“Glimpses Across The Barricades” #Poetry in progress. ‘In Dreams of A Perfect World’ by Suzanne Burke.

Welcome to ‘Glimpses Across the Barricades’ This poem was included in the epilogue of my book “Faint Echoes of Laughter”.

In A  Perfect World

by

Suzanne Burke

 

Dreams of aperfect world image

As I lay snugly warm and safe
Within my families womb
My heart begins a slow sad ache
For another child will cry tonight
Another child will die tonight
What was once their home
will become their tomb

Anger tears me as I read
The desperate plead of a child in need
How can we continue to ignore
The deafening cries from every land?
Can the balance be restored or
Are we so desensitized to pain
That we can’t give
Without thought of gain

If I had but one wish to make
Then that wish would surely be
That when my own sweet child has grown,
and if fate so decrees

I’ll hold her own children on my knee
And when I lay them in their beds
No sad thoughts will fill their heads

For our world will have become a place
Where all its children have their space
Where no ugly thoughts will touch their minds
When faith is restored in humankind

No sweet child will need to cry
No hungry child will need to die

We have that power in our hands
To make these changes throughout all lands
If we can but clearly see
That our world is not
What it needs to be

Once the changes have been made
Each child may sleep with sweet child dreams

Each child will wake to see the dawn
Each child will be thankful
they were born.

In my dreams of a perfect world.

 

 

‘Glimpses Across The Barricades’ #Poetry #Memoir “The Tears We Just Can’t Cry.”

Welcome again to my Poetry in Progress. This particular poem was written in the days after the last of the valiant kids I’d lived with on the streets ended his life.  It is one of many poems I’ve written for and about those dear people. All damaged strangers, they took me into their hearts, their home, and their lives.  My journey through life was forever altered by their existence and forever bereft at their loss.

Glimpses Across The Barricades

 The Tears We Just Can’t Cry.

Dedicated with love to all the kids from ‘The Palace’

By

Suzanne Burke

Broken hearted

There are those that never cry them

Those tears that cleanse the soul

For the rivers they create

Will never make them whole.

The anger they hold to them

Like a dark defensive shield

Holds back a tide of tenderness

Only undamaged ones can feel

Dark dreams forever taunt them

Laughing at their pain

As they leave veins forever open

To bleed out in life’s rain.

And when the waves of despair come

They have no place to hide

No shelter can enclose them

They have no sense of pride

They are afraid to face a future

If their barriers they remove

In case a love should die there

Best unknown, to be so mourned.

The ending that they pray for

Lay waiting in the wings

And for some it is hastened

By sad choices their lives bring.

As for those still left standing

That seek a way to cry

They spend a life demanding

Just one reason why.

There remains no place to hide now

No safe harbor from the storm

Nothing to prevent the cascade

Of tears as yet unborn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Glimpses Across The Barricades’ Poetry in progress. “And The Music Plays On.”

Thank you for being here, as I share my Glimpses Across The Barricades of life. Poems written long ago, and poems of life yet to be lived.

Glimpses Across The Barricades.

MUSIC OF LIFEAnd the Music Plays on.

By Suzanne Burke.

 

Oh, how those melodies linger,

stroking our souls with soft fingers.

Refrains of the journeys we’ve taken

and the people we’ve known.

 

Lyrics haunting and taunting

Caught on the wind

Oft’ bringing sweet sadness

Of things that our memory will not rescind.

 

Anthems of times of upheaval

When the world lost its way,

Sung by those that stood witness

On far distant shores.

 

Songs of love, and of laughter

Songs calloused with pain

All linger in memory

As we dance in the rain.

 

The last song not yet written

That last post un-played

As we come unbidden

To our safe place in life’s shade.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my new feature. Author Showcase! Featured genre for June is “Children’s Books.” My first guest is Author Gracie Bradford author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks.) Kids & Pets Cracking the POWER Code.

Hello and welcome to the first Author Showcase! I will be featuring different authors & genres each month. I interview each author, and showcase their featured work.

WHY? Simply because I enjoy supporting other Indie Authors every chance I get.

This Month, “Children’s Books” are being featured.

Please welcome Gracie Bradford Author of “June The Prune & Lady Bird.” (Cancer Stinks Kids and Pets cracking the POWER code).

AUTHOR SHOWCASE LOGO GRACIE EDITED USE

Meet Gracie Bradford

GRACIE BRADFORD PICTURE FOR BLOG

My business logo is “I AM….”. So, who is Gracie?

