Category Archives: Poem

New Release – Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Hot Press! Hot Press!

It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new release Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance.

About the Book

Blurb

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.”
~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My Review

Grief Songs: Poems of Love and Remembrance is a poetry collection written in Tanka form. After her mother passed away, Elizabeth Gauffreau cleaned up the “forbidden rooms” and found the “hidden photographs.” These are the photographs of the author and her father, mother, and brother George.

Grieving is a personal process that can last for any length of time. The memories of the loved ones could be fleeting or lingering moments, and the emotion of grieving could be of the surface or intensely deep.

In Grief Songs, the photos brought back the intensity of the precious memories to the author. Elizabeth expressed her grief in poetry. She paired the poems with each photo included in this collection.

One poem was about the author’s mother took her and George to the vaccination. Their mother gave the kids a treat of root beer floats for being good for the occasion. By the way, root beer is a soda, not a beer with alcohol! Another fun poem was about a youth group picnic when the author and her brother waited for their dad in the car after the picnic. Apparently, their dad didn’t come right away. They pressed the honk for so long that when their dad finally came back; the battery was dead. I loved the poem and the photo with Elizabeth and George sitting on their father’s lap for reading time as a nightly ritual. The lines were, “Waiting until your father gets home, not a threat but a promise.”

There were poems about Elizabeth as a kid for the first sacrament, confirmation, and baptism. What precious memories as she could see the history from the beginning of her life when father and mother holding her in their arms that led to her present life.

Family time such as clam bake at the beach and the family reunion always flashed back fond memories that ache the heart yet bring smiles on the face. The dying takes away a part of the ones left behind yet leaves them something sweet and long-lasting.

The poetry is a short read, yet the emotion of joy and sorrow lingers long after I put down the book. Highly recommended

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098TQBM1R

Trailer:

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Elizabeth Gauffreau

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Website/Blog: https://lizgauffreau.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Gauffreau/e/B07NTZFVSF?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGauffreau

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.gauffreau

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Season 3 Episode 37: Miriam Hurdle on Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude – Podcast by Rebecca Budd

I’m over at Rebecca Budd’s Tea Toast & Trivia. She invited me to have a conversation with her about my book Song of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude. We talked about poetry, nature, resilience of life and a lot more.

Podcast by Rebecca Budd

I invite you to go over to visit her blog, listen and join our conversation by clicking the link:

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Rebecca also shares the podcast on the following platforms:

Here are the links where the podcast is shared:

Anchor : https://anchor.fm/teatoasttrivia/episodes/Miriam-Hurdle-on-Poems-of-Gratitude-and-Beatitude-e17aint

Anchor sends this to 9 listening platforms which include Amazon, Apple, Google, and Spotify

SoundCloud:    https://soundcloud.com/rebecca_clanmother/s3e37-miriam-hurdle-on-poems-of-gratitude-beatitude

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChasingArt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChasingArt

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I would love to see you at Tea Toast & Trivia!

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Blog Tour – Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems by Robbie Cheadle

It’s my pleasure to have Robbie Cheadle on my blog today to celebrate her new release.

Dear friends, please join me to welcome Robbie and her new book Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems.

I’ll let Robbie tell you about her book cover, the title, and the different aspects of the poems. Here’s Robbie:

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The cover of a book and its title are both important selling points.

The cover needs to be eye catching, suit the genre, and hit at what the book is about. My previous poetry book is called Open a New Door, a phrase taken from the song Open a New Window from the musical production of Mame starring Angela Ladsbury and Beatrice Arthur.

I first listened to my mom’s record of Mame when I was a little girl of five. My mom had numerous records most of which were Broadway musicals, but Mame was always my favourite. I loved this song the best. It is rejection of the run-of-the-mill ordinary life and a quest for something new and exciting.

I wanted to retain the doors concept for my second poetry book, Behind Closed Doors, even though it had a different focus. The poems in this new book look at the various parts of my life and what effectively goes on behind those doors that are closed to social media and the world.

