poetry / art book reviews

 

a space for hedgerow poets with books in print.

if you have been featured in the journal & have an art / poetry book out that you’d like to see reviewed here, drop us an email — ( hedgerowsubmission@gmail.com )

 

 

 

 

 

The Celesta Made of Water’ by Mike Andrelczyk is a collection of 30 haiku published by Bones—journal for contemporary haiku. it is available as an an ebook.

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meteor shower
in the distance
horse’s hooves

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the ocean white pills

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the yellow rain
slowly turning
into lizard bones

.

pink dawn
the blue ghost stumbles
through all the rooms in the house

.

the potato seeds begin to sprout space stations

.

Mike Andrelczyk’s voice is fresh, bold & unique, as each haiku sets out to somehow explore a new way of thinking, seeing & being in this world. there is an experimental feel to this short but potent collection, including haiku that are both imaginative & unique, often with a surreal twist. the artwork provided by Stacey Andrelczyk, both compliments & enhances the experience.

follow the link below to read the ebook —

http://www.bonesjournal.com/books/The-Celesta-Made-of-Water.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

‘Like a Summer Night’ by Ed Bremson is a collection of found poems from the novel The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner, 1883. beautiful & vivid these small poems captivate the reader from the very first page —

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the glory of dreams
is that they despise facts
and make their own–
and dreams save us
from going mad

.

Imagine…

.

milk-bushes on the plain
touched by a weird
almost oppressive beauty
in the white light
from the full African moon

.

sky and stars talking
of what has no beginning
and no end

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Time Passing…

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in yellow sunshine,
even the air’s the colour
of ripe corn

.

smelling
and smelling the flower
until the delight
becomes almost
a pain

.

song, dance and sunlight permeate the pages of Ed Bremson’s latest poetry collection. word by word, these ingeniously found poems leave the reader somehow deeper connected to the beauty of this earth, to the beauty of poetry.

available to purchase at the link below —

https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?products_id=2375

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Meaning of Life’ by Anna Cates is a versatile collection showcasing different poetic styles & forms. in the beginning there is haiku —

.

forgetting myself …
cherry blossoms
in the wind

.

trailer park yard sale love songs of Elton John 

.

followed by tanka —

.

a beach boy
searches seashells
for Venus–
will she arise with hair
flowing like seaweed?

.

moving on to & other short poems —

.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

the answer is thirty-two

where do geese go when they die
there is no way to translate that 

what moves backwards in a swamp
how little flecks of gold glitter in the mines 

when will this alliance be forged
with song and dance of tambourines

who are you dressed in red Thursdays
I have this desire to change the world 

how many times will you ask me
why did you have to ask me that

and in distant darkness shone the city lights

. 

‘The Meaning of Life’ finishes with a section of longer poems, and by doing so, Anna Cates shows how one poet can indeed express herself across the spectrum, and splendidly so. it is not merely by length & form that this poet delivers nuance & versatility, but in delivery as she sways between deep emotion & light-heartedness, injecting both humour & reflection as she pours out her seemingly limitless creativity…

available to purchase at the link below —

http://www.amazon.com/The-Meaning-Life-Anna-Cates/dp/8182536138

 

 

 

 

‘Warp and Weft, Tanka Threads’ by Debbie Strange is an 86 page long collection of poems seamlessly woven into stunning tanka sequences, leading the reader through the dark, the light & the in-between…

.

our hands are stained —

children
of war zones
silenced
with no legs to walk
along the path to peace

missing —

now they search
the dump for bodies
hundreds of missing
and murdered Indigenous sisters
whose spirits wait for justice

.

limned —

a ragged curl
of birch bark fluttering
in the sun
even our smallest wounds
become limned with light

spangled —

she kneels
in the spangled grass
listening deeply
to the opening hymn
of a monarch chrysalis

.

folding into me —

crossing over
the bridge of sighs
I felt you
folding into me
folding into prayer

falling into flight —

I let go
and your lightness
carries me
beyond the sky
into myself

.

Warp and Weft, Tanka Threads is as exciting as it is ambitious, moving through a narrative of sea wolves & cloudscapes, wild forests & war zones. Speckled with rich imagery, honesty & sophistication Debbie Strange’s tanka story is not just a book, but also an adventure.

it can be purchased at the link below —

http://www.amazon.com/Warp-Weft-Threads-Debbie-Strange/dp/1512361127

 

 

‘What Was Here’ by Julie Warther is a collection of 20 haiku, beautifully rooted in nature —

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woodland trail
a notebook full
of blank pages

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no longer able to move
our collie herds us
with her eyes

.

autumn equinox…
a firefly
goes out

.

what was here
now gone – the branch
rights itself

.

bringing out the angel
in my child –
fresh snowfall

.

in ‘What Was Here’ Julie Warther effortlessly captures the moment as it appears; each poem adding its own nuance to the experience. in the spirit of haiku these poems are deceptively simple, with a lingering ‘aha’… inviting the reader to come back to re-evaluate & discover new meanings.

the chapbook can be purchased at the link below —

https://foldedchaps.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/what-was-here/

 

 

 

‘My Father Speaks in Poetry Too’ by Jo Waterworth is a collection of poems dealing with love & loss, as it follows the poet during the last few months of her father’s passing.

.

may —

This skin on bones bruises, bleeds
                          in pyjama sleeves.
     The blackbird still sings outside.

.

june —

Another day of making
    porridge for my dad.
       It keeps us happy.

