Category Archives: Poem

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.

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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

~

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

~

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

~

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)

~

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

~

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!

~ ~ ~

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

Marje J Mallon has written a warm and thoughtful review of my poetry collection. Please head over to read the complete review. While there, check out her blog and her books with a new release This is Lockdown on pre-order.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica

Synopsis:

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships. The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

My review:

What a lovely collection of poetry, photography and paintings. I really enjoyed this poetry collection. Songs of Heartstrings tells the story of the author’s life and the many difficulties she has overcome. It is heartfelt and personal.

Continue to read……

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge #145 – Photo Prompt

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt!

This month Colleen used a photo chosen by last month’s “Photo-Prompt” Poet of the Week ~ Jane Dougherty.

 

Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

 

For the Birds

In

Midway

of ocean

Trees reach to sky

Haven, they built for

Birds, northbound and southbound

Water rises, heads go higher

Roots skinnier, refuse to be drown

Tens of thousands years they’ve survived

Until the last inhale, they will try

~

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge #145 – Photo Prompt

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

It’s the middle of the month challenge ~ time for a photo prompt! Colleen wants us to use this photo as the inspiration for the poem.

 

 

The Messenger

A

bottle

half buried

in smooth white sand.

Reminder of kisses,

warm braces and loving gazes,

our future we celebrated.

Through cruelty we were separated.

Holding tears this bottle I picked up.

“I’m alive, call this number, my love.”

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge: Photo Prompt – The Messenger

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge No. 136 Photo Prompt – Sweet Memories

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge has a new feature. For the middle of the month challenge it’s a photo prompt!

 

Sweet Memories

 

For sentimental reason, I still keep many pieces of projects my daughter made. I have a flower pot she decorated when she was in 5th grade. It is sitting on a round glass top table between two chairs in the front patio. I like to sit in the front porch to drink coffee in the morning. The flower pot reminds me of the things we did together when she was growing up.

Kids are grown and gone

Keeping the bikes where they were

Jolly wheels still turned

Muddy feet through door they came

Hungry mouths screamed for cookies

 

 

 

Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge #136 Photo Challenge – Memory

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Personal Preference

Colleen said, “Let’s PLAY with opposites! Here are your two words for this week: Pretty & Ugly.” – Synonyms Only.

Here’s the poem about contrast and personal preference.

 

Image result for contrast images

 

Personal Preference

 

Pleasing view to me

Unsightly scene to others

Taste buds are distinct

No worries of sweet or sour

In time, you’ll find lovers

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Personal Preference

 

 

 

 

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