The poems are collected into the categories of In the Boardroom, In death, In my mind, In relationships, In lockdown, and In nature. I wanted a cover that would complement the idea of the many doors into people’s lives and souls so when I saw this cover of multiple multi-coloured doors designed by Teagan R Geneviene, I knew this was the one.

The doors in many different colours suited my own personal idea that the doors in peoples live come in different shares. Some are the yellow, pinks, and oranges of joy, the reds of love, the blues and greens of comfort and coolness, and the purples of sadness and depression.

What are your thoughts about the importance of covers? Tell me in the comments.

Thank you, Robbie!

Now, here is the book information

Book Blurb

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

                                                                                          What thoughts are hidden

                                                                                          Behind her immobile face

                                                                                             Quite expressionless

                                                                                           Eyes cold and indifferent

                                                                                          Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

My Review

I’ve read Robbie Cheadle’s first poetry book Open a New Door and loved it. I knew I would enjoy reading Behind Closed Door. I’ve also read Cheadle’s children’s books, a young adult fictionalized biography about her mother’s life, and her historical fiction. She is a prolific writer while maintaining her demanding full-time job and home-schooling of the two teenage boys during the pandemic.

Behind Closed Doors is a poetry collection with themes about the author’s complex emotions and thoughts on her cooperated world, her personal dreams, her family life as a daughter, wife, and mother, as well as her thoughts on the lockdown during the pandemic.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specializes in corporate finance. The poem “Climbing Cooperated Ladder” vividly portraits the harsh reality of the cooperated world. Many individuals give up their family and social life to meet the never-ending demands with no guarantee of success:

 “Sit in your office, juggling ideas and possibilities, while your friends watch movies, eat out, drink, and socialize, spending their weekends having a jolly good time.”

“There are no friendships in the corporate jungle Colleagues left to demise in this uncaring world.”

It reminds me of the headache, heartache, and disappointment during my ten years in administration.

I could relate to the poem “He Walks Away” that describes the mother’s joy, pride, and pain:

“She watched over him tenderly as he learned about life… her smile healed all wounds; her kiss cured all pain…

“It’s heart-wrenching to let go knowing he must… encounter setbacks and loss before success… but it’s the duty of a mother to set her son loose to fly alone.”

Cheadle’s poems about lockdown remind us how vulnerable life is. “One day I had freedom, the next, it was gone. How will this end? I find myself wondering, Will we take a big step backward in time fifty years or more?”

Cheadle’s Behind Closed Doors is a delightful hour-long short read, but the provoking thought will stay for a long time. I highly recommend this book to poetry lovers and non-fiction readers.

Ratings  Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BBR94NC

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Closed-Doors-Robbie-Cheadle/dp/B099C8R3T4

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 1 poetry book.

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.

Robbie Cheadle’s social media

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

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

TSL Books Author Page: https://tslbooks.uk/robbie-cheadle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Treasuring Poetry: Meet poet and author Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Writing to Be Read with Robbie Cheadle interviewing me for her “Treasuring Poetry” post. I had fun talking about my favorite poems. Please head over to visit and let us know what you think.

Writing to be Read

Today, I am delighted to host poet and author Miriam Hurdle for the July edition of Treasuring Poetry.

Welcome Miriam Hurdle

Hi Robbie,

I’m delighted to be your guest on Writing to be Read to talk about poetry.

Which of your own poems is your favourite

Among the published poems in Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude, several poems are my favorites in equal measure for different reasons. One is in the section of Songs of Marriage, one in Songs of Tribute, and one in Songs of Inspiration.

The time I wrote this post, my heart turns to the poem “Healthy Grieving” in the section of Songs of Tribute.

Healthy Grieving

Randy and my husband were true friends.

No appointment needed for

a barbeque, a movie or a game, just

knocked on each other’s door.

The conversation could go anywhere,

no worry about apologies.

When one needed…

View original post 1,798 more words

National Poetry Month – Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle #BookReview @mhurdle112

I’m over at Carla’s blog of Carla Loves to Read. She read my poetry collection and posted a wonderful review. Carla and I have teaching and school administration in common. She is a retired elementary school principal/teacher/teacher-librarian. She blogs about book reviews, reading challenges, adults’ and children’s books, and a lot more. Please head over to read her post and browse around her beautiful blog with different features.