.

      The English drink tea
in times of acute distress.
      Midsummer sunshine.

.

july —

     And he held my hand.
Really held it, quite firmly.
        It was my goodbye.

.

MORNING AFTER

I made his porridge this morning,
the way he likes it –
milk, oats, demerara sugar
and a pinch of salt.
Then I ate it for him
in his memory.

.

throughout ‘My Father Speaks in Poetry Too’ Jo Waterworth has a way of finding just the right words to express the emotions & events we go through when experiencing & dealing with the loss of a loved one. this is a poignant memoir of poems treading delicately between the outer & inner worlds.

the book can be purchased at the link below —

http://www.poetryspace.co.uk/2013/06/my-father-speaks-in-poetry-too-jo-waterworth/

 

 

 

‘moon full of moons’ by Kat Lehmann starts at the first full moon —

.

Peach

Eating a peach
demands one’s full attention.
The world fades in the animalistic
sweet dripping
down to the stone.
Take my advice, it’s best
to be prepared. Will it be
Napkin?
Sink?
The grass outside?
One thing is certain –
It is impossible to do anything else at the same time.
A peach is always eaten at its own terms.

.

navigating us through our darker moments, the new moon —

.

Empty Moon –
only the frayed threads
of old suns beam
cold and dead
(a faint light shining in my head)

.

to finally arrive at a second full moon —

.

Nights of the Second Full Moon

You will survive
more than you expect
earning beauty
in scars of wisdom

full

She embodies love’s shape –
a perfect circle – rolling
into itself, only to collapse
again and again,
an elastic thing that stretches
then faithfully returns
as it swirls back
to its curving core

.

‘moon full of moons’ is a journey through the lunar phases told in Kat Lehmann’s unique poetic voice. there is a heartbeat to these poems, making this a memorable & beautiful collection, dealing so delicately with the merging themes of change, transition & transformation.

it can be purchased at the link below —

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moon-Full-Moons-Poetry-Transformation/dp/0988492644 / http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988492644/

 

 

 

Journeys Getting Lost’ by Carole Johnston walks in the footsteps of the great masters —

.

pretending
to be Basho I wander
the mountain

pausing
to write zen poems in green
silence

snow fields
garden walks rucksack treks
I search

pollen places
bird song morning mist
rabbit grass

Basho was master
I am his plump old
woman disciple

.

gets lost in the West —

.

I become
a ragged maniac
seeking
my eagle shaman
above the abyss

.

in Bluegrass —

.

hero’s journey
seeking inside myself
I find a trickster
searching the whole
green world

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and, finally in Appalachia —

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breath of pine
hitching the open road
vagabond
chanting the words
of poets before me

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in her 30 pages of short poems, Carole Johnston splendidly captures the essence of those journeys we must take on our own, accompanied merely by the whispers of those before us, leaving poems in the wake for others to follow. ‘Journeys Getting Lost’ leaves us with a sense of completion, a spark somewhere, a desire to wander this world, poem by poem… getting lost to find oneself anew.

it can be purchased at the link below —

https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?products_id=2211

 

 

 

‘Round Trip’ by Joann Grisetti

sets out north bound, at dawn —

.

seven am
the fog diminishes
with each sun ray

.

continuing along the eastern United States,

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long road to Philly
for hour after hour
cows’ steady grazing

.

through the seasons, south bound…

.

with a third star
a milder breeze blows
the road dry

.

PECANS PEANUTS
the Carolina border
as I wake up

.

the round trip finishes with a few pages of ‘music to travel to’–

.

past Charleston
“Sugarland Express” escorts us
across the river

* Toots Thielman’s “Sugarland Express.” The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration.

.

Joann Grisetti has collected her observations effortlessly in this wonderful book of small poems; ‘Round Trip’ brings the reader back to that exciting place of not knowing what is around the next bend…

available to purchase at the link below —

http://www.amazon.com/Round-Trip-Joann-Grisetti/dp/1312388463

 

 

 

‘Erasing the Doubt’ by Mary Kendall

is a beautiful collection of 26 poems, starting with —

.

The Three Sisters

Unlike the heroines of Chekov
or mythology, we were ordinary girls,
dressed simply in soft cotton dresses
and new shoes but still wrapped up
in spring wool coats that kept us warm
despite the bitter cold.

We walked to church on Easter Sunday,
stepping carefully between patches
of ice and snow. Not wanting to wear
the heavy boots that reminded us
of endless winter, we took our time.
The frigid air felt so strange blowing
through those thin white socks.
The soles of my brand new shoes
felt so slippery and unsure.

I was five. You were ten and thirteen.
It was always the three of us, alone.
together we walked, you holding
my hands, one for each of you.
How little I knew then.
How safe I felt.

.

The pages of ‘Erasing the Doubt’ are filled with warmth & vivid emotion remembering and reflecting on life’s ups and downs, yet leaving space between the lines for the reader to recollect and ponder the little things that somehow make up the whole.

available to purchase at the link below —

https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?products_id=2265

15 thoughts on “poetry / art book reviews

  1. Pingback: hedgerow #26 | hedgerow: a journal of small poems

  2. Pingback: #36 | hedgerow: a journal of small poems

  3. Pingback: poetry / art book reviews | A Poet in Time

  4. Caroline, I love that you chose to highlight “she embodies love’s shape” as one of the poems! Your review captures the cyclical and rhythmic nature of my book well – your thoughtful attention to it is much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

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