I found this form of Cinquain poetry and decided to give it a try. I’m sharing eight poems and would love to hear if any of them resonate or stand out for you. Don’t be shy. Some are serious and some are simply fun. The rules are:
Didactic Cinquain Poem Form 1:
This is a very popular form of cinquain that instead of incorporating stress and syllables, it uses word counts.
The first line is one word which is the title of the poem.
The second line contains two words which are adjectives that describe the title.
The third line has three words that tell the reader more about the subject of the poem or show action. Many times these words are gerunds that end with -ing.
The fourth line has four words that show emotions about the subject of the poem and may be individual words or a phrase.
The fifth line is one word that is a synonym of the title or is very similar to it.
And now for the poems and some of my photos:
Emotions Raw, hurtful Aching, reeling, falling Catches you by surprise Reactions
In the midst of working on my upcoming poetry collection, I carved out time to read some wonderful books. They piled up, waiting for reviews to be written, and I finally finished. All are well worth the five stars I give them, and the order in which they’re presented is irrelevant, as well as the length of my reviews. I enjoyed all of these books equally. There is something here for everyone: for poetry lovers, crime novel enthusiasts, and those who enjoy an entertaining and authentic memoir. I hope you dive in!
Lion Scream by Robbie Cheadle – An effective poetry collection conveying a vital message.
While I turned the pages of Robbie Cheadle’s new book, I became enlightened. I absorbed the information she includes about South African wildlife and the vital message that flows seamlessly from beginning to end. Lion Scream is a unique and touching collection of poetry that takes the reader on a journey to learn about the wildlife in South Africa from Robbie’s personal experiences in the bush, but not to omit “their plight in the face of the Sixth Mass Extinction.” Her passion for wildlife is surely felt throughout the pages.
A wide variety of animals are highlighted in this collection with stunning, color photos. Animals range from lions, tigers, cheetahs, hippos, and elephants to the Hadeda bird that I had never heard of before. Robbie profoundly expresses how the habitats of these incredible animals have been lost due to global warming, and how the animals’ safety has been compromised due to the evil actions of humans, all because of greed. Robbie’s emotions are palpable through her powerful and sometimes distressing poems. The book takes a detour in the end with a short story that touches on mental health, but the story ties into the initial issue of global warming and the lost habitats.
Robbie’s poem entitled, “Lion Scream” may be short, but its message is concise and effective:
There is no jungle/Only acres of smooth stumps/There is no jungle/No habitat, no food source/Hopeless lion screams tonight
And below is a verse from the heartbreaking poem “Rhino Dilemma” –
Savage men move quickly/Hack out valued horn/Animal left bleeding; awakes to sure death/Tears of pain and anguish/Slide from fading eyes
Years ago, I read two non-fiction books about elephants, and I instantly fell in love with them. So, reading Robbie’s poems about these amazing animals and the poaching horrors they endure is beyond heart wrenching. But a few poems are playful, painting a delightful picture:
Now it’s time for some fun/Trunk draws in water/Up it comes, spraying a fountain overhead/Cool drops sprinkle downward/She trumpets with joy
A few of Robbie’s poems made me smile, but most tugged at my heart because of the serious issues of extinction, human actions that result in the animals’ suffering, and climate change. Anyone who wishes to become educated on these issues or who wishes to foster a solution where humans and animals can contentedly coexist should read Lion Scream. Highly recommended.
Poet’s Touch by Kamal Roohani – Beautiful expressions of loving life!
Poet’s Touch by Kamal Roohani is a delightful collection of freestyle poetry that I savored over several days. Each poem evokes an emotion, most are uplifting, but a tinge of sadness lies in a few. I kept Kamal’s lovely book on our coffee table, so each morning I read a few poems while enjoying my cup. I’ve followed Kamal’s blog for a while now, and I find her passion for living is just as apparent in this collection as it is in each of her blog posts. She writes about life, her love of nature, adding a touch of romance. After reading Kamal’s beautiful poetry that often exudes wisdom to live by, I had no doubt that she views life as beautiful, which is reiterated in one of her poems:
Life is a beautiful journey/Do what makes you happy/Let go of things you do not want/And she will take you by her hand/Upon the spiritual doorways of bliss
Kamal inspires her readers effortlessly to feel elation and gratitude as she does when receiving the gift of a new day. Her poem entitled “Key to Happiness” is a leading example:
Unlocking the key to happiness Is purely in your gentle hands. Break open the chains Of tarnished rust Smeared with greasy stains Worn out beyond repairs. Let go of fears that befall you, Oil the locks with golden waves. They will fall as thunderous roars And shatter to imaginative pieces. Once the doors are wide open Happiness enters with a wide grin Radiating the entire room With bundles of infectious delights Snugly tiptoeing in Hearts Made of song and dance And with a pinch of humor Opening gateways to love.