Carla Loves To Read

I took several weeks to enjoy this book of poems. I enjoyed them and wanted time to ponder them, not rush through them. Miriam Hurdle is a blogger I follow who shares wonderful photographs, poetry and snapshots into her life among other things. I enjoy her blog and wanted to read her book. I was not disappointed.

Songs of Heartstrings byMiriam Hurdle

Published October 31st 2018 by KDP

View original post 629 more words

Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh – A Book Review

April is National Poetry Month. It is my pleasure to review Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh, a talented fellow poet.

Magical Whispers: Poetry by [Balroop Singh]

Blurb

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.
‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on the whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.
Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whispers life into us.

My Review

Magical Whispers is an aesthetic poetry collection. Ms. Singh weaves the softest whispers of her words into dreamy tranquility. The poems in the first section Magical Whispers reflect on the nature that evokes the heart, the mind, and the senses. Many poems have the subject of water such as the lake, the waves, the pool, the stream, and the waterfalls that convey a soothing sensation. The poems in the second section Whispers of Life reflect on the self, the love, the heartache, the hopes, dreams, fears, and the memories. Ms. Singh submerges herself in nature and sees the beauty beyond appearance. She ponders upon the hidden treasures and finds hope in the puzzle of life. The poems are inspiring to many poetry lovers.

My favorite two stanzas in “Dwindling Pool”are:

When did the magic fade?

Did it vanish with the pool fairy?

Or apathy and human avarice

Devour its exquisite grandeur?

Depleted oasis ebbing away

Reflections gather to ponder

 Confabulations grow grim

Shimmer of sun waning at the horizon

My favorite stanza in “An Escape” is:

She woke up with a fright

Shuddered at the light

That filtered through the leaves

Offering a velvety delight.

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars

An image posted by the author.

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, an educationalist, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in San Ramon California.

Website: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balroop.singh1

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National Poetry Month 2021: I Am From – A Poem by Miriam Hurdle

April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of poets and poetry.

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.

Each April, the Academy offers activities, initiatives, and resources so that anyone can join in National Poetry Month online and at home. Please visit National Poetry Month for a list of activities.

In 2014, I joined the Poetry for Pleasure group, which is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program for the retirees or age 50+ individuals.

The Poetry for Pleasure group meets once a week for two hours during the regular quarters and intersessions at the California State University, Fullerton. We study the lives of the poets, classic and contemporary, and their works. Members signed up to lead each session. The leader would share the introduction, then the members would take turned to share and read a poem by that poet. Besides studying the poets and their works, we study types or themes of poetry such as humorous poems, poems from a 4-legged point of view, or poetry about love, family, and seasons.

In the second hour of the meeting, members would read their own poems. One member had been in that group for many years prior to my attendance. She was 90 years old when I first met her. She still wrote new poems until early 2021 at 96+ years old when she died of Covid complication. I remember her citing poems she wrote at age 6. It was an inspiration to watch her coming to the poetry group every week reading poetry of her own and others.

The group publishes an Anthology once a year. Each member has a share of eight pages to publish their unpublished poems. The last section of the Anthology is a themed poetry contributed by anyone in the group. One year, the theme was I Am From. The poems could refer to an actual location or a mental, physical, and emotional state, or a family origin. Such as…

I am from Boston where…

I am from a family of seven…

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The following was my poem contributed to the anthology.

I Am From –

From a familiar land of Hong Kong, I came forty-some years ago –

to a land of the unknown in Portland, Oregon, following the rainbow.

From a dramatic scene of a skyscraper jungle crowded with people –

to a forest like of sky-reaching trees and behold the first snow.

From restaurants filled with muffled noises drowning my own voices –

to cafes so quiet I could hear the whispering and chewing of Époisses

From television, music, and chattering sounds saturated everywhere –

to air filled with crispy rubbing leaves and whooshing wind brushed my hair.

My surprising discovery was the intermittent tinnitus in my left ear –

which was masked by the environs from my discovery for many years.

The foreign land of the unknown now became my home.

