River Ghosts – Merril D. Smith

“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!)

The Mush Heads Gang Up!

Now that I’ve stopped the salty discharge from my eyes, I must thank 4 of my blog pals, Gigi, Holly, Beth and Dale for their sweet birthday wishes.

Holly – House of Heart  wrote this beautiful poem for me. She used this photo and the song “Dance To the Music” by Sly & the Family Stone. The link is hot and will take you to the post!

Ascending the
Cantilever staircase as light
as a blizzard of feathers

her hair is the color of passion fruit gathered from a late summer orchard, her eyes as soft as butterfly wings lit high on pear shaped cheekbones.

She is a rhapsody,
a melody of mirth. With a wink
and a smile she invites us in to her world of silk and tapestry.

                                                                                                        – Holly Rene Hunter

Beth used a pic of my new Art Gown.

Beth wrote:

you are an amazing talent

telling stories with your styles

 making real life connections

between people in the realm of blogs

may you never stop creating art gowns, finding meaningful art in murals,

and being an incredibly creative and inspiring part of our story.

Click on the pic, and see Beth’s full post!

Dale – aka Thunder wrote:

For Our Lovely Sorceress, Resa

She sent fireworks & flowers, and a pic I drew of The gang of AGMs! Click on the drawing and see Dale’s full post!

Last but not least, the instigator – Gigi!

Gigi went all out with a Chicklet drawing (which is the header for this post), and  pointing out how much I love animals:

Animal lover and vegetarian

She included my art on the guitar Tim made. However, the best part is I’m finally getting credit for my “Egg Dance”.

Choreographer of the fabulous EGG DANCE

Click on the “Egg Dance” pic and see this wonderful birthday wish!

I am deeply touched by all who left birthday wishes on the Mush Heads’ blogs.

It’s overwhelming, and would take me days to answer you all in the comments. So this is for you and the Mush Heads. 2 bouquets of roses, and a photo of me taking a bath!

Much love to all!

The Poetess

First mural hunt of the season, & I found this beauty. She has Holly’s soft brown eyes.

Whew! She is high up in the narrowest lane, although a compact drove through, very carefully.

Yeah, I stood on someone’s steps.  Also, there were a couple of discarded mattresses taking up space. Sprayed my NEW sneaks with bleach when I got home, just in case of bed bugs.

So, she has very long dark red hair, burgundy almost. Holly has lighter red hair. Still, I kept thinking of Holly.

She wears a beret. Makes me think of Beat poets and the Left Bank in Paris known for: jazz, the Latin quarter, and a long and historic string of writers, artists, and philosophers.

Then all these gorgeous flowers come in.

I see these as Holly’s luscious poems.

Poem after beautiful poem, just like Holly’s.

Pics taken by Resa – April 5, 2022

Toronto, Canada

The Artist:

 Haley Alcott

More Than Coffee – by Lauren Scott

As a person who enjoys poetry and coffee, the decision to read Lauren’s well written book was a no-brainer. As a matter of fact, I languished over every poem and bit of prose. For 33 mornings, I read one piece with my coffee.

Each day’s reading brought me warm thoughts, stirred feelings and created a desire to be creative. What a great and positive way to start the day.

In this intimate look at her and  her family, nature plays a huge part in stirring memories of irreplaceable experiences, both uplifting and occasionally heartbreaking. All emotions are expressed beautifully in positive light.

I couldn’t resist picking my favourite poem.

This poem is an experience I share with Lauren. She could have been writing about me and my mom. I am deeply moved.

There is no copy and paste from the ebook. I wrote this out, and proofed it many times. It seems the word program likes to correct non-mistakes. In the final proof, much to my amazement I saw the title was in blue. All the titles are in blue. Yet, I believed this title was in red. Lauren, I hope you are okay with me keeping the red!

So, what’s with all the sunflowers? How do they tie in?

The above sunflower was in my last street art post. Lauren left a comment. I responded.

L“I also love the sunflower which reminds me of my daughter.”

R – Sunflower; apologies if I missed this/don’t remember it in a post, or in your book! Why does the sunflower remind you of your daughter?

