The Journey Back to Earth

VersionsOfTheSelf2.jpg

 

Whew, finally getting around to reviewing some books for #writingwednesday!

First up, Versions of the Self (poetry) by Christy Birmingham.

Linky links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Christy Birmingham’s When Women Inspire blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/christybis

Review:

I’ve followed Christy Birmingham’s blog for years, and, likewise, she’s been a strong supporter of mine. I think she was one of, if not the first, who purchased my book of poetry when I self-published (Oh, Createspace, how I miss thee!). But this is the space for honest reviews, and, being an honest, ethical, straight-arrow type, with a healthy dose of blunt forthrightness, here goes my honest review. (Please, stick with me to the end of the review.)
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book, the first time I read through it. I felt somewhat removed from the poems within, and I couldn’t understand why. As a woman, going through what seems a similar journey of self-transformation, why was I feeling unsettled? Why didn’t it grab me straight from the beginning?
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this review that I realised what was giving me this sense of disquiet. I spend a lot of time in other realms. The theme of my own poetry book is all about journeys to other worlds. Alternate dimensions, astral travel, tandem dreaming, visits to fairyland–however you want to classify it, it has very little to do with the “real” world. And my short stories reflect more of the same–fantastical, surreal, spooky, and a little escapist (or so I hope!). I spend so much time up here in my head, or a million miles from it, that I’m not very present. I constantly receive gentle instructions to become more grounded, to visualise coming down into my feet. But it’s not a place where I’m most comfortable. I want the deep vastness of space; of the ocean. Of anywhere but here on Earth.
Christy’s poems reflect exactly that sort of grounded earthiness I’m constantly trying to avoid. Being present, being in the moment. Being real, no matter how much it hurts. Or how confusing it is. From my way-out-there, interdimensional traveller perspective, I see her as a very present poet. And I’m also not used to reading that in poetry.
And it’s a necessary, and lovely, stability in the rareness of the feeling her poetry inspires. With each poem brings another block to lay on the foundation under my feet. As a woman, as a denizen of this planet no matter how much I dream myself otherwise, she connects me back to the Earth under my feet; to my own “Version of Self” that connects with lines of her poems.
“Gliding under Water” reminds me of the simplicity of being a young girl in a pool; a time where my sensory experiences were more immediate. Though her work is titled “Versions of the Self,” I see it more as a stripping away of those versions to achieve a strong core, bringing us along with her as she goes back to basics. To having strong roots. And water, ironically, also helps root the reader in a very real, relatable experience of loss and change, in her poem “Within a Few Feet”. We have no choice to be present right along with the poet, because her pain is ours. It’s a pain that, sadly, lies in most women, and maybe the human race in general.
Lastly, she reminds me that it’s okay to be down here, in the muck and mire that is Earth, to “start at the bottom” (from “Bottom of the Waterway”). Because it’s only from there that we will learn to fly.

A Lily for the Valley

A Lily for the Valley

Frosted guardians keep watch

yet I still feel alone

winter blue, and

I am tired of angels

angling towards me

handfuls of bait outstretched.

How do I know what’s true,

even here in the empty desert

with no hiding place for cruelty.

Trapped by four walls, I burrow down for winter,

sinking deep in the depths of my splintered-ice mind.

There, I dream of a greening world from long ago,

tangled, wild, warm,

just like you.

 

–Willow Croft 2019

 

(My inspiration came from these Canva-created posts I made and shared via Pinterest and Twitter. Feel free to use them for today’s creative inspiration, and link back if you wish.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/422986590001080493/ or https://twitter.com/WillowCroft16/status/1100425111042174983 )

 

Treasure Box

Treasure Box

It’s the end of the world

in this dream that rests in eternity.

We have lost the outside to poisons

made by our own hands.

This thought carries so much pain.

Heartbreak

for our lost animals

but here, inside the abandoned office

next to the empty soda machine 

and paper that was once trees

I find the magic you

and everything is put right

both inside and out

and the treasure box I hold

has only trinkets

but you love it anyway,

and we plant it in the last wild wood.

–Willow Croft

No Disney Mermaids, Here


No Disney Mermaids, Here
No Disney mermaids, here,
in a predawn net of dreams
that won't let me go.
But that's not quite true. 
I hold onto them, too, over reality
because life is the nightmare that's real.
And so I drown, at long last, in tangled water,
choosing the insanity, where
water becomes a hand. 
And I hold onto it, too,
because I'm also scared to drown, 
even in this wonder of dreams.
We're not Disney mermaids; not svelte, with lovely voices, and
it's suddenly fine that we are our real selves.
The ones battered by storms and rocks, that have many scars,
and that we drown together
in this space between worlds. 
Because that is the love we need.
A something real one. A strong one.
But our waking thoughts try to rip us apart.
I feel your hand in mine, still, and I don't
let go, but it's hard to make the tea that will
bring me back to the world I hate.
But it's that world that brings me
your message in a drowning bottle.
And I'm glad I haven't let go.

Caretaker

Caretaker

In this maze of dreams,

we are both lost and found

chasing each other like ghosts

up and down corridors and

through walls.