The best parts of me are that I am dynamic, an inspirer, a motivator, a risk taker, an explorer, a magnet to children, and a bookworm.

I am a retired senior healthcare executive who travels the world, a grandmother of an amazing 19-year old college student who lives with me, a grandmother to the awesome beagle, Lady Bird, an award-winning author, a lover of flowers, and a professional volunteer with causes related to childhood illness.

I am almost a vegan but still eats fish and eggs.

FEATURED BOOK: “JUNE THE PRUNE & LADY BIRD.” (Cancer Stinks.)

BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Question 1

What motivated you to write books for children? I started my career working with the kids who had juvenile diabetes and other young children who were undergoing renal dialysis treatments. During that part of my professional life, I went camping with these kids during the summer. The resilient and positive attitudes of these kids were beyond amazing.

After hearing so many stories from my sisters, who are classroom teachers, about bullying and how kids treat other children who have life challenges, it motivated me to tell the stories through books. I chose to write about children with special needs telling the story from the child’s perspective so that parents, teachers, and classmates could have a better understanding of how one feels. Children tend to open to a grandmother figure before they talk with their parents or teachers or friends if they have any. Being from a family of nine and a village of more, I learned early to adore children and their antics.

Question 2

Most children’s books are written to impart life’s lessons to children. Was this your goal?

Yes and No. My goal was to impart life lessons more to teachers, parents, and grandparents. Children can teach us life lessons just as we can teach them.

Question 3

What life lessons does your book contain?

My book contains a multitude of life lessons.

I chose to approach those experiences using the concept that kids use coded power gestures and language that adults could learn to interpret and embrace in their lives. At the end of each chapter are quotes relating back to the content of that section. For example, in Chapter 6 entitled “Truth Collides with Reality,” I relate THE POWER OF BODY LANGUAGE.  The power quote is “A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”

It is my hope that the reader will discover and relate life lessons about the dynamics of family relationships, the power of a child’s love, the power of pets’ presence in the healing process, the wisdom of older adults, and the power of positive thinking during a medical crisis.

Question 4

What was for you the most challenging part of writing for children?

Brain cancer is such a serious topic and perhaps a little frightening for middle school children to read. The most difficult part of writing for children is making sure the content is appropriate to the grade level and age. The common question when writing a children book is “how do I write to capture and hold the attention of middle school children?”

Even though most authorities suggest including pictures in children books, I debated about adding pictures to my chapter book but decided to write the message instead. In hindsight, I probably should have included some of the photography.

Question 5

All authors are aware of the need for reviews, yet I imagine an author of books written for children would face an even more challenging time, simply because these are children. Have you found it challenging?

I believe reviews are critical for any genre. If the story and book cover grab the reader’s attention, reviews should not be a challenge. As authors and as a reviewer, we should continuously promote the need for parents to get feedback from the child and write the review quoting the child.  Unless the child is part of a book review club, it is the parent who selects the book for the middle school child, often time reads the book to the child, and recommends the book to other parents for reading.

It also depends upon the goal set for the type of audience you want to review your books and whether you are a novice or an established, recognized author. My goal is to get feedback from professions mentioned in the book (i.e. nurses, therapists, veterinarians, physicians, dietitians, etc.), other writers/authors, parents, book lovers, middle school readers, special education teachers, pet lovers, librarians, and grandparents.

Question 6

Are you currently working on anything new?

I am currently working on the third fiction book of the Lady Bird series. Now, I am facing a writer’s block but continue to conduct my research while the block decides to move, or my procrastination floats away into the bright blue sky.

I am also toying with the idea of writing a picture book about autism. I have identified the characters but is pondering on the title.

My next middle school chapter book will tackle the all-important subject of Autism. June, the 12-year-old brain cancer survivor, Alex, Lady Bird, and the new pet uncovers the secrets of autism and the mysterious magic of understanding dog language.

The First Page

“June, a ten-year-old brain cancer survivor, frequently sits on the back screened patio with her dog, Lady Bird, an aging beagle now suffering from arthritis and hearing loss. After recovering from her coma, June discovers that she could understand and interpret dog language. While listening to a conversation between Lady Bird and the new puppy, June noticed a rhythm, a bright light and a defined wagging of Lady Bird’s tail realizing that it had meaning that June understood. June’s heart began to race at a speed she had never known before. What was happening?

