Posted in Poetry

Seashells

She wished her dreams secretly
Sitting on the rock by the shore
Lest the spirits tear them anon
And keep her a hostage to fortune
Until her spirit left her in surrender
To the mercenaries of death in the pact.

Luck was a stranger, so was Faith.
But Hope always stayed with her
On the rock against winds and waves
As a Friend like Pellas and Athena
giving the light of Hope to Despondence
reviving Breath of Reason to wait still.

One day Hope told her to write a letter
To Heaven about her Seven Wishes
So that the West Wind would carry it
On his feathered wings like Pegasus’
To the Palace of King direct and express
And He would open and read it at once.

So she wrote her letter to King
Of Seven Wishes sealed in secret
Stood and flew a lithe kite carrying
The wishes in words fluttering in the breeze
And waited for the West Wind to come
And deliver them upward further higher

Alas! The Wishes sent to the skies
Fell from the wings of the wind,
As her heart’s whispers were wafted
Downward, leeward, seaward
Until mermaids caught in their outing
And treasured them in the shells.

Posted in book review

Letters of Note by Shaun Usher

Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider AudienceLetters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was from “A Way with Words” a public radio show about the English language, including the origins of words, the usages, and good books that I came to know this lovely book. It’s a stupendous compendium of letters from the famous and the ordinary from the ancient to the modern with beautiful photo copies of the letters reproduced in the book. The letters span the whole range of human emotions from kindness, passion, love, joy to heartbreak, anger, disappointment, and longing as the contents of the letters reveal the writer’s’ innermost thoughts, feelings, and emotions through the vehicles of pen and paper.

Reading each of the letters made me feel deeply touched by the universality of humanity and reflective of the human nature manifested in writing without prejudice on the grounds of appearances and social standings, which influence our perceptions of individuals. Readers can find lots of very interesting letters in this book. Of all the letters in the book, the following three letters resonate in my mind: (1) E. B. White’s letter to his gentleman acquaintance regarding the importance of having hope for humanity; (2) Anaïs Nin’s rebuking letter to a faceless collector of her co-authored “Erotica” for his demand of more prevalent racy contents; and (3) a nameless German woman’s letter to her husband asking him to take her back home from a dreadful mental hospital she was in. It was so heartbreaking to read her brief letter to her husband that I could feel her pain, fear, and sadness alone in the grim place… I commiserated with her….

Mr. Usher in his foreword states that if the readers are inspired to put pen to paper by reading the letters in the book, his intention of compiling the book will be fulfilled and greatly appreciated. That’s a very noble intention and sublime aspiration in this digital age. This book is a lovely work of art which the readers will never tire of.