Another favorite is “I Thought to Myself” where Kamal pens “Happily upon the silvery greens/and in this profound silence/a captivating moment of peace/I realized that I am the sphere/and all life in rhythmic fragments/moves within Me.
Poet’s Touch is Kamal’s debut poetry book with a lovely cover created by her son, but I hope she releases more books in the future. Highly recommended for poetry lovers and for anyone who welcomes inspiration and a reminder that life truly is a gift.
The Lilac Notebook by Carol Balawyder – A compelling crime novel unlike any I’ve read before!
The Lilac Notebook touches on three intense subjects: Alzheimer’s, Incest, and Murder. The mystery component is accompanied with the main protagonist, Holly, being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Sadly, she follows in her mother’s footsteps. She’s also been married for two decades to a controlling man who can’t be burdened with her disease. So, Holly finds herself on her own, dealing with the slow declining of her mind. But she meets and befriends two women along the way; both have been abused in their childhood, but both view the abuse from opposite spectrums. And of all things to happen, Holly discovers a dead body! She loses her ability to speak and write, but she can formulate thoughts, and perseveres to the end to find the killer!
Carol Balawyder does a superb job in keeping the reader engaged until the last page. Along with telling a story that kept me on the edge of my seat, she incorporates facts about Alzheimer’s. My brother-in-law passed away years ago from this horrible disease, and even though my sister is a nurse, the effects drained her. It was heartbreaking for her to see the love of her life transform through the various phases, and it was heartbreaking for me to witness her caring for him.
Throughout this compelling murder mystery, I felt compassion for Holly, fearful for her safety, and questioned the trustworthiness of her two new friends. Other supporting characters had me wondering if they were the murderer. This book is a real nail-biter for those who enjoy crime novels, but also for anyone whose life has been intruded by Alzheimer’s. Carol inserts a plethora of information, so reading this story is a way to gain more knowledge on this disease. Highly recommended!
Hidden in Childhood – A moving poetry anthology edited by Gabriela Marie Milton.
Hidden in Childhood is a poetry anthology consisting of the works from 150 poets and edited by Gabriela Marie Milton. The poems are written about the good and the bad as indicated on the cover. Some reflect upon wonderful memories in childhood, the fairytales, while others return to the horrors, the memories wished to be erased. The writing is beautiful, raw, emotional, delightful, and heartfelt in varying styles. It was difficult to read about the horrors, but I respect the authors for telling their story to the world through this poignant collection. My heart broke when reading about the unthinkable scenarios that were so very real. But throughout the book, I also felt joy.
There are too many poems to list that stood out. Several either made my heart sing or cracked it in two. And with the length of this anthology, I prefer not to name any favorites. Every poem is well written, and I congratulate Gabriela in compiling this large collection of emotional writing. I applaud all the contributors, and my heart goes out to the authors whose horrific memories continue to haunt them. I highly recommend this book for all poetry lovers but warn your heart of the hidden truths. We were all children at one time but reading the ‘stories’ in this book will inform that everyone’s experience simply is not the same. Highly recommended.
Grow Damn It! By Cheryl Oreglia – An honest, entertaining, and relatable telling of life!
Grow Damn It! is a collection of essays that interlace into a memoir of moments that made me double over in laughter and turn inward, reflecting on my own life. For anyone living their second half of life, this book is for you! Cheryl tells it like it is. She doesn’t hold back, speaks the truth, and adds humor that is the perfect ingredient to make this book an enjoyable read. But along with laughter, some stories tugged at my heart, and many were relatable being around the same age as her. I also found subtle messages of wisdom to grasp and live by sprinkled throughout the turning of the pages. Her writing is so relaxed that I felt like the two of us were sitting on the patio one summer evening enjoying a glass of wine, catching up about marriage, children, grandchildren, and even dealing with loss of loved ones.
