October Star: Poems for Chrissy

Front cover of October Star, created with Canva.

Many of you know I’d written a number of poems for my recently deceased cousin, Chrissy. Some of them, I shared here, others I did not. I was able to commit to this body of work for a little over two months, compile it, and share it with my family and a few friends. It is available via e-book and can only be submitted to a requestor by way of an email. Should you have interest in receiving this e-book from me, please email me at apoem4ufromme@gmail.com.

The book includes fourteen poems, some with color photos of mostly Chrissy and me over the years, prior to her death. This has been a way of me fleshing out my emotions, raw feelings, moments of complete & utter disbelief, coming to terms with grief, and healing. The cost is $6.00.

A sample of what you will be reading:

I Can’t Say Goodbye

the final breath
sweeps you like a heavy rain
my heart instantly breaks

a short time here
on Earth, finally, you’re
called home

they give details
of your transition– . . .


October Star

our October star
beauty uninhibited
loved by everyone

suffering no more
your gift to us is this life
connected . . .


Emotions

each day presents a different
emotion — I’m either happy,
sad, or indifferent, and it’s
no use in trying to fight them
as they pile on; I’m learning to
accept them, to embrace them.

I think of what you would do — how
would you react . . . if you were
still here.


Again, if you are interested in receiving a copy, please email me at apoem4ufromme@gmail.com. In the subject area, simply have, “October Star,” and I will know exactly what it is your email is about. When I have corresponded with you to let you know I have received your email, I will request a payment of $6.00 to be submitted by way of one of these entities:

PayPal: mindful@gmail.com
CashApp: $trEisthename
Zelle: tloadholt0417@gmail.com

Upon receipt of payment, you will receive your e-book of October Star submitted directly to you. If you request more than one copy, I will email you more than one copy, upon receipt of the payment connected to your number of requests. I don’t expect to receive a lot of requests for this book as it can be mostly somber and morbid in nature for many when thinking about death. But, Chrissy was an amazing person and I talk about/have written about that, too. They’re not all sad poems filled with doom & gloom–they’re uplifting, as well.

Peace and blessings.

Back cover of October Star, created with Canva.

Thank you in advance for stopping by and reading this post. I appreciate you.

World Read Aloud Day, 2022

Educators, Librarians, and Parents/Guardians of the little ones . . . Lend me your eyes . . .

Space, Time, and Raspberries

Cover credit: Turine Tran

Kate Allen Fox, has written a beautiful treasure of a children’s book, Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees. I own it and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who reads to children or spends time with children who read. (It’s available from Leopard Print Books, Barnes and Noble, your local bookseller, and Amazon.

On February 2, 2022, children’s authors will be offering FREE virtual readings to students everywhere through World Read Aloud Day (WRAD).

Kate is thrilled to participate this year and is offering six 20-minute slots to read her science-based, nonfiction picture book, Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees, which has been named one of the best books of the year by School Library Journal and Chicago Public Library.

If you are a teacher or a librarian and would like to sign up for one of Kate’s…

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The little things that make me smile . . .

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Praying Mantis, praying–perhaps?

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Jernee: she finally let me brush her hair so that I could take a decent picture of her.

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Oh, dear . . . a deer.

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My copy of Kristin Garth’s latest book of sonnets.

Sometimes, all I need are the small reminders in life to let me know I’m still living and grateful to be alive. Sometimes . . . this is what I love most about living–the little things.

Crimson Skins (Poetry & Prose) by Devika Mathur: A Review

Crimson Skins by Devika Mathur, Kindle Version available via Amazon

Firstly, I would be amiss if I did not state how honored I was to be asked to review this wondrous work by Devika Mathur. From what I have come to know of the writer, she is steadfast in her talent, dives into the raw and gritty surfaces of her feelings, and has no trouble sharing them with the world. With a style not akin to many writers I have read, Devika expresses herself with poetically sound language and a definite strength in her prose.

The aptly titled debut book, Crimson Skins, begins with “Olive Skin” which is a surefire opener, with power-packed phrases such as “My mother has a concave slippery mouth, untouchable with the slick tunes of time” and “She stitches her concrete bun as a belt of Ganges.”

The first section of poetry gets even better as the writer continues to deeply express herself using a style I like to call “raw surrealism.” “A fixation” is a good example of this. Two lines I found myself reading multiple times because I loved them that much are: “I have seen the postcards of vintage ink our lotus bodies sinking like air” and “You step on to my body, peeling layers of SCARS.” She is no stranger to poignant line breaks and metaphorical stanzas. Many of her poems, from what I have learned, are meant to be absorbed slowly–savored. It would not be wise to rush through them. And really, why would you want to?

