book reviews

Poetry You’ll Love

I have read two excellent poetry books in the last month, both to be savored, shared, and re-read.

  • Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony by Sally Cronin
  • Slivers: Chiseled Poetry — poetry that makes you think

Here are my reviews:

–Note: Reviews I post are almost always 4/5 or 5/5. I read books that I rank lower but I don’t share them.

Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony

by Sally Cronin


In Sally Cronin’s first collection of poetry (I think–she has a lot of fiction collections), Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony (2021), be ready for a lilting collection of well-selected words, expertly managed and enhanced by images. Her stated goal:

… to share aspects of life and nature that we experience on a daily basis, but also can sometimes catch us by surprise.

Goal accomplished. The words rely on the images and vice versa–neither is complete without the other. Not only does the message challenge the reader to think deeply but to see beyond what’s on paper.

Some of the fifty+ poems are there just to be enjoyed, to lift your day, but others are to make you think.

…nature takes advantage of the break from progress…

Time can be fleeting or last a lifetime

Some made me think. At first read, I thought I knew what the words meant, even the subliminal message, but on a second read, realized I’d missed the point:

We leave, driven to pass on precious genes, of strength and stamina, humans will need to thrive

Dreams often open pathways, clear of the wakeful detritus, leading our minds in a direction to that sweet spot of perfect clarity.

One of my favorite poems was Skepticism. It touches on politics but not one side or the other. It picked those truths I think everyone believes, hard truths but said so beautifully, instead of anger, I  felt sadness.

Politics where truth is scattered on the wind. Media mines dirt from fake news to mislead Agendas wth facts spun to fit planned outcomes Climate change based on flawed research creates wealth Our money works to pay banker’s bonuses Pinch of salt. needed to prevent brain washing.

And my favorite line:

To challenge is to be labelled a nut case.

I had planned to read this slowly, over time, but found I couldn’t stop. Highly recommended for any who have loved Cronin’s other fiction or those who want to be challenged.

Note to Sally: I found my name in your glove. I am honored.

Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

by Balroop Singh


This latest from Balroop Singh, Slivers: Chiseled Poetry (2021) is a delightful collection of Haiku, what is a favorite poetry form of many. Balroop is a master of this form. I loved it from Page 1, her dedication to her husband:

“who speaks like ‘haiku’ – short but profoundly meaningful”

Balroop is well known for her poetic ability to connect words that ultimately give more than simple meaning to lines and phrases but a feeling to the whole. I have savored most of her poetry books (here are my reviews for Magical Whispers, Timeless Echoes, and Moments We Love). This particular collection shares the wonder of nature as told with haikus and to a lesser extent acrostic poems. Haiku is one of my favorite poetic forms as it is for millions. Done right, it adds dimension to a topic that can’t be reached any other way.

Here are examples of her artistry. What do you think?

coruscating lilies smile at me, heralding spring, spreading colorful cheer
we fly on the waves of whim when our dreams get wings clouds crumble to comply
a light within me illuminates dead desires that gasp with the waves
wind plays pranks today knocks them down yet petals smile! scattered elegance
mist engulfed me the cavern waited to devour my positive vibes
detachment carried her into an abyss of emotions emerging seems irresistible
This is truly poetry that makes you think. Enjoy!

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

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