love

I will always be grateful for you


I hope you can forgive me for this one, because I broke the rules of the Ballade it was supposed to be! It took on a life of its own, so I went with it. Still, it was supposed to be an exercise in improving my poetry skills so for you poets reading this…be patient with me!

When shadows fall and claim the light

Like marauders who don’t belong

You sweep right in, my own dark knight

Yielding a calm to lean upon

Like lines of my favourite song

your words, they both soothe and renew

A melody that will hold strong

I’ll always be grateful for you

***

When the space between us feels too great

And the hands of time trickle by

You find ways to communicate

In ways words can’t always define

A soft touch, a look in the eye

It’s there in everything you do

So even if things go awry

I’ll always be grateful for you

***

When my mind is blissfully still

And body in a state of repose

You touch me with consummate skill

Stoking the fire until it grows

Creating a desire to expose

Every sight, every sound, every cue

A dedication that clearly shows

I’ll always be grateful for you

***

But these gifts of ours work both ways

And this fact fills my heart anew

Especially when I hear the phrase

I’ll always be grateful for you

_____________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

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Waves of Life – A poem

water

Swaddled in a pool of gentle heat

Adrift within the sound of your heartbeat

Until the next wave pulls me under

*

Your touch, I value and curse in equal measure

My every cell drowning under the constant pressure

Yet part of me is gripped in a sense of wonder

*

 

Exertion burns through my weary limbs

As the power within me slowly dims

Until red hot pain is all I see

*

You grab me tight and hold me near

Now that the time is finally here

To welcome this part of you and me

*

 

A wondrous sound fills the room

Stealing every drop of gloom

As our eyes alight with pleasure

*

Water washes away our tears

Gentling every one of our fears

As we embrace our tiny treasure


 

I don’t usually torture you with my poetry, but I was moved enough interpreting a recent birth that the compulsion to try was too great. It was a wonderful, humbling experience, and as the miraculous sounds of new life echoed through the halls, I swear if someone had brought in a puppy, I would have OD’d on all the cute. Talk about a natural high! There was so much love in the room I’m surprised I made it out of there…I turned into a big puddle of ‘oh my god, you guys are amazing!’

And, as it was a water birth, I was also submerged in memories of my own experience with Gracie. Since she first emerged from the water, announcing herself to the world, she has brightened our lives. Equal parts terror and treasure, she keeps me on my toes and it’s hard to believe that in two weeks she will be attending her prom. How time flies!

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Wings of love: Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge #59

ronovan_writes_haiku_prompt_badge_autumn_2014I haven’t participated for a few weeks but, after reading my friend Colleen’s post, I felt inspired to take part. Colleen lost her sister eighteen years ago, and wrote a poem entitled Kathy’s Cardinal. It’s beautiful. You should definitely check it out.

This week, the prompt words for Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Challenge are RED and BIRD.

The example provided by Ronovan:

AS THE SUN BURNS RED,

HEARTS RISE FROM THEIR MISERY,

LIKE LOVE ON BIRD WINGS.

If you’ve never tried out a haiku before, and you’d like to learn more, click here to read Ronovan’s article on how to write a haiku poem in English form.

cardinal

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

051815_2029_writersquot1

Writer’s Quote Wednesday is organised by Colleen from Silver Threading, and is a wonderful weekly series in which bloggers share the quotes which inspire them. I highly recommend checking them out.

My quote today is by French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and I think it speaks for itself. I actually found the quote in Dean Koontz’s latest novel, Watchers. I love Koontz’s work, and found Watchers both thrilling and terrifying in equal measure! Having said that, the underlying theme, the message I took away from the novel is one of love – in all its guises. The quote fit perfectly, as it encompasses the very heart of the story. It also reflects that which connects us all.

Theilhard de Chardin

Thanks for visiting.

Mel

Be the light that guides the way #1000Speak

#1000SpeakCompassion is not only free, it is a gift from the soul. A precious smile, a light in the dark, a friendly ear, loving arms. To show compassion you must walk in another’s shoes. You must set aside prejudice, judgement and expectation.

Today over a thousand people will be talking about compassion; an entire online community with a shared aim. A desire to unite, to share the importance of love and understanding – to become a village.

I’ve read some wonderful quotes on the topic over the last few weeks, and one of my favourites is by Thich Nhat Hanh who said, Compassion is a verb. So simple, and yet effective, because in order to show compassion, we must take action – we must do something.