“A swan of longing” is another favorite poem of mine. Devika uses a few nature images in this piece, however, the raw and gritty feel is still alive. “Climb up my knuckles, rest on the mount of flaky skin” says so much while not using many words. It’s succinct and compact yet still sends a punch straight to the gut. Another line that held my attention is, “Sew and move up. Climb to my cheekbones, now”–the imagery is intense and active. Reading it took me to another place, one where I would not mind venturing to more often.

Crimson Skins has a variety of work any reader will enjoy. The book isn’t basic and will be able to go the extra mile for years to come. I will be so bold as to say many of the pieces featured in it has the staying power of words by a few greats such as Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Virginia Woolf. It ends just as it began, with an intense piece of writing showcasing the writer’s talent.

“The art of silence” is placed exactly where it needs to be–the best for last. “Quietness, comes to me like sex, wild hum in the lost arid air” caught me off guard and I doubled-back to make sure I read the opening line correctly. I did and it is perfect in every way. The ending lines are as follows: “Cities often collapse while searching another one, and here is my tombstone, polished gold grave, beneath twigs of moth.” I read those lines and I know what poetry is. I feel what poetry is. I will remember what poetry is.

Crimson Skins comes as no shocker to me with its high caliber of writing and a plethora of poems and prose to choose from on which to connect. Devika Mathur shows that she is no novice to the world of writing. I look forward to its debut in June of 2020 and will be one of the first to purchase my copy. If you are a lover of poetry and writing that seeps into your skin and rattles your bones, then you should too.

I will be purchasing the Kindle version before the weekend is out, however, I also am going to purchase the paperback version when it is available too. I had the grand opportunity of diving into this work of art prior to its publication and I assure you, it’s worth every accolade it will amass within the first few weeks. Let’s support a fellow WordPress writer, shall we?

A Cornered Gurl Presents

QUINTESSENCE: A Literary Magazine of Featured Medium Writers

Quintessence: Issue #1, Spring 2020|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

“Quintessence” is a literary magazine to be published yearly in the Spring. The writers you see featured in this literary magazine are contributors to A Cornered Gurl and have been faithful in their support, encouragement of others, and submitting strong and poignant work to be read freely on the platform. This is the first issue.

I am fighting back a few tears at this moment because what I envisioned for A Cornered Gurl is finally here … A Cornered Gurl Presents QUINTESSENCE: A Literary Magazine of Featured Medium Writers is published and ready for your purchase, perusal, and praise. We will take your constructive criticism and pointers too, as we intend to grow each year. I always knew I wanted to start a literary magazine, however, one to be shared annually. It is not lengthy and does not include more than fifteen writers. I knew it would not be an anthology or a journal. I plan on keeping the published writers in each issue to a minimum of around sixteen to eighteen.

In this first issue, there are fifteen writers, including myself. The magazine has three sections: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. It is an “8 X 11” full-color and glossy print layout, consisting of 42 pages. It includes four of my original photography prints as the images accompanying the beginning of each section.

We have worked incredibly hard on this as we wanted to give our readers something special.

Currently, Quintessence is published through Lulu and is awaiting possible distribution to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online notable sellers. The current price is $17.00 (USD) for a paperback which is at the discounted rate of 15%. It will remain $17.00 for three weeks in paperback form. After that three-week period, it will revert back to its normal price of $20.00 (USD) per copy.

Because this is the first issue and we want the word to get out as widely as it possibly can, I have also included an e-book copy at $6.50 (USD). However, with this format, you do not get the full aesthetics of the beauty of this magazine. My copy came this morning and I have held it so much that if the magazine were a person, I am sure it’d demand that I unhand it.

Below, you will find links to both the paperback form and e-book (to be sold only on Lulu) form of Quintessence. Now, that I have cried a few tears and seem to be a little overwhelmed with happiness, I want to thank this issue’s contributors:

Anto Rin, Anthony Cloe Huie, Elizabeth Helmich, Crystal Lady, Gladysdaeweeks, Roxana Ștefan, Sam Kimberle, Tien Skye, Terry Barr, Ngang God’swill N., Sara Weaver, Wild Flower, Willow T. Lovelace, and Barry Dawson IV. Thank you guys for your wondrous words, your tireless efforts in A Cornered Gurl, and for your ways of encouraging others.


Quintessence: paperback

Quintessence: e-book

Thank you to each of our readers, supporters, family, and friends and of course, our community here on Medium. Without all of you, our growth and this magazine, would not be possible.


Peace and blessings


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.


Addendum: I have created a direct link to Quintessence and also if you go to the site directly as opposed to viewing from the Reader. If you look to your right, directly under my “gravatar” is the tab and image for Quintessence which will also take you directly to its page. It is also populated as an additional page via the navigation bar.