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Love By Night
S.K. Williams

It wasn't long before I came across S.K. Williams on Instagram that I immediately knew this was a collection of poetry that I must read. 

I took one evening, put myself in a soothing environment and opened up "Love By Night". And am I ever happy that I did. Without giving anything away, instantly the words of love jumped off the page and into my heart. I found myself lingering on lines of beautiful prose, absorbing the images that came to mind, and allowing myself to feel through the eyes of S.K. Williams. 

This love story helped me to start believing in love again. I know that sounds cliche but it did. There is now a glimmer of hope in my heart where there was once none. That is the power of poetry.

One of my favourites:

You kiss me 

and I'm afraid to show you

all of my scars

but you don't flinch

you don't even blink

You always knew they were there

but you loved me anyway

I found everywhere I read, love. There is nothing more beautiful that feeling the heart of another. A beautiful love story.

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Home Body
Rupi Kaur

"I don't know what to do with a man

Who wants to hold on to me

for the rest of our loves"

I've been a huge fan of Rupi Kaur since I was fist introduced to her first collection of poetry, "Milk and Honey", where I was able to look into her as a woman coming into her own. 

"Home Body" was such a pleasure to read. 

I felt her voice come alive in this collection because she allowed readers to come further into her mind and discover more about the woman behind the poetry. I felt like a friend would, reading her about her behind the scenes life.

"While everyone else

was living their life in color
depression froze me in place.

There is something uplifting and joyous about watching her grow up through her poetry and come into a stronger union with her sense of self. She has a way of weaving her heart into her poetry that allows readers to relate to her  triumphs, struggles and happiness.

Every time I have the honour of reading Rupi Kaur's work, I feel more connected to her as an artist and a woman. There is raw honesty in all her poems that I can appreciate and admire.

She writes in a way that is relatable and from her heart. Such a beautiful collection as always.

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I Am Her Tribe
Danielle Doby

do not fast forward

into something

you're not ready for

or allow yourself

to shrink back

into what's comfortable

growth lives in

the uneasiness

the in-between

the unfinished sentence

you are a 

season of becoming

Just a few pages into Danielle Doby's "I Am Her Tribe", and it already has me hooked into the becoming of self. The collection is set out to be a straight up invitation for one to come into who they are meant to be. This is not a rushed sense of being this is a becoming that is destined to lead one towards healing, patience, and self-love.

Through every page, I felt a love blossoming inside of myself, clearly directed by the kind uplifting words Danielle Doby carefully crafts together to comfort ones self into greater appreciation of the woman you are. I found myself taking in each poem as a breath of fresh air and a long lost message my mind didn't know it needed to hear.

 

Danielle's poetry forces one to look inward in search of truth. A truth that I didn't realize my soul needed in order to be able to move forward in order for understanding and love to again become part of who I am.

 

the beautiful thing

about being in the mess

is

 

it creates friction

it shakes comfort

it ignites movement

 

movement

if we let it

helps us sift through

what's real

what's of value

and

what deserves to stay

 

This is a collection of poetry everyone should become consumed in. I will take this collection with me through life.

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Swimming Lessons
Lili Reinhart

I didn't know what to expect as I opened that pages of Lili Reinhart's "Swimming Lessons", but it was evident that once I did there was an instant connection to her heart. There laid out between the lines of beautiful poetry that we shared a common trend of love, heartbreak and loss. As a poet she has a way of connection her heart lines with readers alike.

I want you

in every shade

that you come in.

All the good

and all the bad.

There were times while reading that I wanted to hug Lili Reinhart and there were times I wanted to high five her for her bravery and ability to freely express her emotions and not hold anything back from us as readers, something I truly respect from an artist.

When my hand reaches out

into the empty air,

I like to think that in some

other universe

you're pressing your palm

against mine

and hugging me gently

through the breeze.

This was an exploration of one's heart that collected into a beautiful compilation of poetry for all hearts alike. 

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I Must Belong Somewhere
Dawn Lanuza

There was something so alluring about learning through Dawn Lanuza's eyes in her collection of poetry and prose, "I Must Belong Somewhere". I found myself wanting to learn about her thoughts, her emotions and her destinations. Collectively they allowed me to experience life in a different way. I found myself coasting through her words as I would driving through the city experiencing life.

"Once you learn the power of "not yet,"

you will feel a certain kind of ease.

It is not now,

but someday,

somehow,

through some way,

you will."

Reading this poem gave me hope. As a woman who always wants to push herself through every stage of life, reading this showed me that progress takes time. This acted as a gentle reminder to myself to be soft, kind, and patient with who I am and all that I am striving to become. 