I had many favorites, but to name a few, I could relate to “After You Say I Do” when she writes about her long-time marriage. Having been happily married to my husband for thirty-four years, her words truly touched home. “Life Turns On Small Choices” made me pause when I read about her finding out that her son had been in an accident – the phone call no parent wants to answer. In “Can I Tell You About My Day?” Cheryl talks about sheltering in place during the early days of the pandemic. An example of her humor begins the story, “Good, because if I don’t let it out, it’s going to escape in some other form and, at my age, excessive flatulence is unbecoming!” But setting humor aside, this story ends on a serious note with a valuable life lesson from three precious little girls.
Another favorite is “Honey, I’m Home Forever” in which she inserts these lines that I agree with, “The thing is, home is not the house, or the town in which you live. It’s the people you love and the ones who love you, and it’s not just when you get together. It’s not a place but the experience of each other that creates a shelter as if bricks, one that you carry with you for your entire life, that’s home.” And yet another story that resonates since both of my parents have passed, and my father-in-law just turned 100 years old is “25 Things I Wish I had Asked My Parents.” My father-in-law still gets peppered with questions from his family, and his mind is as sharp as ever. But new questions pop up now and then that I wish I had asked my parents. I can’t help but hold a few tiny regrets.
I could go on and on telling you about the stories that were special to me. All the essays form a wonderful memoir full of life, love, laughter, and tears, and yes, Growth! Highly recommended for entertainment, reflection, and for being reminded that life is meant to live fully!
Grief Songs by Elizabeth Gauffreau – a beautiful, poetic tribute to loved ones who have passed.
Grief Songs is a beautiful memoir written as a collection of poetry about the author’s loved ones who have passed. Most of the poems are written in tanka style which is a syllabic form of Japanese poetry consisting of five lines: 5/7/5/7/7. But even though the words are few, they portray memorable images and pack in emotions that are easily felt. Elizabeth’s words are emotionally personal and complemented by lovely family photos. I found this collection to be a wonderful tribute to her family members who have passed but whose love for them remains in her heart. It is also a book that keeps the special memories alive.
A couple poems that warm my heart are:
On the Porch
brother and sister brave howling winds, snow’s cruel bite safely on the porch snowsuit swish, smile for Daddy no memory of that day
nightly ritual strategic choice of story Daddy called it Time wait till your father gets home not a threat but a promise
“Boy Scout Badge” reminds me of our son’s great experiences in Boy Scouts and all the badges he earned with my husband’s guidance:
walk a dusty road distance meritorious no badge without proof Daddy matched him step for step hot August sun beating down
“For a Crooked Smile” made my heart pause:
oh, that crooked smile he was my little brother teller of tall tales he smiled for me one last time around the tube in his throat
As well as “Grief Song III” –
I held her hand/as she lay dying/death rattle/in my throat
I highly recommend this lovely poetry collection for a chance to remember, to smile, and to even let a tear slide once again. After reading Elizabeth’s poems, I appreciate her opening the door into her life through her heartfelt writing. We all have lost loved ones, so this book is a comforting reminder to keep those precious memories in the forefront of our minds.
Thank you for reading, and I do hope you find one or a few of these amazing books to snuggle up with in those much-needed quiet moments.
I’ve been on a break and during that time, my husband and I visited our son in VA . He was able to dust off his ‘tour guide’ and ‘host’ hats again, and of course, he did a fabulous job. Just spending time with him in his apartment, catching up about life and enjoying wine and good food, is something special we’ll never take for granted. But he did have fun playing tour guide, so a few places we visited were Arlington National Cemetery, Harper’s Ferry, Shenandoah National Park, and the Teddy Roosevelt Island. Some sights were simply breathtaking while others such as the Cemetery were somber. We couldn’t help but get teary-eyed. It was relaxing driving around the area too, reveling in the sights of acres and acres of lush green grass. Just gorgeous! Here are a few photos that I hope you enjoy;
And to top off this post, today is my father-in-law’s 100th BIRTHDAY!! He suffers with pain but walks with a walker, and his mind is as sharp as ever. It’s beyond amazing! He didn’t want a big party, so we had a small gathering with family and friends, and he was very appreciative. When the celebration was over, we took him home so he could take a nap!!! 🎉🎉
Thank you for stopping by! Work continues on my upcoming book, and the release month is now June for ‘summer reading.’ I’m also working on reviews for some wonderful books I’ve read this year. I hope you are doing well, and I wish you a bright start to this new month of May.