Alex, her 12-year brother, is aware of June’s secret and promised that he would not tell anyone. Alex instantly bonded with the new puppy. He identified with the unusual behaviors of the puppy since Alex has some of the same traits himself. The King Terrier, exhibits very profound human characteristics of autism. What will Lady Bird, Alex, and June do to help the new puppy adjust to the happy and noisy environment in which they live every day? “

The story will have the reader laughing, crying, and cheerleading the characters. Expected to be released before the end of 2017.

Currently Featured is “June The Prune & Lady Bird” (Cancer Stinks)

 

Featured Book  .BOOK COVER GRACIE BRADFORD FOR FEATURE

Book Blurb

Love, hate, humor, and determination bundled in one package to make this book one to add to your reading list. June is a 10-year-old feisty girl who goes on vacation with her 12-year-old, brother and grandmother to Europe and has the time of her life. Six months after their return from vacation, a mysterious “THING” referred to as “Noma” attacks June spiraling her life out of control. June tells the story of being in a crazy and scary environment revealing unexpected powers that help in coping with loneliness. June finds imaginary friends during the darkest days. Lady Bird, the dog, ole folks, Alex and G-Mom play a pivotal role during the journey through a tunnel of darkness called brain cancer.

 

Favorite Amazon review.

4.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill, May 29, 2017

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Kindle Edition)

I’m actually giving this book Four and a half stars. I’d give it five except for a few editing snafus. However, the story is extremely well-written and can be read in one sitting because it is so engaging. June is a precocious 10 year-old who has some awesome responsibilities in her young life and guess what? Life throws her even more. Enter G-Mom, June’s 80 years-young grandmother. G-Mom is the awesome, undaunted, diplomatic, loving grandmother we all want. When G-Mom is not there to fight for June and her older brother, Alex, their trusted canine friend, Lady Bird can handle things. This book is a must read for any age, but kids who are going through any kind of trial, especially medical, can read this to know they are not alone. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Bradford writes with sensitivity and skill. This series is a hit!

5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Human Interest Story, February 13, 2017

This review is from: June the Prune and Lady Bird: Cancer Stinks! Kids and Pets Cracking the Power Code (Volume 2) (Paperback)

Gracie Bradford tells a quietly powerful story of a set of family relationships from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. Some of the relationships border on dysfunctionality, such as the relationship between the mother and her two children, while the relationship between the two children and the grandmother are as solid as one can find in human relationships. The two strongest relationships in the story are the relationship between the 10-year old girl and her grandmother and the relationship between the girl and her dog. The author does an amazing job in developing the character of the 10-year old protagonist. She goes from a smart child, clever beyond her years, who manages to carve out a normal life for herself and her 12-year old brother in a home environment led by their neurotic mother, who lacks self-esteem and a sense of purpose in life, to a frightened little girl who has to come to terms with the fact that she has brain cancer. Because this book taps into so many aspects of the human experience, it will have broad appeal to the reading public. I highly recommend this book to middle-school teachers who are looking for engaging books for their students to read, parents and grandparents who have sick children in their lives, as well as anyone who just likes a good story. Huey L. Perry, Ph.D.

AUTHOR LINKS:

 

Instagram  authorgraciebradford

Purchase this book on Amazon.com

Gracie Bradford on TWITTER

FACEBOOK LINK.

Author BLOG

Thank you for joining me here and meeting my featured author today.

My featured Genre for JULY will be, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Are you interested in being featured here in July? Send me an email at Email link

Please include links to the book you would like featured. I will respond with the details of your author interview and other requirements. Each Showcase will run for one month. Beginning the 12th of each month.

My Next Guest for JUNE will be ‘Children’s Book’ author Maretha Botha.

 

“Glimpses Across the Barricades.” Poetry in progress: “Masks”

Welcome again to “Glimpses Across the Barricades” my poetry in progress.

Today I share with you a brief glimpse of my dear friend, Jenny. I met her on the streets when she was barely eight-years-old.  I was eleven. She took her own life several years ago. The world is a darker place now that her sweet soul no longer lights it.

Masks for poetry

MASKS

By

Suzanne Burke.

MASKS.

Eight-year-old eyes

Devoid of hope

For the innocence was gone.

 

Eight-year-old ears

That only heard

Violent words, of crushing fear.

 

Eight-year-old soul

That barely whispered

Before it was taken away.

 

Eight-year-old heart

With no joyous beat

A heart that stopped too soon.

 

And the masks that we wear

Cause others despair

As they search to find something long gone.

 

Masks of laughter bent and twisted.

 Faces shielding the dark within.