I follow lipstick’d messages

that blaze scarlet in this

endless dark.

Sometimes I hear you crying

in the looking-glass

where

I can’t leave you anything

but smeary hand prints.

Your rooms, caretaker,

are gathering more dust

with each passing year.

I want to find you,

bring you out of this madness, our ancient storm

into a world without walls and shadows

where we dance on rainbows

drink dew

and fly away on butterfly wings.

 

–Willow Croft

 

 

 

The Glitch is Constant

 

The Glitch is Constant

Just like every other day

the reboot has failed

I’ve examined my insides 

but the how-to-fix-things

button remains hidden

I’ve looked to the outside world

for the caring techician 

to bring both expert knowledge

and hope 

but no such thing exists.

Sometimes I still wonder

who will fix me

even though it’s futile

so I just wait in this state of decay

for the reboot of my soul’s time

or even the reset of eons

to erase humanity for sake of the animals

and trees.

It’s the only hope I have left.

Quantum Singularity Contest!

My lovely holiday newsletter is ready to send out!

Even better, I decided to create a wishes-come-true contest to go with it (A signed copy of my poetry book to eleven lucky winners!). Details will be in my email newsletter, so sign up by using the link to the right on the widgets sidebar  (MailChimp), or go here.

Good luck in the contest!

Happy holidays, and have a lovely winter season to all my follower friends!

…ships and sealing wax…

 

http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/walrus.html

I dreamt of my muse last night. That’s not unusual, but the nature of their entrance was not typical. Usually, it’s pretty dream-like…like I know it’s not really happening. That they are a fictionalized construct of that person, and the whole experience will end up in a poem.

Viola De Lesseps: I love you, Will, beyond poetry. —Shakespeare in Love

Last night, though? I didn’t even go looking for my muse, or build a dream around them before I went to sleep.

Bam.

With all the force of a shock wave, they were there. Like lightning went all through me. My dreaming mind didn’t quite know what to do…and I’m used to having really vivid, lucid dreams. Imagine if somehow a flesh-and-blood person showed up in your dream, with no dream filters like magic and wishful-thinking scenarios or even surreal situations. And yet there was still magic surrounding my muse in their black-and-white (?) t-shirt and black jeans and looking a bit annoyed with having to punch their way into my dream. Sort of like a psychedelic swirling of rainbow colours behind them.

It was definitely one of the more interesting dream voyages I’ve had. So far, I haven’t found a poem to put that experience in, yet. Because it felt too real. And, yet, still wonderful.

So I wasted time channeled that perplexing dream into creating a new Pinterest board to display some of my sources of inspiration for my poems. Poetic Muse-ings

What sort of things serve as muses in your worlds?

William Shakespeare: My muse, as always, is Aphrodite.
Philip Henslowe: Aphrodite Baggett, who does it behind the Dog and Crumpet?
Shakespeare in Love

 

 

The Synchronicity: Fire

 

Wrote a poem about an hour or so ago to submit to a contest, titled Bonfire. It was the day of bonfires earlier this week, which probably inspired it.

But, I’m a water person, usually. Water, coolness, rain, overcast skies. Yet, a fire elemental has been making its presence known. Hence the other part of the inspiration. In dreams. In random thoughts. In my poetry. In waking life. Then I signed back online to enter the poem. And encountered more fire synchronicity to wrap up the week. I feel a little haunted and eerie, even though I largely accept Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s practical/scientific view(s) on such mental/emotional phenomenon.

So I used the poem I wrote  for the contest to siphon off some of the feelings towards the fire element I’ve been having lately. A short story for another contest is going to hold some more. And the leftover I was planning on putting in another poem for share on here, sometime soon. But now I feel like a mimic, albeit unintentional. And it’s nice to muse on, but I’m not sure whether I also believe in Jung’s theory of collective unconsciousness (or my interpretation of said theory).

Still, words clamour inside my head to be let out. To be heard. And, like most writers, I can only release them, and hope they are heard by those who need them the most. Who are listening with the right-place-right-time heart. And maybe they will be someone else’s synchronicity.

Ouroboros

The snake catches fire.
I burn it to be free
of this infinite loop.
Of walking in circles
Spiralling around from dreams to life and back again.
Yet, I love being lost in the maze and
trapped in this mystery.
Are these glimpses more fulfilling
than the reality of you?
The poet in me asked the void.
I defend myself.
I burn the bridge, I say,
because I’m tired of darkness and shadows and half truths and ghosts that go bump
inside my head.
I want fire.
I want to scorch my world to cinders.
And I want you to be the water,
this time,
from which my phoenix is born.

–Willow Croft

 

The Voyage Begins…

 

“Quantum Singularity is a voyage through time and space. This poetic journey crosses oceans, traverses other realms, gets lost in the past, and disappears into the future. Choose the right path; the path that leads to the corner of Cosmos and Infinity, and the way will never be lost.”

You are welcome to join me on my voyage through time and space.

Purchase your ticket here:

https://www.createspace.com/7159342

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546682147

I’ll be planning some visits to the Goodreads realm, as soon as my author page is up.

Hope you enjoy the magic!