Weds poetry prompt: ‘Lost Summers’

dog-carwindow

Yesterday’s prompt: Write a ‘let the good times roll’ poem

Lost Summers

Sat on those sticky car seats
On sweltering summer day
With windows rolled right down
And Mum or Dad’s music blaring,
(Depending on who was too tired to argue)
We knew good times lay ahead
Along this year’s road, riding it care free
Onward to the holiday highway
With days of wet hair and sandy toes
And a sea of dribbling ice cream cones,
Asking every other second or so
If we were nearly there yet.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Years of My Life: 1995

1995
..in which The Corrs forgive, but don’t forget; The Lighthouse Family take a trip to Ocean Drive; and Virtua Fighter makes its second impact while the Fighting Vipers smash on to the scene.

To recap: This is a series of posts that will cover each year of my life since my birth in 1987; mainly the things that interest me that happened/were released or conceived that particular year. This will include happenings in the world of music, video games, literature and television that are of particular importance or nostalgia to me. I’m hoping that this will give my followers a better idea of where my interests and passions in life lie 🙂

Check out the previous post for 1994 here.

On to 1995!

Continue reading

Weds poetry prompt: ‘Daydreamer’

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Today’s prompt: Write a ‘flight’ poem

Daydreamer

Each morning I find myself
Held tight by humdrum days
Dragging me further down
My feet firmly on the ground
And body helplessly confined,
My mind takes the flight
To the places I’d rather be
The faces I should like to see
And a series of futures
That I see as fleeting splinters
Shooting further up to the sky,
That could one day disappear
Unless my body joins the mind
On these fanciful flights.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Quick Book Reviews: From Baghdad, with Love

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From Baghdad, with Love by Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman

Yes, I’ll admit it – as someone who is very much a dog-person, upon seeing those eyes stare out from me from the charity shop bookshelves, and then seeing the title and the tagline of ‘A heartwarming story of devotion’, my heart was instantly melted by the cover alone, and I bought it perhaps solely because I knew it would be a weepy one for me. It then took a couple of years before I actually got round to reading it (one of many atop an ever-growing pile, hence the giving myself a much-needed kick up the bum and starting the ‘To Read List’), and found that this story – that of a puppy left behind in the aftermath of a military bombing in Fallujah, and the efforts of a US Marine to rescue him by getting him the hell out of Iraq (whom the book is written by, offering quite a brutal, frank depiction of the ravages of war), is indeed an emotional one, and especially tense, as securing rescue for ‘Lava’ proves far from simple – meaning that once the end is in sight in the book’s final pages, the reader is on the edge of their seat, fearing the worst after all the setbacks and near-misses throughout the book, in a chapter that is beautifully written by Kopelman- short, sharp paragraphs combined with the feeling of dread before opening an email – a very effective ending to a well-written account, that shows you another side to the ‘War on Terror’, and succeeds in showing you the human side of those who fought within it. This is not the kind of book I would normally find myself reading, but I am very glad I made the effort to read this. It gets a 4/5 from me.

And, the To Read List has been accordingly updated! Watch this space for more reviews. Until next time folks…

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Scribblings from Second-Hand Books (#001)

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So, I just finished From Baghdad, With Love (Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman) today, (a quick book review to shortly follow in another post) and upon reaching the final pages, found some curious scribbles which must have been written in by the book’s previous owner (I purchased it second-hand from a charity shop) I’ve noticed this in several of my books actually, and like this one, there is sometimes phone numbers scrawled in there as well! (obviously I won’t post those), and find it strangely fascinating, trying to decipher meaning from something that a distant person I have never met has written. Therefore, I think I’ll make a series of these, and post them as I discover them! See what you make of this one (there is also a photo of the page above for good measure)

You cancelled Sat. – We don’t have any money – Then on(?) again because why? because I make a fuss today flowers because I ask 4 them.

I am unhappy, I am ignored until it suits you

I sit outside the skate park day after day

What do people make of this then? An angsty teenager who was a poet in the making? Has anyone else found intriguing scribblings left behind in their books from those who read them before? I’d love to hear if anyone else ever runs into this phenonmeon…

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘The Dark Jungle of the Heart’

jungle

Yesterday’s prompt: ‘Write a poem that captures a moment from a movie or book’

(Those who read my last book review post should be able to work out what book I chose 😉 )

The Dark Jungle of the Heart

His name was Kurtz
A label meaning little
In these dark outskirts
Of thorns and thistles.
This jungle solitude
Tempted him too much
And its secrets soon imbued
With its prickly touch.
It whispered these truths
In soft, black breaths
Releasing lusts so uncouth
His soul meets inevitable death.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Quick Book Reviews: The Darkening/Heart of Darkness

toreadpile

A double-whammy of darkness for you today, you lucky people. In the form of two quick reviews of books I have recently finished, namely The Darkening by Chandler McGrew and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad…I will attempt to do this regularly with each book I read now, as well as crossing them off my ‘To Read List’. Enjoy!

 

the-darkening

The Darkening (Chandler McGrew)

I picked up this book as an impulse buy, attracted mainly by the cover and the title. McGrew is actually a horror writer that hails from Maine, but sadly I have to say that he’s not quite Stephen King. The book is enjoyable enough, but the main problem is there’s quite a lot of build-up without too much pay off. Despite the end-of-the world/’world slipping into darkness’ situation touted in the book’s blurb, the stakes don’t ever really feel high enough, and I found the descriptions became somewhat confused and muddy as the book went on. It’s not terrible by any means, just merely passable. I’d say about a 3/5 from me.

 

heart-of-darkness

Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

I was well aware of this book’s reputation as a classic, so I was quite eager to discover it for myself. I must confess, however, that I found it extremely hard-going – the style of writing often makes it confusing just what exactly is going on, and the narrative can often be difficult to follow. As one reviewer on the Goodreads page points out, however, it would seem the book is intended more as an allegory or essay on the human condition rather than a conventional story. To read it with this mindset may make it easier to understand, I suppose. I was struck by two passages in particular, however, that really tap into the darker urges of man;

…They only showed that Mr Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him – some small matter which, when the pressing need arose, could not be found under his magnificent eloquence. Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last – only at the very last. But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude – and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating.

(p.83, Penguin Popular Classics edition)

This proclamation about the struggle of life, and then the emptiness and futility in the face of death is also particularly chilling…

Droll thing life is – that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope for is some knowledge of yourself – that comes too late – a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be.

(p.100-101, Penguin Popular Classics edition)

Again, I think this gets a 3/5 from me.

And, the To Read List has been accordingly updated! Watch this space for more reviews. Until next time folks…

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M