Book review: From a sniper’s perspective

Book review: From a sniper’s perspective

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I know I have pretty much earned the label of “The queen of AWOL” and as much as I would like to say that I am back blogging full time, I can’t say that at this point in time. Every year comes with its curve ball and this year has dealt more than a couple sucker punches, but that is a blog post for another day. Today, I want to celebrate a poetry book I read last week, it’s titled “From a sniper’s perspective“.


Let’s start with the things I loved:
The foreword, This book has the most interesting foreword of any poetry book I’ve read so far. It contains a brief review of the entire collection in a few paragraphs, short enough to keep the reader craving more of the poems and long enough, to give the reader an idea of what to expect from the collection and the poet as a whole.

The poems except for a few were micro poems, but trust me, they aren’t the micro poems you are expecting. They are filled with metaphors, alliteration, imagery and other aspects of English grammar than one wouldn’t expect from an insta-image sized poem. It is a contemporary book of poetry for the modern poet- Short enough for the modern poet and complex enough for the contemporary reader

The collection begins with life as a Nigerian in poems like “Nigeria as a hundred Naifather note” and “transformed don blow“. Then moves on to other aspects. He talks about how society now is kind of like the “Bishop” in chess game, everyone just moves in and out and no one looks out for one another. This poem is called “persistence of vision“.

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He also talks deeply about love in this collection, which came as a surprise to me because from my brief interaction with the author, I didn’t think he was such a romantic, which his poems reveal him to be. Will post some of my favorites below:

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But of course, unless you are Harper lee and the book is “to kill a mockingbird”, no book is 100% for me. With that being said, A few of the poems in the book especially the prose got a bit complicated for me to grasp the entire picture. I also wish it had a content page, which would make it easier to access the poems I love and of course, it’s a short collection of poetry, so I hope there’s going to be a “from the sniper’s perspective 2.0” in the near future.

That being said, I would give the book a 4/5. It reminds me of Sylvia Plath meets Billy Collins because of it’s metaphor and wit filled poems. Don’t forget to stop by on the author’s instapage (@the_anonymous_cherif) and say hello. Also, He blogs at The anonymous Cherif blog

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Walking away…

Walking away…

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And he said, “I am fond of you”, just that.
Not “I love you”, or “I like you”, He just felt a fondness for me. Something to say he enjoyed being in my company but, He wouldn’t take it any further.
For a while, it was enough for me. I couldn’t get the entire cake, so I settled for that little slice, enough to leave a sweet taste in my mouth for a while.

But as all things come crashing down eventually, my fantasy did. I realized when you love someone, “fondness” just couldn’t cut it. There’s a little bitterness that begins to form in the throat when you tell someone “I love you”, and they smile and utter, “I’m fond of you too”.

The bitterness spread in my mouth and I knew I had to make a choice. It was either him or me. If I choose him, I lose myself. So before my heart could convince me to do otherwise, I ran. Not literally. In the span of a few moments, I deleted his contacts, his pictures, his physicalities, leaving only his memories. His memories… Science had taught me a time will come when they will begin to fade too.

Sometimes, you have to love yourself enough to walk away from things and people who put a dent around your heart.

Without you-

Without you-

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I’ve always wondered
What it would feel like
If one day we awaken and
The sun refused to shine.
If the tree leaves stood ramrod
Without the rhythm of the winds.
If the birds remained in their niches,
And the sky stood empty.

What would it feel like
If all the coffee shops lacked coffee,
(Decaf does not count),
If papers wouldn’t take up poetry,
If silence was the new “pollution”.
And noise became (what’s noise?)

Then you left.
Although,
The coffee shops are still stocked
And of course the sun arose.
The tree leaves are dancing,
And the birds going to and fro.
Today.. I know how it feels.


Last month was my blogiversary, and I asked you all to ask any questions you want to be answered. For this month, I’d be posting my blog posts with an answer to a question, so keep an eye out for that.

Question 2 (Jodi) She asks “where does your inspiration for your writing comes from. It is often sad and deep and I worry it is about you.”

Most of the time, I get my inspiration from life. I am not an abstract person, so abstract art and still life art are not my forte. I cant look at an empty cup and easily gain inspiration from that. My inspiration comes from people. 

I am a very inquisitive person, I love to understand people, why they feel the way the do, why they react certain ways. And if i don’t have answers to that, I find that poetry gives me the freedom to create that. It helps me fill in the remaining pictures of a puzzle. And also, the amount tragedy and sadness floating around becomes too much for me to contain at times, and so writing becomes a way of unburdening.
I hope that answers the question.

My Truth (about depression)

My Truth (about depression)

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Depression
Is not just a phase
Like the girl who outgrows
Enacting plays with dolls,
Or pretending the mirror
Is her applauding audience.

Depression
Is not just sadness
It is screaming and anger
And irritability-
Being a short ended fuse.
It is rudeness and numbness
And night vigil,
To make it go away.

Depression’s antidote
Is not love.
It doesn’t magically evaporate
By the presence of someone
Whose world revolves around
You.
Love makes it better,
Love is no cure.

Depression is not glamorous.
It is pure hell,
It is a mean friend.

Last month was my blogiversary, and I asked you all to ask any questions you want to be answered. For this month, I’d be posting my blog posts with an answer to a question, so keep an eye out for that.
Question 1 (Colin and Ray). He asked: What was the most impactful event (what has influenced you the most) in your life to date?