This will be short, but first of all, thank you for your continued support to my little corner in the land of blogging. It’s been over ten years and I’m still truckin’ along, loving the journey and wonderful connections this community offers. Not to mention, the online classroom, so many forms of poetry and writing tips shared.
More gratitude for those who have offered tremendous support in any way for my latest book, More than Coffee. You are greatly and graciously appreciated. I apologize for the sappy component. Then again, it’s intentional. 🙂
And in closing, I’ll be taking a little time off from blogland to focus on family. So, I regret to miss your posts, but we all know the feeling that whirls around us when a break is needed. And perhaps, life nudges us with clues as well. Comments are also closed. But I look forward to seeing you all in the beginning of May.
Take care. Stay well. Be happy. Hugs of gratitude coming your way…
While I work on my upcoming poetry collection entitled,Ever So Gently, I am delighted to still watch beautiful reviews for More than Coffee continue to trickle in. As I mention in the preface, “Whatever roast I sip, it’s the people, places, experiences, and memories that matter most to me-coffee just happens to be a bonus.” And this is exactly what compiling these memories was all about in the first place. Of course, you can sip any drink you enjoy while (I hope) relishing my stories and poems. But I’ll add that the cover of the book is a photo that was taken at Spider Lake in The Sierra, a favorite backpacking spot of mine and my husband’s. And there’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the mountains in the early morning hours when the sun is just waking up.
A big thanks to Michele, Debby, Darlene, and Alex (Trish) who are fabulous writers in our amazing online community! ❤️
Reading the poems and stories found in More than Coffee, by Lauren Scott, felt like being served a combination of delicious home-cooked food, with hot coffee of course, engaging in conversation with a friend, and strolling through family photo albums. If you are in the mood for a wholesome read about family, written by a writer who comes across as grateful, sentimental, and compassionate, then I recommend Scott’s charming memories in verse and prose.
A beautiful book of short slices of poignant moments of life in the author’s life, enhanced with poetic snapshots of life.
Scott invites us into her gratitude, loving memories and pieces of time that were stepping stones to her growth in life and relationships. I could relate to her stories, even though they were her stories. How legend Barbra Streisand was her idol and spurred on her love for music and singing into her hair brush microphone, how in a moment she knew her husband would become the love of her life and how time played out until their meeting was ripe.
Memories in verse and prose of personal times and achievements in romance, love growth, like when the nest became empty, love and loss with her father in law, pushing limits to go backpacking in later years. Written in a personal telling as though the author opened up her heart and shared memories, inviting us into her slices of life that many of us will find relatable in our own lives. This book is a love letter of gratitude of a life well lived and felt.
I enjoy the natural, easy-to-relate-to, style of Lauren Scott’s writing. In the preface, she mentions that – “Whatever roast I sip, it’s the people, places, experiences, and memories that matter most to me-coffee just happens to be a bonus.” I’m sure I will be forgiven for relaxing with a cup of tea as I relaxed and devoured her collection of short vignettes and poems inspired by her life, past and present. Some of my favourite pieces include “Silver Heirlooms”; memories of parents no longer with us. “Red Lipstick” which made me recall watching my own mother put on her make-up. “Belong” is a perfect poem for couples in love; perfect for Valentine’s Day. “97 Years” is a wonderful legacy of a man of substance and made me think of my dear mom and how she had to deal with the loneliness of the pandemic. “The Phone Call” reminded me of my daughter and our lengthy phone calls discussing everything and bringing us closer in spite of an ocean between us. There is something for everyone in this well-written collection which is definitely more than coffee.
By Alex Craigie
This collection of poetry and short stories is described by Lauren Scott as ‘memories in verse and prose’. She has captured the mood and experiences so well, they resonated and reminded me of my own. The author writes about simple, everyday moments. In The Right Time her poem about letting go of things contains a familiar note of caution – “some things do need to be held onto. To let go of everything/would be like watching a balloon/ escaping into the big blue sky/ slowly fading away.” These short pieces delight, comfort, amuse, and paint grief and longing as effectively as a full-length novel. Laughing Spiders made me chuckle with recognition (as an arachnophobe) whereas The Phone Call is a poignant piece about empty nesters. 1989 tells of falling in love but carries a warning: “Don’t ever think you can change someone. Accept them for who they are or move on.” This advice could save many a relationship! The selection is personal but the truths captured within them speak to everyone. There are references to family life and the grief of losing parents, but also to well-observed moments including backpacking and camping trips, singing in concert halls and falling in love. Two of my favourite pieces are Simple Existence and The Gift – both are syllabic poems and the writing is exquisite. These are poems that made me stop and take stock. They gave me goosebumps.
