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book reviews poetry poetry community Uncategorized

Poetry book reviews

Hello you!

So, with poetry being a “big” part of my life throughout this pandemic, I’ve bought many books: accumulating my fair share over the past year (to get a feel for the different styles and to learn more about the art)

So I’ve picked a few of my favourites; and all for very different reasons.



Billy Collin’s work is witty and bursting with imagery. His conversational style makes it so enjoyable to read. A poem could have you laughing your heart out and pulling at those heart strings at the same time. His poems take you on a journey full of surprises. I LOVE his work and it’s no surprise he was appointed Poet Laureate twice.
This gorgeous anthology is relatable in so many ways from such raw, honest, heartfelt and beautiful accounts on motherhood! I’m part of this beautiful writing group (the mum poem press) who published this collection and it’s a great community of mums sharing experiences and learning about different poetry forms.
Oh Seamus Heaney, what can I say about a  poet who has written beautifully about the landscapes of Ireland, his childhood, his children,  love and loss.  Being Irish, his work transports me right back to many of my own childhood memories, especially being from the country myself. This collection (selected by his family) is filled with his greatest poems and many I remember studying in secondary school.
Stunning poetry/prose collection! Full of soulful, heartfelt poems. Covering love, heartbreak and growth. Taking you on a journey of self discovery. I love this book and is also the poets first collection.
This little book of inspirational quotes from an amazing poet is full of reminders on love, strength and empowerment. Full of inspiration to dip in and out of.
I’m still working my way through this lovely collection ( a gift from my lovely sister in law) of poems from many great poets… Lovely to read a poem every day and to have by your bedside table!
Not a poetry book, but a stunning inspirational book on love, kindness, trust and friendship. Everyone should read this. And you could have it read within the hour.

I also enjoy reading work by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy, Mary Oliver and William Wordsworth.

So these are just a few from my poetry collection. I love discovering new poets, and also reading from the greats. However, at times it can be hard to get into a poem when you are first introduced to poetry; but taking your time and “feeling” those words just adds to the experience. I also enjoy reading inspirational books to empower you and keeping that cup half full!

Have you read any of these collections/poets? and who are your favourites?

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Have a lovely day!

Categories
growth poetry poetry community Uncategorized

Poetry and growth

So over the past 18 months I’ve fallen in love with reading and writing poetry as a creative outlet. This pandemic has opened my soul up to new experiences and coming out of my comfort zone by sharing my written pieces and also blogging/writing with pure honesty.

I’m so thankful for this and it really has been beneficial to my wellbeing, growth and being more present.

I wrote the following poem in response to a writing prompt from the mum poem press “I choose poetry because” for national poetry day on 7/10/21. It certainly sums up my relationship with poetry.

I choose poetry because…

It reaches the depth of my soul

Pulls on every heart string –

Every avenue is beautiful,

Breathtaking, painful, invigorating

Still, raw and full of growth.

I choose poetry because I had to,

It just happened.

Sometimes words flow; I can’t help it

Sometimes words are harder to find –

I dig deeper

I will choose poetry ” always”

Bernie Egerton

Poetry handbook to learn more about the art

Great poetry handbook to learn more about the art and from Mary Oliver, who was a beautiful poet ❤

Have you discovered poetry during these times and how has your relationship with poetry been? Or what have you discovered as a new hobby?

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and have a beautiful day ❤🙏

Categories
mindfulness poetry community relaxation wellbeing

Autumn. Those colours, the cosiness and a little piece of rhyming poetry

Ah hello there you!

Do you like Autumn? I do. It’s such a lovely time of year. Plus October is also my birth month. Watching those colours in abundance and the crispy leaves crunching as you walk along the streets, is such a beautiful mindful experience (ok, it can be annoying when they blanket your garden and you have to fill bags full of leaves)

I love wrapping the girls up, taking them to the park to run through those leaves while picking up the remaining conkers that are still lying around. I also enjoy Halloween and getting the girls all kitted out and carving that pumpkin – oh I loved a good Halloween costume party myself back in my going out days!!

Poetry and mindfulness

I wrote and posted the following poem as one of my first blog posts back in March and I’m sharing it again (being Autumn and all; I wrote it last Autumn) as I’ve been practicing mindfulness during this pandemic and it really helps to be present and to ease any overthinking/worrying… My goodness, the difference when you adopt a new exercise into your life and start to focus more on “yourself”. I’ve fallen so much in love with writing during this pandemic.

Lost in the moment of life and it’s art

A Flock of wild birds
they fly in chilled air
I walk, embracing
the earths open heart.
A seagull it sweeps,
alone with no care
lost in the moment
of life and its art.
The ring of church bells,
white tracks,
a blue sky,
children,
they giggle
dog walkers pass by.
Bare trees that stand tall
with nests where birds grew,
leaves lying crumpled
and soggy from dew.
Clear beads as they rest
on blades of green grass,
autumn alive,
soft clouds as they pass.
A squirrel,
It dances,
I watch, he’s aware,
Its bushy long tail,
he captures my stare.
This vision absorbed,
the rush is no more,
nature alive
unlocking my core.
Connections so strong
I open my heart,
lost in the moment
of life and its art

Bernie Egerton


Thank you for stopping by to read my post. Don’t forget to look out for all those colours changing when out and about: absorbing that beauty and feeling those leaves crunching beneath your feet as the leaves fall!

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

Have a beautiful day!

 

Categories
poetry poetry community

Alliterative and found poetry!

Hello you!