This wonderful community we belong to is worldwide, but for a moment, I’d like to take the subject closer to home. Often, it is easier to lend a hand to a stranger, than it is to those closest to us. My grandfather used to say ‘charity begins at home’ and I never really understood that before. Now I think he meant we must set an example.

if his road is longHaving sympathy for someone, the desire to take action and help alleviate suffering, it shouldn’t be reserved for the wider community. If someone we know has a bad day, isn’t feeling well, or just received bad news, then we should take a moment to consider how we might help. Do something to brighten their day, make them feel better, or simply be a shoulder to lean on. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes we have high expectations, especially of those closest to us, and those expectations can blind us to the truth.

if she is afraid of the darkSometimes, when we are in a situation, when it’s too close, it can be hard to take a step back. Our emotions cloud our judgement, our own hurts blur the lines. The fact is, we might not always agree or even understand, but we should give consideration to another’s feelings and show sensitivity. Setting an example for those closest to us means being tolerant, showing leniency and kindness – doing whatever we can to alleviate suffering. All these things speak of compassion.

if he is teased and ridiculedIn an age where we no longer go out of our way to help our neighbours, and instead cross the street just to avoid them, we should consider that every one of us is battling against something. A small act of kindness can make the difference. In a lot of ways we have forgotten how to communicate. Instead of picking up the phone we send a text, but what if the person on the other end would welcome the sound of your voice? What if that one simple act of kindness is as good as a lifeline on a cold and lonely day?

if she is bruised and brokenEvery person on the planet is different, it’s what makes us unique, and diversity is a beautiful thing. Our desire to help, to forgive, and to love, those are strengths we should allow to shine. So celebrate those strengths, and help others to do the same. We are all in this together.

in this world of darkness

Prophecy of Stones by Mishka Jenkins

Prophecy of StonesThis is the third book I’ve read by Mishka Jenkins and I have to say, it had me at the title! I mean, who doesn’t love a story about a prophecy and those fated to fulfil a role which tests everything they believe in.

The book begins with a group of heroes as they embark on a journey to save the world. Enter three characters who embody the heart, strength and soul of mankind, three friends who share their responsibility, and you have an  appealing group who are a pleasure to spend time with.

I particularly enjoyed the fact I got to experience the journey from three unique perspectives. Each of the chosen, separated cleverly by a rune marking the transition, share their insights. It makes for an exciting adventure; full of magic, mystery and intrigue. As the story began to unfold, I was well and truly hooked.

One of Mishka’s strengths is developing relationships between her characters and, right from the start, you could feel the camaraderie. The kind of love and commitment which embodies the heart of the tale. The world in which they live is described so vividly a picture began to build in my head, further adding to the drama and excitement. They sucked me in, became as familiar as old friends, and I was with them each step of the way.

The chosen three are distinct and exceptional in their own right. Milana is a woman worthy of her role. She is a warrior, strong of heart and spirit. I was drawn to her fierce, yet vulnerable nature and she shone with her own special kind of magic. Riff is the kind of person you can rely on; cool, calm and collected, with the kind of quiet strength which makes him a true hero.  Kai’s innocence is part of his appeal and his unique perspective on the journey made the whole thing come together.

The romance of the story is beautifully told, and another of Mishka’s strengths. Her male leads always stand out; lighting up a scene and grabbing a readers attention from the moment they appear. Riff is no different. The connection he has to Milana is a palpable thing. I loved this couple and highly recommend the book.

***

Review by Melissa Barker-Simpson

Heart of the Arena by Mishka Jenkins

Heart of the ArenaI’ve been a fan of Mishka‘s work for a while now, so all three of her books were on my reading list. I chose Stolen Bloodline first, purely because it’s more my usual type of genre. Though I don’t normally read historical fiction, I knew Heart of the Arena was a must read and set aside a weekend to enjoy it.

I was hooked from the very first page and all but devoured the novel in one sitting.

Set in Ancient Rome, the story follows a young woman, Sabina, who is sold by slave-traders into the life of a gladiator.  Armed with a disguise and the training of an old master, she must set her skills against men accustomed to fighting in the arena.

Mishka should be commended for her research on this book; the language, culture and setting are so authentic it’s like stepping back in time.

The fight scenes are intense; a pulse racing view of the action until you become one of the crowd.  I haven’t enjoyed a tale about gladiators this much, since the film, Spartacus. It was one of my father’s favourites and he watched it until the tape ran out (so it’s a long time ago!). The thing that stood out about the film for me can be summed up by the famous line ‘I’m Spartacus’. It speaks of camaraderie, of honour and the true nature of friendship.

It turns out to be one of my favourite things about this novel. The brotherhood among the gladiators is captivating. The relationships as they develop are moving and sincere. As is the romantic element  of the story; Sabina’s growing affection for the gladiator Cassian.

The psychological element is well thought out; Sabina must keep up appearances as one of the men, all the while developing feelings which make her very much a woman.

It’s a sweet, and engaging romance; a story about love, honour, and friendship. When you add all the elements together, the loss, heart-ache and betrayal, you begin to really care about what happens to these characters. From the gladiator with a big heart, to the woman who binds them all together. It’s a pleasure to read.

——–

Review by Melissa Barker-Simpson

365 Days of Wri…

365 Days of Writing Prompts – 14 February 2014. Cupid’s Arrow

IF WISHES HAD WINGS

If I could catch a ride with cupid, I’ve visit you for a day

Then you’d know how much I miss you,

And how I wish you’d got to stay

Stay for a little bit longer

Even though you were called away

Then perhaps I would’ve been stronger

And it wouldn’t hurt so much

If I could catch a ride with cupid

I’d be able to keep in touch

But still, I have my memories

For which I’m really glad

And this is my chance to say that

I really love you, Dad.

In response to today’s prompt – 365 Days of Writing Prompts

Thanks for reading.

Mel

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