“In memory of my mother, Sylvia L. Schreiber … your laugh still echoes.”
Merril D. Smith’s mother passed away in the early days of Covid, in the days when there was no holding of hands, no kisses, no embraces and a veil of lonely shrouding all hearts.
Nonetheless, Merril does not pour a bucket of inconsolable tears into her poems, but rather flows with a river, a river that has many rocky climbs to solid land and ancient trees reaching over its waters. It is upon this river she reflects.
I was 10 poems into the book. Then, on one of my street art hunts, I came upon this mini-mural. There is a constant flowing of blue, with abstract flowers and leaves. I thought, this is like Merril’s book.
To me the blue ribbon is the river, with all its tributaries. Everything else, each flower and leaf is a poem, an insight, or a ghost washing the shore.
The author uses many styles of poetic writing, to effectively create messages. Combined with familial love & experiences, her knowledge of history and adoring appreciation of nature, this book is a rendering of heart.
Always sincere, never maudlin, Merril’s poems have swept me onto the river of ghosts.
With the author’s permission, I get to include 1 short poem or part of a longer poem, in my review. After much deliberation, I have chosen:
One poem titled – In Memoriam: Their Names is “Inspired by the plague graffiti found on the walls of Cambridgeshire church”. I found the impetus evoking and the poem shivering my eyes.
Click on the ghost pic below and go read a fabulous article about this graffiti from 1515.
I’m sure you are piqued by In Memoriam: Their Names. So, to read this coup de maître, and the rest of Merril’s masterpiece, click on my last ghost offering below. It will take you to her book on Amazon.
OR, if you are boycotting Amazon (like me), you can buy a PDF, Print or Kindle copy from “Nightingale & Sparrow”. Just click on their moniker below, and you will be on its page. (They take PayPal!)