Archive | January 2013


I just went on facebook and found a post about a review. I clicked into it, and what should I find? My poetry anthology! Here it is:

Hearts and Minds, Maria V.A. Johnson

Today I am reviewing Hearts and Minds, written by Indie author and poet Maria V.A. Johnson.  Various events have conspired this week to put me into a contemplative mood, and that is when I reach for the poetry. I found this to be the perfect book to soothe and refresh my spirit.
THE BLURB: The most important human experiences of love and death are beautifully explored in this anthology. With carefully selected and themed sections: Loss; Love; Lyrical; and Life, the emotions invoked by the words as they flow over the page will touch your heart.
I was struck by the beautifully crafted poem, The Chair. In the first few lines, we come to know the elderly person who once owned the chair, and in the final lines we feel the sense of loss the observer feels as they look upon the chair whose owner has now passed on. It is poignant, yet not maudlin, allowing the reader to absorb the scene of the chair, the reading glasses and the emptiness of the room.
Ode to my Bookcase brought a smile to my face, as I could totally relate to the sentiments expressed.  I too love my bookcase and the contents therein!
Bullied is a raw look at the emotional baggage that comes along with being the outcast, the one picked on at school. This one brought tears to my eyes.
This is the perfect book for a contemplative day. The compilation is divided into four sections: Loss, Love, Lyrical and Life, though many of the poems and odes span the boundaries between them all.
Hearts and Minds is available in both paperback and for the Kindle, both are very reasonably priced. Maria V. A. Johnson is a contributing author on the anthology The Other Way Is Essex, and is also a well-known editor, most recently she was the editor of Heart Search – Lost, a paranormal romance by Carlie M. A. Cullen.
Thank you so much Connie J Jasperson! An amazing review!

Competition Results

As you may be aware, I ran a modern poetry competition in December in celebration of my new anthology, Hearts & Minds. The winning entry was made by James Bicheno and is showcased below.


When the Snows Came

Clouds are frozen in the sky
While chimneys hover above the roofs
Tree branches are held down, white clumps replacing old leaves
That once swayed in their deep, green glory, now black and shrivelled on the ground
Decaying under the frosted shroud
Gleaming icicles hang like daggers above the windows and doors
Others hang out on the washing line, blown by the icy breeze
And routes are marked out by the grips of shoes
Crunching their way along roads reclaimed from cars buried tyre-deep
Surrounded by three small lines from the birds’ feet
All watched by the small light sun sitting in the far distance.

This is a good example of modern poetry – it focuses on images, using them to hint at deeper meanings while allowing the reader to determine what they will. Some of you will look at this poem and simply see the images he shows. I look at it and see the wintery state, and the stranded cars, as a symbol of death; and the routes marked out by shoes as a reflection of man’s dogged refusal to accept the inevitable, and his courage in striding out. It also shows the strength of nature, as a fragile person can move around in such conditions when the technology of the trapped cars cannot.

You can tell from reading this, that he did not just write it and submit it. He has taken the time to edit and hone this poem. Poetry doesn’t come out fully formed, it often has to be revised, many times, before it is ready.

Thank you to everyone that entered. All the poems were good and it was difficult to choose the winner. For those that weren’t chosen – do not get discouraged. Keep writing and good luck for the future!