LAnd no, I don’t think I did a sunflower post, so please don’t worry, Resa. My daughter is 30 and loves sunflowers, but she exudes their sunny disposition, smiles all the time, loves to laugh, and practices optimism more than pessimism. 

She may have been speaking of her daughter, yet I see Lauren in those words. It’s as though I could have just used those words about her book, about herself.

ABOUT LAUREN SCOTT

(Abridged from “About the Author” in “More Than Coffee”)

Lauren is a writer of poetry and short memoirs. She resides in northern California with her husband of 32 years, and their lovable canine, Copper; they have two grown children. She has authored two collections of poetry; New Day Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015).

Lauren is inspired to write from her love of nature. Lauren marvels at how the world is interconnected and every living thing matters. She hopes her readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in her poetry and stories – some detail that resonates with them beyond her words.

Find Lauren’s Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B08NCRH4MK?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

OR “More Than Coffee” on KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/more-than-coffee-1

Lauren’s Blog

Love, sweet love

Dear Holly from House of Heart made a sweet and beautiful post after she saw this photo of me and my guitar player love! She even wrote a poem. I’m so honoured!!!

There’s more words in her post, and a couple of videos.  Find it at https://houseofheartweb.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/love-sweet-love/

Love is What is Needed

by Holly Rene Hunter

Here in paradise

the sun goes down on the

crescent shore of an empty beach

she found herself with a guitar man

and A life time of memories

It seemed so clear then and now

love is what is needed

 

Share the Light

Our friend Francina – Poetry and Art wrote a post, Share the Light .

To view Francina’s post, click on pic!

Francina asks, “Why don’t we all share the light as a sign of hope? We can do this by posting for instance an image of a candle, a lamp, the light of a lighthouse etc. etc. in a blog post with the heading: Share the Light.”

 Many of our blog pals have posted a “Share the Light” and Francina has reblogged them. I hope more join in with a post, and don’t forget to link to Francina’s blog!

She quotes the refrain from Leonard Cohen’s ANTHEM (1982) For those who don’t know it, here is the poet, himself. His opening statement also applies today.

 

ANTHEM
The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Yeah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
You can add up the parts
You won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
Ring the bells that still can ring (ring the bells that still can ring)
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
With permission (required) from the photographer © Paul Orenstein.

Princess Blue Holly – 2

Princess Blue Holly is the first Superhero who changes outfits, crime dependant!

Above: Princess Blue Holly avenges Crimes Against Animals in her Cat-O-Nine Tails ensemble. The 9 tails braid themselves into 1 tail in the back, when not in use. Best not to get lashed with a tail! The ends are equipped w/ spiny holly leaves & poison berries. Scratches, with berry juice seeping in, will make you see the light.

It all began with Crazy Free Art to music. I wanted to draw PBH, but she already has an outfit. I went renegade, & just did what I felt like. It’s scribbly, but we thought this could be an outfit to avenge Eco Crimes, Monsanto specifically!

Holly & I are working on PBH, together. Click on the poem, and visit her blog!

Below: Princess Blue Holly decks out for a night of fighting Crimes in a City’s Dark Corners. Rapists, muggers & murderers watch out! She’ll clean your clocks w/ titanium boots featuring retracting needles loaded with concentrated poison berry venom.

 Some may remember PBH’s original outfit. It’s her default essence, and some would say her “Robin Hood” look. She can fight any crime in this look, and win. Note the eyepatch!

PBH’s eyes are digitally engineered. This is part of her back story. That will be revealed in a future episode. Her eyepatches can see in the dark, can see lies, can see for miles & miles & more … but only 1 eye ability at a time. Hence different patches, on each eye.

Princess Blue Holly character © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Princess Blue Holly drawings © Resa McConaghy

In Honour of Earth © Holly Rene Hunter

Princess Blue Holly will need an anthem. Holly will write the words, eventually. The music will come from..??? Well, Rene Rosso (© Resa & Holly) will do the vocals!

In the meantime let’s use this poem By Leonard Cohen… “ANTHEM”

“There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in”