended up publishing four books, and a fifth due to be released next month. My long-time dream of having my own author’s page and my quotes published on Goodreads came true. I revamped my website, added a poetry review page, launched my YouTube channel, and embarked on my journey around the world with a poem. Not bad. Not bad at all!

As I have said before, it could never have been done without the support of my family and friends, and most of all my readers, without whom, a writer is nothing. To each one of you, a big “Thank You For Building Me Up!”

However, the end of the year is more about introspection and charting new paths to be traversed, than about counting the successful moments. So I am getting my mental to-do list ready, which includes spending more time on my website, redoing my photography blog, finishing a book that has been left waiting for too long, and perhaps, venturing into a new genre.

My New Year’s resolution…no points for guessing that one 😉 What would a poet want to do more than writing more poetry! And find more time for reading. And get some more interesting exercises into my routine. And curb my sweet tooth. And ask God for a few extra hours in a day! Please God, are you listening to this one? I really, really need that.

Sigh.

Who says all wishes are meant to be fulfilled! So I plod on, trying to do more than I can because I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep…

And before I go, well, how can I go without a poem! So here is one for the new year. I hope you will enjoy it. Do share with me your thoughts, your achievements, your resolutions, or just stop by for a chat.

Many blessings and my best wishes for a successful and happy year ahead.

The Jar of Happiness: Count Your Blessings This Christmas

There’s something special about Christmas, something warm and loving, something giving and forgiving, that leaves no heart untouched by its beauty. To me, Christmas is not just a festival, but a spirit that transcends all religions and nations, a blessing, a hope of peace and joy, and I absolutely love it.

I am not a Christian, but I don’t remember a time when we have not had a decorated tree and gifts around it. Is there a child in the world who doesn’t wait for Santa tiptoeing into their house at night with gifts? I think not. The sounds of Jingle bells and Rudolph are something I still wait for all year.

In this season of goodwill and cheer, I have made it my own little tradition to count the blessings that God sent to me, however big or small, and remember to say a grateful thanks for all that I have, and all that is still to come. It is so easy for us to overlook these in the madness and chaos of life, but these tiny moments of joy make life worth living.

Jar of Happiness
The Jar of Happiness

 

This is so simple to do. Find a nice box or a jar and put it on a table where you can’t fail to see it several times a day. Put a tiny notepad and a pen next to it. Remember to write out your most beautiful moments of each day on a sheet from the notepad and put it in the jar before bedtime. Open the jar at the end of the year on Christmas and put up all those little blessings on your tree. You would be happily surprised to see how many blessings you had during the year!

Of course, you can take a sneak peek at some of the notes on days when you need a little extra smile to help you over a rough patch. I always do. A year is often too long to wait!

This Christmas, I also want to share with you a poem that I wrote for my best friend. It is a blessing of hope for each one of you who have touched my life and made it beautiful. The poem is called “Magic and the Mistletoe” and you can watch it on YouTube, which is my newest baby, as those who have joined my newsletter already know. I hope you will enjoy this, and the other poems on my channel.

No Christmas is complete without a song, and here is one of my favourites from Enya, a lesser known song but very beautiful. The lyrics are simply amazing!

Christmas bells ring out their chimes
I hear them echo through the miles
And moonlight shines upon the road
And trembles on the fallen snow

I look into the midnight blue
So many stars I never knew
If you don’t come, what will I do?
Who shall I tell my secrets to?

 

Wishing all of you Merry Christmas and a blessed time ahead.

 

The Perks Of Being A WRITER

Writing is a tough job!

Well, not the writing part. That, as I often say, is easy. It is the rest of it, especially when you are an indie writer, that really ties you up in knots. Being a wife and a mom is already a full-time job. So is trying to be the editor, designer, and marketing guy for your book, all rolled into one. Another one is being your own social media manager, somehow trying to make sure posts are up regularly on all your media pages, the comments are being answered, and those who support you are being supported in return. Add to it keeping your website up to date, making sure the blog is running, and on and on…
I know a writer would understand the dilemmas of what to do and what to give up.

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At times I wonder where the poet in me has gone. It is a matter of finding the small bits of unclaimed time in the day and hope that the muse is ready to roll at short notice! As my writer friend Scott said to me, it would be nice if we could have a few clones to help our main personality. I am all for it. Incidentally, Scott is a genius at what he does, which is a lot many things when he can, and writing a wonderful Sci-fi novel is one of them. He would know about clones now, wouldn’t he!

Sometimes, I miss the days when I had more friends than followers and just one social media page on which I wrote my poetry. But that said, I am certainly not ready to go back there. I believe in never looking back, even at the good times, because what is coming is always a blessing. I am not where I need to be, but I am getting there. And as I said, being a writer has its perks. It is the love of the readers that make every bit of the struggle worthwhile. All the beautiful things that people say…those people whose hearts I managed to touch, somehow…they keep me going.

A while ago, I got a note from a beautiful soul, showing me the purchase notification of my eBook. Now, why is that so special? That person, who had already read a free copy of the book, had waited months to be able to buy a one-dollar book, just to support my writing. That brought tears to my eyes. It is never about the money, but about how they give you a place in their hearts and lives. That is precious beyond compare!

I would love to link back to that awesome person but it would not be fair to encroach on someone’s privacy, so my reader friend stays in my heart and prayers.

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