The weapons we are wielding

Peirce far beneath the skin.

 

We that are too broken

A place where forgiveness

Has yet to find a home.

 

We remove that last fear, finally

Into just one more unknown.

Eight-year-old eyes

that only cried

beneath the mask.

 

Book Review: “Eclipse Lake” By Mae Clair.

BOOK REVIEW: ECLIPSE LAKE By MAE CLAIR

About the Author

MAE CLAIR IMAGE FOR REVIEW

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

 

BOOK COVER ECLIPSE LAKE by MAE CLAIR

BLURB:

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 An engaging, unpredictable Page-turner!

This is my first venture into the world of Author Mae Clair.

Eclipse Lake caught my attention, partly because of the excellent blurb, and partly because I rarely review anything remotely connected to Romance, and a Mystery Romance seemed a great place to start.

Having said that, I was utterly unprepared and seriously delighted by what lay between these beautifully written pages.

This author has a deceptively elegant writing style. Deceptive only in that the flow of words have iron hidden within the dialogue.

The conversations between the central characters are  pivotal and the author utilizes that marvelous skill by allowing the characters souls, dreams, and despairs to be communicated clearly each time they speak.

Wonderful characterizations of each player, you’ll find nothing one dimensional here.

Meet Dane Carlisle.  This is a man driven. His complex layers are composed with intricate threads of sorrow and longing, regrets and secrets he has never revealed. He comes from a dark childhood and through the actions and intervention of a mentor he reveres, he establishes a company, and makes a great success of it. A promise to his dying wife finds he and his teenage son journeying back to Danes home town of Onyx, a place of dark and closely held secrets.

Meet, Jesse his adopted son, seventeen and beginning those years of questing against and questioning everything that touches their world. The growing respect and understanding between he and his father is a pure joy to read. It is neither rushed nor formulaic, these folks are permitted to breathe, bleed and suffer as they rediscover each other.

Meet Jonah, Dan Carlisle’s estranged brother. Jonah is an angry man, his brother and he have a history, and his resentment of his brother Dane is both palpable and pivotal to this well thought out plot.

Meet Ellie: Successful photographer on assignment to Onyx. Enter the romantic element, and I must say I was delighted at the endearing and memorable way the growing love between she and Dan Carlisle is handled.

Combine all the splendid ingredients with the Sheriffs long missing daughters body being discovered, fingers being pointed, and nasty gossip doing its usual harm; that will launch all the characters into the unexpected conclusion.

Suffice it to say that that conclusion is a jaw dropper! I am now firmly committed to reading many more of this talented authors works.

Highly recommended.

PURCHASE ECLIPSE LAKE by MAE CLAIR on AMAZON.COM

Mae Clair on TWITTER

 

“Glimpses Across The Barricades” Poetry in progress. “City Girl.”

Hello and welcome again to my poetry in progress “Glimpses Across The Barricades”

Today I’m sharing something very recent, my daughter, grandson and I all relocated from high octane Sydney: Australia, to a beautiful and small University Town to the west of our Blue Mountains.

I’m loving this serenity, warmth, and air of human goodness.

I hope my poem reflects that.

Bathurst in autumn 3 the best
A Glimpse of Bathurst in the Autumn

City Girl

By

Suzanne Burke.

 

 

The train beat out a rhythmic sound,

 as I journeyed far from familiar ground.

City girl in a whirl

Was what I heard that rhythm say.

 

Unfamiliar visions caught me unawares

As I first looked with my city-eyes

Into that country sky.

Rolling greens waves of willows

As they followed country streams

I was now envisioning something beautiful

Not something from my dreams.

 

Nightfall came in blankets of glitter coated black

When I unwound my city self

To greet that country sky.

I drew in the scented country air to an inexperienced soul

And then I shook with hunger at its touch

Its virgin freshness composing music in my heart

I knew with growing thankfulness

This was the place to start

Again.

 

I walked the cobbled streets quickly

It was the city way

With eyes downcast and high alert

Ah, yes, that city way.

Suspicious of these country folks

And their warm greetings of G’day.

 

These past months have flown by

As I relocate that city self

The nights are dark and deeper

Than any I have known.

The sunrise is more welcome here

Its warmth a tremor in my soul

Anticipated happily in a most unfamiliar way.

 

Now I walk those cobbled street

With head held high and proud

I smile and greet new faces

With my very own, ‘G’day’.

The city girl is resting now,

Her nightmares tucked away.

I will enter this journey with all I am

For that’s the country way.