Friday, August 28, 2015

Poem from Chapter and Verse

Barri Bryan's Chapter and Verse is a stunning collection of poetry involving love. New love, old love, lost love, and everything in between is featured in these poems which will evoke the same powerful emotions as love itself. This poem laments a love lost to war, and projects the emotions of love and loss like an arrow into the heart of the reader.

The Photograph

Out of time and out of place,
The photograph of a soldier’s face
Hangs like an effigy in the hall
Amid faded flowers that paper the wall.

Long ago, before he became
An image behind a walnut frame,
He was flesh and bone, blood and fire,
Her one true love, her heart’s desire.

For such a little space in time
They shared a happiness sweet, sublime
A fledgling splendor, learning to fly
‘Til its wings clipped the rigid edge of goodbye.

As he hugged her fiercely to his breast
Her cheek pressed the medals on his chest.
Wait for me, darling. Her reply:
I’ll love you ‘til the day I die.

He blew a kiss, then closed the gate.
Women will tarry, but war won’t wait.
Still, in her dreams, she hears his plea
My heart, my beloved, wait for me.

Always, she gives the same reply
I’ll love you ‘till the day I die,
Then wakes to remember her broken vow,
So eager then, so empty now.

A stirring inside, wind through lament.
Disturbing leaves of discontent.
She remembers a beach called Normandy
Where her dauntless lover’s bravery

Dyed to purple his valentine heart,
And ripped his strong young body apart.
His bones were splintered, his flesh was torn
His blood ran free on that D Day morn.

He fell to the ground with an agonized shout;
Fire burned to ashes, the flame went out.
We regret to inform you, the telegram said.
Her lover, her husband, her sweetheart was dead.

She wanted to hold to his memory
Until somewhere in eternity
She could declare with a woman’s pride,
I loved you ‘til the day I died.

But other arms would reach and hold
In the heat of passion old love grows cold.
For fifty years that vacant face,
Has silently hung in the same old place.

The painful price of restitution,
It never quite buys absolution.
A photograph hangs in the hall

Dead as the flowers that paper the wall.

Photo credit: <a href="">Kiama.Library</a> / <a href="">Foter</a> / <a href="">CC BY-NC</a>

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Successfully Navigate a Bookstore

We have all had that slightly lost and confused feeling as we walk into a new bookstore. For all of us big book buyers, we probably are okay with the commercial bookstore like Barnes & Noble or local chains, but it's those small, hole-in-the-wall, secret treasures that we find and just can't pass by that confuse us the most. Are the books organized by author name or by title? Are they separated by genre? What books do they think fit in each genre? These are all fair questions, and hopefully after reading this you can feel a little more comfortable walking in to a new bookstore.

1. Survey your surroundings.
Most bookstores know that they are confusing, and they try to help. Some will put signs on the ceiling or on the tops of bookshelves to help you find genres to get a clue as to their organization system. This step is important, because it lets you identify on your own how to navigate this new world you have entered.

2. Take a quick jaunt up and down the aisles.
This will let you get the feel of the bookstore. Now you can glimpse familiar titles as you breeze past, and you can easily locate your favorite sections after you have perused the whole store. Have physical limitations and can't look around the whole store? You can just walk the short distance between the shelves and take a look down. Not as comprehensive as actually walking down the aisles, but it should give you a good idea about which aisle contains what.

This is an important part of the step: don't stop. It's going to be tempting; you are going to see a book you really want, or you may even find your favorite section, but don't stop. There may be a treasure further down the aisles or at the back that you will not have wanted to miss otherwise.

3. Ask the person behind the register.
Yes, this person will either look like your typical disinterested teen or a very busy employee trying desperately to catalog all of the new inventory. However, they are usually more than happy to help a customer who is currently lost in their store. They are working at a bookstore probably because they enjoy books, and they like to share their love just as much as the next bookworm. If you want a specific book, or you don't want to spend the time looking, they know their store better than anyone and can help you look.

4. Enjoy your new bookstore!
This is the most valuable step. As a book enthusiast, you have just discovered a treasure-trove of new stories and worlds for you to dive into. Explore your new store, and don't forget to always keep reading.

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