Below are two favorites mentioned in these reviews:
Tranquility embraces – the sun’s exit advances. Listening to whispers among the trees, our time here is a gift, and when we depart, the gift will belong to someone else.
Do you trust me? Will you take my hand and let me lead the way to a place transcending boundaries of our reality? Let us get lost in tranquility – dancing to the majesty of the surroundings, feeling rhythm vibrate through our bones. For as long as our hearts desire, this is our destination. Time is but a memory. Its existence leaves no trace on the path where we tread. There is only you, me, and the intensity of our belonging to each other.
And another favorite of other’s for this new season of spring. One daffodil in the sunshine provided inspiration…
Its canary boldness rises up to the sun alone, yet not lonely, hearing nothing, but wearing bravery on each petal – standing tall with spirit in lean green attire, as if soaking up the day’s endless possibilities.
I am grateful for these lovely reviews and for all that my book has received. And Thank You in advance to those who may decide to sink into my memories in the future. And as I’ve read here in the land of blogging, reviews are like hugs, so if you enjoy my book, well, I won’t ask...🤗
Saturday arrived in its discreet mode, late afternoon around five o’clock. Cocktail hour for some. We relaxed on the tan patio sofa, and glasses of red and white sparkled from a touch of sunlight as they sat on the blue round table. Nothing stirred; no song of birds echoed in the trees. Our view of the street over the top of the redwood fence showed stillness. Not even the roof of an auto could be seen as it moved up the road. Only the ringing of chimes in the summer breeze could be heard. Huge billows of clouds in the vivid blue sky floated leisurely as if they had no pressing destination in mind. The warm breeze twirled like a welcomed embrace. The white, wicker rocker gently rocked back and forth…on its own.
Gabbing in hushed voices, it was not our intention, but the world was so tranquil that we didn’t want to distract from the meditative environment. August had already arrived, and yet, it seemed spring in her colorful fashion had just visited yesterday. How time swiftly passed as we grew older. We reminisced about Diane, my mother-in-law. Her birthday was approaching, and we missed her. The rocker kept rocking. Had her spirit joined us? She appreciated good wine too. Perhaps, she wished to indulge with her son and daughter-in-law, but another time, another place. Thirty-one fleeting years. Her life ended when our daughter’s had just begun. A mother lost; a baby girl born.
Our eyes on the rocker, forward then backward, and forward again. Her presence was sensed. We hoped for what some would believe to be impractical. But who were we to say what was possible or impossible? The universe and all it encompasses was too vast to attain that magnitude of knowledge. Maybe this serene, Saturday afternoon moment was the beginning of our ethereal tale to tell. Believing may just be the key component because we wanted to imagine her beautiful self in our company. If only for one more time.
After clicking on the above link, you’ll see my poem on the right sidebar on the very top, “The World is Broken.”
Voting will cease on Wednesday, March 1st, and soon after we will reveal the winner. Please note, you need to register and/or login to vote. The winning publication will be featured on Spillwords.com sidebar during the entire month of March.
I am truly honored to receive this nominationand to be among so many talented authors!
If you haven’t read my poem, “The World is Broken,” you can read ithere .
Now, the last thing I want to ask anyone to do is to create another account and password! I’m sure the mental cabinet you stash away your millions of accounts and passwords tilts as much as your TBR!!! But, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
So, would you be so kind as to vote for me before March 1st? I would greatly appreciate your support! But there is no pressure to create an account and I understand that dilemma. 🤗
Most importantly,Thank you for stopping by, for voting if you do, and for simply reading and considering!
I hope you will…You can show your love by clicking on the heart to “like” the poem, or to leave a comment, you’ll need to create an account and log in. I offer my heartfelt thanks in advance if you choose one of these options. ❤️
Thank you so much to Dagmara K. and her team for this wonderful opportunity of becoming a part of Spillwords Press.