I had copies of my book shipped to Canada, where I’m from, for my recent visit there.
It was a strange and beautiful thing, to be in the place – both geographically and emotionally – that inspired the book’s first section of poems, along with the love of my family and friends, whom I hadn’t seen during the span of my Eastern travels.
Here I was, filled with such warmth and intimacy after so many years away, and all of this took me to a space utterly beyond words. We come into the world without words, and words fail us when strong and powerful emotions take over. Somewhere in between, there is the dance of expression, the muse of experience, and there is specifically, for me, the written word, one of the primary ways I have chosen to express my passion for being in this world.
Here were both my words and the wordless commingling in and around the space of love, connection and gratitude. For the first time in years, I spent days on end (three weeks worth!) without writing a single sentence, and yet I had this Formation of words already written, there for the sharing. Life – its cycles, its swirl of emotion and lessons – is wondrous.
The river carrying
Sounds of self, inviting
This is my new haiku up on The Plum Tree, a great site devoted to ecology and nature – and the written word! – thanks for checking it out along with other great works here!
I am thrilled to be writing with a very exciting announcement …
I have written book of poetry, published by Prolific Press, and it’s just been released!
I’m so excited to formally introduce my first full published work, “Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again”, and so grateful to Prolific Press for seeing something in my heaping manuscript of poems, and helping me make this dream of mine come true! I’m so proud to say that the book is available here:
Just to tell you a little bit about it, I thought I’d share the official synopsis!
“Formation” begins with the attempt to engage with a lost childhood through words – but ultimately, it is a search for something deeper, the mining of then and now for a love that hovers, ever elusive. The search inspired a journey eastward, where inner and outer worlds collide. In their form, content and spirit, the poems in this collection reflect the varied landscapes of Southeast Asia, India and Japan. “Formation” takes the reader into the heart of the poet’s reminiscences and passions as they mesh with the lively physical and spiritual spaces encountered.
It’s been a long road from the days these poems were scribbled in moments of passion and reflection, over chai or after days of retreat, onto just about anything from napkins, homemade journals I crafted from found paper and mosquito coil boxes (there’s nothing like creative re-purposing) and any number of journal-jewels I found along the way, mostly in Thailand, Laos, India and Japan. I’m beyond humbled and exhilarated to see years of being on the proverbial road, learning, musing and word-forming, ending up here, with this beautifully put together collection. The evolution of these scattered works into this book has been a profoundly rewarding experience in itself, and one that is very close to my heart!
I invite you to have a look at the book at either of the links above, and would be ever so grateful for your support. Prolific Press is an indie publisher who puts a whole lot of passion into the books they produce, and support for small publishers (and of course, their authors) goes a long way!
If you do buy it, and love it, and would like to review it, or have any feedback at all, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you, and every Amazon review helps to get the book out there! And if you know anyone who might be interested in poetry, travel-writing, or who might just need a book to read, please share and pass this along!
You can also find up-to-date information about the book right here as time goes on. Thank you so much for sharing in this adventure with me. It’s an exciting and heart-palpitating thing, to be baring oneself like this in such a public arena, so I’m very grateful for your support!
With love and in gratitude,
I’m so excited about the release of my first poetry book, “Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again”, published by Prolific Press!
“Formation” takes the reader on a geographical and spiritual journey from my childhood in Canada all the way to Southeast Asia, India and Japan, in the name of taming the mind and exploring the limits of the heart.
The poems in this collection are very much inspired by – and mostly written during – my extensive eastward travels, so I thought you might want to know a little bit more about how I came to these travels and what they were like!
As you know, I have a column on elephant journal, and have written a lot about my travels for them.
I thought I would take a few of the more relevant ones, and put them into a nice package for easy and fun reading. There are several photos in this PDF, so I hope the downloading goes okay – I sincerely hope you enjoy, and I would love any thoughts or comments you might have!
We Carve Hearts on Stone
Though I love writing in many different forms and styles, lately I’ve found poetry running through my veins, the poetic framework fitting so seamlessly with my experiences as they weave through my deepest recesses and into expressive emergence.
This year, I felt compelled to write a poem per day during National Poetry Month in April. As I’m currently living in Japan, I decided to write haikus – not the traditional Japanese haiku, but the more standardized version that follows the 5-7-5 syllable count. True in some sense to the Japanese style of haiku, however, I quickly found myself instinctively focusing on the theme of nature.
At the very beginning, I wrote a poem and then found a photo to accompany it, but after a few days, I found myself drawn to the idea of seeking out a photo to draw inspiration from. Imagery and language complement each other so strikingly, intellect and formulation on the one side, and a landscape beyond words and into the realm sensory consciousness on the other; I chose photos that spoke directly to me on a sensual and emotional level, ones that evoked strong memories associated with the moment I captured the image during a long and beautiful journey through Southeast Asia and India, leading to Japan. The haikus that followed were not a “direct result” of the photograph, but very often mirrored its aesthetic and preoccupation, while also remaining very much tethered to my heart on that given day.
One example of this was the day the devastating earthquake hit Nepal. My heart was spilling over in sadness and grief, and the photo I selected – taken in the Himalayan foothills – and the haiku I wrote seemed to find each other before the words were even written.
This video below, entitled “We Carve Hearts on Stone”, is a compilation of the 30 days of poems and photographs, and owes its existence to the unending inspirations of Catherine Ghosh, whose idea it was to make this video, who encouraged me to re-read a month’s worth of work in search of its story – what a cathartic moment, to find it in the search for peace and stillness, and the lessons Earth’s splendors offer! – and who singlehandedly produced and edited the video, and found the brilliant music by the gifted Larry Kutcher to accompany the piece to such evocative effect. Catherine, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please see the original posting of this video on Women’s Spiritual Poetry: Journey of the Heart.