Tree of a Thousand Twigs [Free Verse]

When monsoon rains soaked the soil,
that old tree toppled.

They cut it out of the roadway,
&
I went out to count its rings,
but found it not with hundreds of rings,
but hundreds of trunks --
many no more than twigs.

What a mighty tree 
a pile of twigs pressed together 
can make,
& 
now it's gone.

BOOK REVIEW: Step by Bloody Step, Vol. 1 by Simon Spurrier

Step By Bloody StepStep By Bloody Step by Simon Spurrier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Release date: August 30, 2022

This is the story of a young girl who goes on journey through a wondrous – and often perilous – exotic land with only the company of her giant knightly protector. The early part of the book involves this odd couple confronting various threats as they engage in their quest, but then they arrive in a fantastical realm, running up against their most dire threat yet — humanity.

This fantasy quest / adventure graphic novel is presented almost entirely without words. Each section is begun with a few poetically vague lines, but otherwise it’s entirely pictorial. The question is whether it works, or is like watching a movie with the sound and subtitles turned off – i.e. confusing and frustrating. The answer is complicated. For one thing, the part of the book where it’s just the girl and the giant works quite well because there aren’t a lot of characters to confuse or complex actions to grasp. However, this limits the story to a series of random unfortunate events. From the part where they arrive at civilization, it becomes less easily comprehended. There’s a lot of potential for: “Who is that, and why are they doing that?” And the conclusion has some complex story elements that are hard to comprehend without textual cues.

For another thing, it really depends on how attached one is as a reader to grasping what the author intended. If one is highly attached, one will probably spend a fair amount of time flipping back and forth and it will become an exercise in frustration as one tries to decipher meaning. If you don’t have such hang-ups – i.e. you see the act of reading as interpretative and believe all you need to do is let your brain make sense of the story (as it might in a dream — ) then it can be great fun. I came down on the latter side.

The artwork is imaginative and the “reading” process fascinating. If you’re game for a wordless story, you may want to check this one out.


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Buffalo Horn Limerick

There was a funny buffalo named Stitches
whose horns bent back like malformed glitches.
"Some horns are for goring
and others for warring,
but mine are for inaccessible itches."

DAILY PHOTO: Tomb of Hayat Bakshi Begum, Hyderabad

Taken on August 7, 2022 at the Qutb Shahi Tombs [Golconda]

BOOK REVIEW: Cotton Candy by Ted Kooser

Cotton Candy: Poems Dipped Out of the AirCotton Candy: Poems Dipped Out of the Air by Ted Kooser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Release date: September 1, 2022

The new collection by Ted Kooser is vibrant and playful. While imagery is front and center in these poems, it’s not the imagery of still life, but rather conveys the constant motion of all things. It’s that dynamism that makes for an uplifting read. Most of the entries are nature-centric, but a few – like the titular poem – delve into the world of man.

It’s a brief collection, consisting of about seventy short-form poems.

With so many mopey poetry collections out there, it was a pleasure to read one that enlivens and energizes. I’d highly recommend it for poetry readers.


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