I admired Dawn's ability to be humble through her poetry and teachings of one woman's journey to discover where she came from, where she is and where she wanted to go.

I was able to learn that becoming means becoming whoever you choose to be at any given moment in time - and that's okay! 

This poem lives inside of me now.

"There will be thunder.

You will shiver in the cold.

But the clouds will roll."

 - The sun will return

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Depression & Other Magic Tricks
Sabrina Benaim

I could feel the windows of Sabrina Benaim's soul bearing itself into the world of the reader. I took myself seriously as I embarked on allowing another heart to pour into mine. What I found on page after page was a woman calling out to herself, fighting for herself, and trying her best to love herself. There was a lot of humor also placed between these pages that caught me by surprise - unsure of whether I was supposed to laugh at times. Then I realized, sometimes laughter can bring one through some of the darkest days. So I allowed myself to feel all the emotions as they arised because I knew I wasn't laughing at her, I was laughing for her. Even in those days of complete turmoil we can only listen to what our soul is calling out for, and I found that Sabrina Benaim did an amazingly beautiful job of being true to her feelings, thoughts, and emotions, which sometimes can be the hardest thing to do when dealing with bouts of depression. I admired her bravery throughout this collection as it made me feel welcome in her life, it made me feel like a friend listening to another friend tell a secret - it was an open invitation to relate and understand but most of all to feel.

What I Told The Doctor

"the eyes are not reliable
not windows. not mirrors.

my ears have eroded,

leaving two broken telephones.

my hands have embraced what they have always been;

two grasping panics, two torches to everything i love.

feet - nothing more than two rocks some days.

& my heart has developed a kind of amnesia,

where it remembers everything but itself"

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Wanderer and the Moon
Andreana Warlow

Andreana Warlow got me at the preface. There was something so magical about her words of love that transcended into my heart leaving me longing for more of her heart. When I began my journey through Andreana's heart, I knew there was something special between these pages. I found myself longing to gather her poetry in my heart and carry it with me throughout my day.

 

Across Oceans

"I see you though I may never

reach where you are.

I hear you when I read between

the lines of your deepest thoughts.

If all that's to be are pictures

and words from your soul,

then wrap them with a ribbon

- your presence in presents to behold."

 

Page after page my smile grew wider as I found myself tangled in a journey of love. Andreana Warlow found, through her poetry and prose a way to collect hearts along the way. I felt at home in her words and amazed at her ability to view the world so beautifully. 

 

The next piece made me smile with the genius that came line after line. Andreana has a magical way of collecting wordplay and tipping it into our tongues after our minds have requested for a repeat of such powerful imagery. 

 

Tease

 

"Strip first, let us get down to the

naked truth as we converse.

Put it all on the table, bare your soul.

I want to know about what life has

blessed you, everything's that's cursed.

Tell me your secrets while staring into my eyes.

Please, don't disguise your true desires

while in my life. Take my hand and lead me

to a garden where our love sets the mood.

We'll fade the lines between tantalizing and

subdued. Foreign lovers romancing will

only work by starting with both slates clean;

intentions revealed, no hidden motives behind

the scene. So, strip first, we'll get down

to the naked truth before our bodies can converse"

I am honoured to go deep into the heart and mind of poet, Andreana Warlow. Her beauty of growth and self love made we feel welcome in her home. 

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Romance or The End.
Elaine Khan

Romance
 

"I have heard it said

that love

turns people

soft

but I have 

never been

more 

brutal"

I was just getting into Elaine Khan's collection entitled Romance of The End, when I came across this poem. I read it, went to the next one, and came back around and read it a few more times, absorbing the meaning. That's the thing about poetry, it means something different to everyone. For me, it brought me back to my past relationship and almost subtly knocked on my memories - the ah ha moment set in, and this made me fall in love with her ability to draw on a person's history.

It intrigues me when a poet finds a clever way to get their message across. The way this collection is carefully laid out in chapters, makes me feel like I'm uncovering layers of Elaine, that allows me to see the story she is telling as a whole.

I'm laughing right now, because the real raw truth that Elaine Khan is able to evoke on every page leaves me longing to one day be able to do the same. There isn't a page, a line, a word that isn't carefully placed to stun. This is a remarkable thing to be able to do.

I STAND HERE IN MY POODLE SKIRT AND ASK FOR EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF

"was my sex my only magic?