Even when I traveled to places around the globe,

I long for coming back to my bed in my present home.

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I will post poetry related posts during this month including the poets and their works, selection of my published or new poems, and other poetry projects.

What would you write if you were writing a poem or a thought on I Am From…? I would love to hear from you!

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Songs of Heartstrings Trailer Produced by Diana W. Peach

A little less than two years ago, I clicked “publish” for my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings. It was beyond exciting to me. Today, I’m sharing something as exciting as publishing my book.

Here’s the back story: When Diana W. Peach had her book launch of Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1), there were many bloggers/authors on board the train hosting her launch. It was gracious of her to reward one host by drawing a name. The prize was to produce a trailer for this winner.

Guess what? I was the winner. Hooray!

Diana is a perfectionist with literacy, writing, and visual production! She sent me a website to pick a soundtrack and asked for some images. I used my photography and paintings to illustrate the poems, so it was easy for me to select the images. She asked me to pick my favorite poem to use in the trailer, and it wasn’t hard to do it either.

I couldn’t believe how beautiful, perfect, and professional it is for the final production of the Songs of Heartstrings trailer.

Please sit back, relax, and enjoy this moving beauty (2:57 minutes).

To celebrate the birth of Diana’s production, I scheduled an Amazon promotion. Songs of Heartstrings is $0.99.

Please click the purchase link: https://amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9

October 15, 8:00 p.m.–October 20, 8:00 p.m. PST

October 15, 11:00 p.m.–October 20, 11:00 p.m. EST

I would love to hear from you. What do you think about Diana’s creation of the trailer?

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #17 – Message

This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #17. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #17 Image Prompt.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920
Image by Antonios Ntoumas from Pixabay

Message

A letter curled in the bottle of brown

Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

After floating miles away carrying English tea

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Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

After floating miles away carrying English tea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

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Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

The mysterious message begged to be free

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A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

The mysterious message begged to be free

from a letter curled in the bottle of brown

(Pantoum Poem)

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Pantoum poem comprises a series of quatrains (stanzas) rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the next quatrain. Each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. This pattern continues for many stanzas except the final stanza. The first line of the poem recurs as the last line of the closing stanza, and the third line of the poem is the second of the final stanza, rhyming ZAZA.

1 2 3 4

2 5 4 6

5 7 6 8

7 3 8 1

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Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Tina’s theme for Lens-Artists Challenge #105 this week is: SPRING

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter!” –  Jen Selinsky

Some may consider the winter in Southern California as mild because there’s no snow. Usually the temperature doesn’t drop below 40oF. Yet accustomed to the warm climate all my life, this mild winter cold still chills my bones. I find not being motivated to do outdoor activities.

“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.” –  S. Brown

Many of the plants and trees in my garden are perennial that doormat in the winter. The earliest budding appeared on the plum tree. The tiny innocent white buds popped out to sing to me, “Spring is coming.” I made a daily appearance in my garden to search every branch of the plum tree anticipating the delightful blossoms. Within days, the scattered white buds became full covering the entire tree and some popped open the smiling faces. How I wanted them to stay forever!

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“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” –  Gertrude S. Wister

Flowers spark my eyes and warm my heart. During our trip to see my daughter and her family in May 2018 as a Mother’s Day outing, we visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. I wanted to swallow all the beauty of the greenery and vibrant colors and let them forever be alive in me.

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The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden have all been donated by volunteers and interested individuals, or purchased with specially donated funds. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, they provide a magnificent display of color.

“Sometimes the smallest thing takes up the most room in your heart.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The Canada geese and the goslings feast on the grain and graze on the grass. The field by the lake is a haven to raise the young goslings.

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I wrote this poem for my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

In Sync with Spring

Seeds were fallen,

hidden in the soil.

Coldness in the dark

keep them quiet in the ground.

Light and shadow

Gradually shift

to bring the warmth of

sunrays to the earth.

Calling the seeds

to wake up and come forth,

to feel the warm breeze and

smell the fresh air.

Slowly and gracefully

buds pop out,

unfold their petals and

the fragrance they breathe out,

dance joyfully in sync with

spring!

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Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

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