I had to think a lot about this because there’s been quite a few events, but, I ended up choosing one. And this is because, this particular event was what started a spiral for me and that event is “leaving home and going to another country (Sudan) at the age of 15 to start university.
The main reason I chose this is because, I know now, that if everything that occurred with me whilst I was in Sudan, had happened back at home, the end results would have been completely different. So moving to Sudan at that particular age and time, made all the difference.
Thank you very much For the question Colin.

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

Writer’s Poem: Aftermath of loss

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Writer’s poem Wednesday is back. The past few months I was away, I came across some great poems which were previously unfamiliar to me. I love striking a chord with new poetry. Today’s poem talks about a woman whose son resembles her deceased brother, both in mannerism and physically. Its a beautiful reflection of the aftermath of the death of a loved one. I hope you like it.

A drink of water by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.

Half rebel/Half angel

Half rebel/Half angel

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What can I say about the woman,
Who grows younger with age;
And when she smiles,
It looks like the sun shines out from her face.

The woman, who
Struts the earth, like it’s her stage,
And it’s dwellers, her audience.
Whose voice carries an arid detachment
When necessary,
Yet holds within it- a sanctity which says
Okay- you got this- I am here for you,
When necessary.

What can I say about the woman-
Who is part storm, part rainbow,
Part rebel, part angel;
Part Iron, Part Honey
A woman who is everything
I hope to be.

All I want to say,
I cannot say…
About the woman who grows younger
With every passing day.

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading the words of a fellow blogger, Kailee Venzin. It struck a chord with me. And today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with all of you, for my writer’s poem Wednesday.

Yes, I know, I should have posted a contemporary poem but this really, is a great one. I hope you enjoy. Do check out her blog for more poems at: https://innervoicewriting.wordpress.com/

I have seen the world gone mad by Kailee Venzin

I have seen the world gone mad,
seen women bolstered by deep aches
and sly “handshakes”, burning
flags and setting the world on fire.

But I feel lost,
swallowed by a fever.
I drift as if someone took a bite out of me
and spit me out into the world.
I want to stop living in fear of losing another part of myself.

I want to be a lighthouse in the city,
call all my sisters home.
I want to pull the lost ones in,
be the blanket around their trembling bodies.
I want to feel the rebound of heat
of my breath on their necks, whisper-
It’s okay to be broken.
We’re beautiful broken.

I want to be a pussy willow,
that furry young catkin
whispering on her skin.
Soothe her like
that softness did for me as a child.
I want to shout-
You don’t have to wear hard soled shoes
to walk over the rocks.
You can wait til your feet have calloused.
You can wait til your shoulders are strong enough
to hold your body upside down.
I want to take every broken child,
their butter skin between my sidewalk hands
and say-
Don’t you dare lose that
wild wonder in your eyes.
Don’t you dare forget
that strength in your pelvis,
the fervor that carried you home.
You can be broken,
Oh, so broken,
And still be strong.

Mental Health Friday #8

Mental Health Friday #8

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I am diagnosed (at the moment) with rapid cycling bi polar type 2, extreme anxiety, agrophabia, fear of crowds, but that stems from the anxiety.

I feel I was lucky that I had been in my relationship for a while, before I got diagnosed, because for my partner he was suddenly dealing with a different person. Rather than the out-going, always smiling, high flyer, he had known for the previous two and half years, instead, he was dealing with a 6 month pregnant lady, who would cry at the drop of a hat, refused to leave the flat and couldn’t give a flying fig about her job

Due to the fact that I was pregnant, it was easy enough to get me to the doctors and luckily, I wasn’t that far gone and was still able to see something wasn’t right. At that point I was blaming the hormones triggering something, but the fact is I have always been a little bit quirky, shall we say, and thankfully my partner who had known me for nearly 20 years, knew it too.

The doctor sent me for CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and by the time my son was born, I was not only very stable but with the support of my partner, had started up my own little business and we moved into a house with a garden. Read more

My Father-

My Father-

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My father…
What isn’t there to say,
About the man, whose voice
Carried a coldness, akin to the
December weather.

His footsteps-
you could swear left
imprints, on the cold hard
Impenetrable ground.

And his eyes,
had a constantly hovering
Guard of beetle black hair
Furrowed above them. Like a
Permanent tattoo.

He stood ramrod straight,
And spoke in an untremulous way.
He was the dictionary definition of
“Head of the household”.

Then- mama found a place
Amongst the soil,
Six feet under- enshrouded
In white.

His shoulders slopped,
His eyes sacked,
His voice lost the arid detachment
It was famous for… His footsteps,
Barely audible.

And I learnt,
Even a mountain requires
A solid ground to build up on.
Without it- it’d crumble.
My father lost his solid ground.

 

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

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Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed…

Do the above lines sound familiar? Most of us grew up reciting them. I cant remember exactly who taught me the poem, or where I was taught. Was it in school? At home? By my classmates? All I can remember is knowing the poem.

This famous poem was actually written by Ann Taylor in the 18/19th century. It was written at a time when maternal and child care was poor, and a lot of mothers would watch their children get ill and die from illnesses.

This poem reminds me of Love. I hope it takes you down memory lane…

My mother by Ann Taylor

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother.

The beautiful image above is gotten from: http://www.bestsayingsquotes.com/quote/who-ran-to-help-me-when-i-fell-and-would-some-pretty-story-2003.html