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.
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:
The haiku is my favorite form of poetry. It has been part of my life for almost two decades. I have written hundreds of them. However, it is not the reason why I opted for the haiku for this new collection. And this is what I would like to share with you today.
In the English-speaking world, when people think of the haiku, they may remember what they were taught in school: a short poem of three lines that follows the 7-5-7 syllable pattern. The seasonal reference (‘kigo’) and “cutting word” (‘kireji’) may be mentioned, but the obsessive focus remains on the 17 syllables. If your haiku does not contain those 17 lines, it does not qualify as such. This is wrong.
The haiku was invented in Japan. Japanese poets count in phonetic sounds or units called ‘on’, ‘onji’ or ‘morae’, which are different from English syllables. An “English syllable may contain one, two or three morae” to quote Wikipedia. In his excellent book titled The Haiku Handbook, William J. Higginson states that the 17 onji of traditional haiku are about 12 syllables in English. Other books talk about the number of words and recommend sticking to 8-12 words.
There is something liberating in knowing that you do not have to stick to a rigid syllable pattern when you write haiku. Your creativity is suddenly unleashed.
The haiku is an intimate form of poetry that goes beyond its syllable count. To write a memorable haiku, you need to understand the importance of conciseness and simple language, and how to leverage the kigo to evoke a specific mood. Every word counts!
A haiku does not just freeze a scene in time. It also implicitly reveals the author’s innermost feelings at that precise moment. As such, it tells a story about the human journey.
Ultimately, that’s what Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine successfully did with their writing. They were driven by a desire to awaken the human spirit. And that is what the haiku allows me to do.
Thank you for reading!
NB: Wondering who Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine are? Read my posts here and here.
Originating from Japan, the Haiku has been a source of inspiration and comfort for people of all ages and from all walks of life for many years. This versatile poetry form is cherished around the world. Inspired by the timeless words of authors Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine, After the Fires of Day is a hymn to life, the emotion of the moment, and our connection to nature. Every haiku in Cendrine Marrouat’s collection is sure to stay with you for a very long time…
Formats: ebook and paperback
Release date: September 7, 2021
Availability: Everywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Chapters-Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and FNAC. Readers are encouraged to support independent
Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, and the multi-genre author of more than 30 books. In 2019, she founded the PoArtMo Collective and co-founded Auroras & Blossoms with David Ellis. A year later, they launched PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and created the Kindku and Pareiku, two forms of poetry.
Cendrine is also the creator of the Sixku, the Flashku, and the Reminigram. Cendrine writes both in French and English and has worked in many different fields in her 17-year career, including translation, language instruction, journalism, art reviews, and social media.
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
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
Eyes cold and indifferent
Scrutinising me – hawk like
This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.
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.
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.
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.
Today, I am delighted to host poet and author Miriam Hurdle for the July edition of Treasuring Poetry.
Welcome Miriam Hurdle
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.
Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…
Meet D.G. Kaye
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily…
It’s my pleasure to feature Poetry Treasure on my blog today. Poetry Treasures is an anthology of poems by a number of talented poets. During the blog tour, each of the poets is introduced.
The editors of Poetry Treasure have a treat for you:
Follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop for a chance to win one of three digital copies of Poetry Treasures to be given away. (Winners will be randomly selected following the end of the tour.)
A collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on Writing to be Read in 2020. Open the book and discover the poetry treasures of Sue Vincent, Geoff Le Pard, Frank Prem, Victoria (Tori) Zigler, Colleen M. Chesebro, K. Morris, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jude Kitya Itakali, and Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Today I am thrilled to introduce poet Colleen Chesebro who is the contributing author. Please help me welcome Colleen and get to know her and her work.
Hello everyone! My name is Colleen Chesebro. I’m a prose metrist, which means I like counting syllables in my poetry. I worked in accounting as a bookkeeper for over twenty years, and that love of counting followed me into my poetry writing.
I wrote the poem, “The Weather Witch,” based off my love for all things magical, but there’s more to this story.
For years now, my husband has teased me, saying I’m a weather witch! We’re retired Air Force, and for many years we’ve traveled around the United States and various other parts of the world.
Every new place we settled in the weather acted strangely. For example, when we lived in Montana, the state was hit with the worst drought in decades. That continued until we left. I’ve heard from friends that the weather has now resumed a more seasonal pattern.
Last year we lived in Arizona. For over one hundred days the temperature in northern Buckeye, AZ soared to over 110-degrees F. The 119-degree F. days were too much for me! Now we live in Michigan… where the temperature has remained cool with a few mornings of frost well into the middle of May! You guessed it. My husband blames me. LOL!
If I was a superhero, I’d control the weather. Everyone needs a little magic in their lives. Think of all the possibilities—you could change the weather to fit your mood. I guess being a weather witch has some advantages.
This was a perfect day from last weekend when we visited with Dustin and Molly, are dear friends who live on the Grand River in Michigan. I want more days like this one! POOF! I guess being a weather witch isn’t so bad after all!
This poem is written as a double inverted nonet, twenty lines with a syllable count per line of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 syllables which looks like an hourglass when centered on the page. I thought it resembled a tornado.
There’s a lot to unpack in this poem. I prefer the idea that we all have natural talents or powers that we can tap into to make the best versions of ourselves. All it takes is finding the good inside and projecting it outward.
Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.
Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. Submissions open May 15, 2021. The debut issue of this journal will publish in October 2021.
Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for Carrot Ranch. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020.
Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.
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.
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.
April is National Poetry Month. It is my pleasure to review Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh, a talented fellow poet.
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.
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.
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.
This week, for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy invited us to look at the colorful April that spring brings us. Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings a new beginning.
April is National Poetry Month. I’ll include a poem “A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson.
Every year, the cold of winter melts away and spring brings a new beginning. The nature and the creatures wake up from their hibernation, stretch the limbs and pop the heads up to give us a big smile.
The flowers in my garden invited me to give them a visit.
When I take my afternoon walk, the vibrant colors stopped me more and more frequently to capture their beauty.
I’m grateful for living in a community with the walking/hiking/horse trails snake through the cities. These trails are in the neighborhood yet they seem to be away from the distractions of voices and noises.
A Light exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson
A Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period — When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the Lawn, It shows the furthest Tree Upon the furthest Slope you know It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step Or Noons report away Without the Formula of sound It passes and we stay —
A quality of loss Affecting our Content As Trade had suddenly encroached Upon a Sacrament.
Written in around 1864 but not published until 1896 (as with many of Dickinson’s poems), ‘A Light Exists in Spring’ beautifully captures the way that spring slowly appears in our consciousness, like a light in the distance. The final stanza of Dickinson’s poem also seems to acknowledge what we now call ‘SAD’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the passing of spring affecting our contentedness.
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…
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.
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!