I took a picture of the moon"

You know, sometimes someone writes something and it really allows you to connect to the inner parts of who you are - this is where I am with Romance or The End, Elaine has a way of making you think deeper into the context and wonder in astonishment - what has she been through to get to this place. Some parts are dark, some funny, and some brilliant with ease.

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Shitty Jody
Krista Black

Krista Blacks's, "Shitty Jody" was everything I wasn't expecting. From the beginning I got introduced to a strong woman who is a force of nature. Oh, the strength in her words had me saying, "yes" this is a woman after my heart. I found an appreciation early on, with the introduction of Shitty Jody, that Krista found her way of making truth be known. This woman is on a mission!

Your Gift

The best gift you gave

When we parted

Our ways

Was the fact

You became astray

You weren't the man I met that day

You became my biggest regret, per se

It wasn't until I grew

It was only then I knew

You, and your shitty ways

Gave me a gift

To take away

The gift to love myself

Put me first again

And never give up

No one deserves all of me

And it took losing you

To love me.

What great truth heartbreak gives us, when we take the sad parts and turn it into something so powerful as poetry, drenched in light.

Krista, I get you!

The epic erotic words that are scattered throughout this collection is just the right mix to have you saying, this is so true. so much of us hold in those words, I know I do, when sometimes it's what we truly wish to see read. I see so much strength in Krista's ability to carefully weave her emotions into each poem in such a clever way that really makes you crave them more. 

Days Like Today

It's days like today I crave your touch, your love,

your scent on my skin

It's today, like every other day, I feel your loss within

Must read!

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Sea of Strangers
Lang Leav

It's been years that I've been looking at Lang Leav as a poet but was never brave enough to read anything at all. Today I picked up 'Sea of Strangers', that has been sitting in my to be read pile for a month or so. It's stunning to look at, I had a hard time cracking the spine -  I didn't want to ruin something this beautiful.

What awaited me was something I've been craving. Not only was the cover stunning, the words, oh my goodness, the words lifted off of the page and straight into my heart of poetry of love. I couldn't believe the impact the first few pages had on me. I had to stop after ten pages and regroup my emotions. I could absolutely relate, every poem and prose was welcomed with impact by my heart.

Strength

Don't let them tell you that your pain should be confined to the past, that it bears no relevance to the present. Your pain is part of who you are.

      They don't know how strong that makes you.

When I read the above piece, I sat back and consumed the pain that I myself always felt had to be restricted to the void. Lang Leav has such a remarkable way of making me feel comfortable being who I am. With each piece I devoured, I fell more in love with the poet behind these heart opening words. Every time I read a new poem and prose, I would say, this is my favourite, when in all of reality, this is a collection I will cherish for my whole life. 

To Dare

Spread your wings - now is the time,

to dare, to dream, to reach for the sky.

This is the moment you will soar;

if you want it now - you can have it all.

Others will look upon your grace,

and their bitter hearts will cry in spite;

the best parts of you - they'll try to take,

to dim the brilliance of your light.

And as your tender courage wanes,

something whispers to you - wait!

Look them in the eye and say - not today,

I will not let you guide my fate.

This is not the day when you'll concede,

you have more strength than you could know.

This is when you will - if you believe,

show them just how far you'll go.

And mic drop.

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Dancing In My Tears
Reisa Young

COMING SOON!

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The Sun Will Rise & So Will We
Jennae Cecelia

It's been awhile that I've been following author, Jennae Cecelia, and I've always wanted to read one of her collections. I've been feeling in a funk lately and took this evening to find warmth in her collection, 'The Sun Will Rise & So Will We'. 

"It's hard to do things

on  your own.

Hold walls up,

maintain the roof,

and put a smile on

even when times are

tough to get through.

Don't forget that

you are made for than

holding up everyone else.

Make sure you are

loving yourself."

I fell deep into a connection with this collection. I felt as though almost every poem was feeding my soul and emotions. In a time when I'm finding it extremely difficult to keep going on my own poetry journey, her words spoke to me. I found so much clarity in my unknown through Jennae's known unknown.

"I may not rise from my soil

at the same time

everyone else is in bloom.

But they needed their time to shine,

I am waiting for more room."

Page after page is filled with such words of an uplifting nature. I found the voice in which Jennae uses to get her messages across humbling and kind, the kind of voice a true nurturer would use. I found myself wanting to reach out and let her know how much her words have touched me in such a dark place.

"You have the pwer to live out

your own story.

Don't change the script

to please someone else. 

You read beautifully 

by yourself."

I'm in awe of the author and this moving collection. Planning on reading more of Jennae's work. There is a message in here for anyone that needs it.