Photograph Poem

As I was re-reading some of my old poems, I stumbled upon one that was based on a photograph. I enjoyed the poem so much, that I thought I’d write today’s poem based on a different photograph. Disclaimer, it was much harder than I thought.

The sunset caught my eyes at first

Its beauty a shining light on all who see

The clouds quickly evict the space

Allowing the sun to extend its rays

The hills stood tall, stopping the sun in its track

The lake, nature’s very own mirror

Reflecting the magnificence of all that is above


And soon my gaze moved to her

Dressed in denim and trainers

Her faced botoxed with the look of epiphany  

She perched herself on the glass decking

With a glass full of wine in hand

Her attempt at causality overwhelmed with forced elegance


I took a deep breath to process it all

The beauty that we experience

Some made by man

And some made by God.


Thank you for reading.

Beyond my window lies…

To commence day two of my poetry challenge, I set an alarm on my phone to remember to write the poem. At the allotted time, I looked out of my window in hope of inspiration. However, the words of the Newscaster from the night before echoed in my mind, “the number of domestic violence [internet] searches have increased during the COVID-19 crisis”. As I wrote a poem that was meant to focus on nature, my subconscious turned nature into violence, writing for those who dare not speak.


Beyond my window lies the world

In all its technicolour brightness

With greens so vibrant

The trees blush in modesty

With blushes transformed to cherry blossom

Contrasting the earth from whence it came


Beyond my window lies the world

In all its uniformity

With building blocks stood side by side

And windows reaching to the sky

With balconies the size of prison cells

Contrasting the freedom that lies without


Beyond my window lies the world

In all its peace and tranquillity

With crime and punishment trapped indoors

Where frustrations and anger run wild

With tyrants ruling through an iron fist

Contrasting their victims who cower and hide


Beyond my window lies the world

Within my window lies my world.


Thank you for reading.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic abuse – please contact 0808 2000 247 (24/7 helpline)

Poetry Challenge

I recently noticed that it has been a while since I last published a poem on my blog. Therefore, I have decided to do a 7 days poetry challenge staring from today. To kick things off, I thought I’d start with a poem regarding our current situation.

Conversation through telephone lines, giving us

Opportunities to better connect, to build on

Relationships we often neglect, through the

Orchestra of our busy lives.

Now we take the time to truly listen,

Allowing vulnerability and depth into our dialogue.

Virtual interactions leading to community

Irrespective of the distance between us.

Right now is a time like never before,

Unified in our struggle, unwavering in our

Support of one another.


Thank you for reading.

Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives!

Book Review: An American Marriage

An American Marriage is a novel that explores the lives of a recently married couple, moments before one of them is wrongly imprisoned for a crime that they did not commit. The novel delves into the development and transformation of their marriage through the trial, incarceration and post-incarceration.

For this book review, I have decided to focus on the themes of the novel without giving too much away as it is a novel that I highly recommend you read.

Title of the Novel:

Within the context of the ongoing debate of whether African-Americans should be termed as just Americans, the title of the novel is a subtle, yet obvious statement in itself. Tayari Jones chooses to name her novel An American Marriage instead of An African-American Marriage. In the current climate of American politics, where unarmed black men and women are shot by the police in and out of their own homes with little consequences to the officers, the issues of injustice is not only an African-American problem but an American problem. The title of the novel eludes to the universality of the issues faced by the couple and the limited solutions available to them.

Parenthood:

The novel presents Roy with two fathers, Big Roy and Walter. Although both men play a key role in shaping the man that Roy is to become at the end of the novel, they do not equally share the burden of fatherhood. Although Walter was wilfully absent for most of Roy’s life, he was able to guide and father his son during the toughest period of Roy’s life. In the moments where Big Roy could not play the role of a father to Roy, Walter was able to step in and carry the baton of fatherhood.

The issue of maternity is one that is presented in a different light throughout the novel. Celestial’s progression in regard to her stance towards motherhood highlights the uncertainty that parenthood brings.

Perspective:

Although Jones had initially written the book from the perspective of just Celestial, the final result of the novel added the perspectives of both Roy and Andre. This choice by Jones permits the reader to see the marriage from an insider’s and outsider’s perspective, allowing the reader to make their own judgement based on the perspectives of all those involved. The form of the novel is one that is to be enjoyed, as it is a mixture of first-person internal dialogue as well as letter writing between characters. The move to letter writing and then back to internal dialogue emphasised the distance between characters allowing the lack of intimacy not only to be experienced by the characters but felt by the reader as well.

Relatability:

One question that I ask myself is did the writer succeed in creating a novel that can be related to by all, despite their race, sex, class, gender etc.? As a black woman, I found it difficult to resolve some of the tensions between my gender and my race when reading the pages dedicated to the trial. With Jones consciously choosing to omit the race of the victim, I felt that the trial was between my gender and my race, that in order for one to gain justice the other must face injustice. Although Jones makes it very clear that Roy was not the perpetrator of the crime, the victim is certain that he is the man that assaulted her. Her justice can only be gained through the wrongful incarceration of an innocent man. Whereas, if Roy had been acquitted of the crime, the woman would have seen it as an injustice whilst Roy would have viewed it as justice.

Jones succeeded in showing readers how easy it is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite often, it is easy to see those with a criminal record and pass judgement on them for their decisions that led them to where they are. However, the novel allows you to see the man behind the criminal record, and all the right choices that still led to the wrong place at the wrong time. The narrative of those in the wrong place at the wrong time is one that is gaining credence in the media, with Netflix documentaries such as Now They See Us, adding another voice to the wrongful incarceration of black boys/men in America.

In conclusion, An American Marriage is brilliant novel that captivates the reader from the very onset. The novel explores numerous themes and issues that are central to a marriage without exacting judgement on any of the characters for the choices they make. This is a novel that I highly recommend and rate it 4.3 out of 5 stars.

For more book reviews, click here.


Thank you for reading.

French Toast Recipe

As London continues on into lockdown, I am happy to report that I have continued on with my fancy breakfasts, and even tried to venture into the fancy lunch arena (although not quite as picturesque as my breakfasts). Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to share the recipe to my easiest breakfast to date; my French toast, with honey and icing sugar.

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread – this can be any type of bread, I prefer to use bread with raisins in it as it adds a natural sweetness.

1 egg

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

Icing sugar

Honey

Method:

  1. Slice each bread diagonally through the centre, creating triangles.
  2. Crack one egg into a bowl, add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until the ingredients are fully stirred in.
  3. Add the oil into a frying pan and let it heat up for one minute.
  4. Immerse each individual triangle of bread into the egg mixture before placing it into the frying pan.
  5. Flip the bread over once one side is brown to begin cooking the other side.
  6. Once all the bread is cooked, place on a serving dish, drizzle some honey on the French toast and use a sieve to add a light coat of icing sugar.

And there you have it, easy French toast for breakfast in isolation.

Enjoy.


Thank you for reading.