Beauty, Poetry

A Little Poetry on Sunday Night

Magnolia imageThe hour is late on this Sunday evening — time to get ready for sleep. It’s quiet, I’m yawning and looking forward to slipping under the covers and drifting into dreamland.

I have been thinking about poetry a lot these past weeks — it is National Poetry Month, after all! I have been remembering the poems that I read and loved in my younger days. I used to read quite a bit of poetry back then. Hmm… maybe it’s time to get back to this lovely art form.

I’m interested to try some of the trending poetry books out now — Milk and Honey, and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur or The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. Poetry sure seems to be in vogue these days!

But back to my reminiscing. I was remembering the poets I used to read: William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Carl Sandburg, Christina Georgina Rossetti, e. e. cummings and Emily Dickinson — and thinking about the emotions and thoughts that their poems evoked. So many beautiful poems… some simple and easy, others requiring deeper probing. All of them beautiful in form and sound.

Here is one of my favourites. I think it is appropriate for this time of the year!


Pink, small, and punctual,
Aromatic, low,
Covert in April,
Candid in May,

Dear to the moss,
Known by the knoll,
Next to the robin
In every human soul.

Bold little beauty,
Bedecked with thee,
Nature forswears

~ Emily Dickinson


Mindfulness Thought

Sleep is the best meditation. ~ the Dalai Lama

Book Reviews, Thoughts

Alif the Unseen — A Review

Photo James Douglas on Unsplash

In her fabulous debut novel, G. Willow Wilson, weaves a magical story that blends elements from mystical middle Eastern folk tales from the Islamic Golden Age with the 21st century cyberworld of hackers and bots.

Alif the Unseen is a wild, exciting and sometimes terrifying tale that takes place in a fictional Arab Emirate that sits at the juncture between our earthly world and the supernatural domain of the Djinn.

After an ill-fated romance, Alif — a brilliant hacker — is relentlessly hunted by a government internet censor known as the Hand of God. Alif is joined in the fight against the Hand, by his devout neighbour Dina, an elderly imam, an American convert, a co-hacker who is also an Arab Prince, a roguish Djinn, known as Vikram the Vampire and various other denizens of the “Empty Quarter”, the demonic realm of mysterious creatures, ghosts and spirit beings.

Combining politics, modern technology, sorcery and middle eastern theology, Wilson builds an enthralling world where anything can happen and nothing is as it seems. Part Arabian Nights, part thriller this book takes us to that place where the veil between the visible and the unseen has separated — and we are thrown into the rift. A rollercoaster ride of darkness, magic, fantasy and reality. A story that illustrates the value of faith, the power of love and the strength that comes from believing in oneself.

Alif the Unseen was a thoroughly enjoyable read: funny, clever, quirky and thought-provoking. Read it!


Walk on Down The Road

the roadI just finished reading Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement and I must say that I was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amy Tan’s writing and I have read several of her novels — The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Kitchen God’s Wife (my favourite!) — but I found her newest book to be a little tedious, long and predictable. [SIGH] When I finished the book, I wanted to read something completely different. So…

…after some minutes of searching our bookshelves, I came across The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Yes, this is just the change of pace I was looking for, I exclaimed to the cat, I’ve wanted to read this for a while and now is as good a time as any!

Well, I wasn’t too far into the story (page 71 to be exact) when I began to think that this was NOT the right time to be reading this post-apocalyptic tale — current events being what they are, added to the despair I was experiencing.

The flow of the McCarthy’s narrative is easy to fall into, and the writing is exceptional — so good, in fact, that I was overtaken with a sense of dread almost from the first paragraph. For me, when I experience strong emotions of any kind, as I read a novel, I feel that the author has a special gift — the ability to bring a story to life, to evoke a visceral response through the written word. This was true for The Road — I felt as if I was living it! I felt the cold, the hunger and witnessed the stark, grey devastation of smoking destruction. The gloom and trepidation hung heavy on me as I trudged along with the man and the boy, searching for hope…

That dark sense of doom stayed with me throughout the story and when I was done, I wanted nothing more than to curl up with a fuzzy blanket, and hold on to my loved ones and cuddle with the cat! But I do think that The Road is a great read — it’s just not a happy, light, walk in the park. I would recommend it — but read at your own risk!

Read my review of The Road on Goodreads.