As part of the mumpoempress september prompt challenge ( I already shared a Villanelle poem earlier this month) we also had to attempt an alliterative poem and found poetry.

I love trying different forms, it’s also a great “mindful” exercise – focussing on the form and working with inspiration for that burst of creativity.

Alliterative poems play about with words with the same letters/sounds. Great prompt and I really enjoyed writing this poem.

I based the alliterative poem on those times when I’m “present” and checking in on the girls when they are tucked up sleeping at night (after being busy bees during the day 😛)


Found poetry is extracting words, phrases from existing texts i.e passages from papers, books, menus, anything really to create your own poetry. I used blackout to create a haiku ( taken from a page of Ella’s Kitchen First Food’s Book)

Juggling wonder-mums

Fantastic and are brilliant

Are always at hand


Give it a try as it’s so much fun and it’s good to try all the different poetry forms!

Happy writing. What form do you enjoy the most?

Categories
growth health and wellbeing self esteem, personal development, motivation, acceptance

People pleasing. How learning to say “no” helped me to reduce stress and to grow more as a person.

Hello there you!

Oh I could write so much about this topic.

You see, the thing is, I was a big people pleaser, and when I look back to who I was 5 years ago: I cringe to the point where my face resembles a tomato (now that’s red)

The beauty about writing this post, is acknowledging the fact of how far I’ve come. Back in my people pleasing days and not being able to say no; low self-esteem was definitely a contributing factor to my people pleasing tendencies, therefore causing me stress. Do you relate to this? Exhausting isn’t it?

Overcoming people pleasing

So how did I learn to say no more, am I now the master of saying no? Absolutely not, and you can’t say no all the time, it’s all about finding that balance and what suits “you”. But if I listen to my gut and know it doesn’t feel right, then I will say no in a diplomatic manner.

Saying no

At the start of finally plucking up the courage of saying no; I would wait for this dragon to turn around and blow that God damn fire straight into my face after I uttered those words (it never happens by the way). All you get is something like “ok that’s fine” then conversation continues to next topic. All that worrying, stress and overthinking for nothing. It doesn’t have to be as abrupt as no full stop, but something along the lines of “it doesn’t suit me this time”.

You see, the thing with me was “fear” of an awful argument happening (I also hate confrontation and would always build up how I really felt inside: the worst thing you can do) and would rather go ahead, stress the hell out of myself and plough along with appointments, get togethers, and making other people happy.

I remember a time where I was utterly exhausted (with working full-time and studying for a degree part time too) arranged to drive an hour after work to meet a friend to watch a show she was in, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Oh I went to that show and looking back, this lovely, lovely friend would have been ok If I said no (it was all down to my fear again of that dragon appearing)

The one person who needs your approval most is “yourself”. Start building on that relationship

-connectwithpoetry.com

Learning to say no

So how do you say no without feeling terribly guilty and stressed to the hilt? Start to work on yourself first, listen to your gut and baby steps.

Meditate, practice mindfulness to connect with your inner self ( whatever mindful practice helps you) I’ve been doing so much of this and that awareness helps you to tap into your “true” inner self.

Yes, learning to say no is hard, but the more you say it, the easier it gets over time and the less stressed you will become.

When I look back on a time when I was a big people pleaser, I just wasn’t aware I was doing it, and thought it was normal practice to get people to like you; seeking approval.

Remember to look out for “you” first

People pleasing is a trait many people have, for others saying no is like second nature (not second nature to me and what about you?)

Write a list from high priority to low and if it doesn’t suit, then say so. Remember to work with yourself through mindful practices, breathing exercises, writing your thoughts, whatever suits you.

Deep breaths are a great tool too. Take a step back and focus on how you are feeling.

The more you work on yourself, learning to say no and not pleasing others all the time will become easier. It’s all about finding that “balance”. Heck, I’m a Libra myself, and I’m working with those bloody scales every day. Growing, learning, self awareness and building myself to find that right balance.

You never stop learning/progressing/growing. Take your time.

Do you find it hard to say no? And do you feel you are pleasing others and putting their needs before your own?

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!

It really is ok to say no. Be kind to yourself, and take your time ❤

Categories
motivation personal development wellbeing

So, 6 months blogging and grateful for this wonderful community…

Hello you!

So I’m blogging 6 months now and have to say I’m so grateful ( wish I did it sooner, but hey ho here I am blogging)

Now, when I started out blogging, I was posting poetry I had saved from months earlier, would hit submit and off I went on my merry way. I never commented or visited other blogs (took me a while to thaw out really; confidence issues with my writing skills obviously). Then the comments started. I slowly started to get more confident, replying with a word or 2 ( now it’s all about crawling before walking isn’t it?) and then proper commenting on other blogs.

Do you know something? It’s been brilliant. Nobody is going to tear you apart with comments (unless you’re into heated debates) and the kindness and support on this wonderful journey makes it even that more enjoyable.

Enjoy it and remember: we are all on a “constant” journey of growth.

We are making sense of this world (especially during these times) and sharing your ideas, thoughts and advice helps to make sense a little bit more.

So what are the 3 things I’ve learned since starting to blog?

1. Blogging can be fun – stick with it, comment on other blogs, even just a little comment or like for that extra bit of encouragement and support for others.

2. Read up on blogging tips/advice: it helps. If like me it’s a hobby and a way to connect with fellow bloggers/writers, then don’t be putting too much pressure on yourself for having loads of followers. Just enjoy it and it’s great for brushing up on your writing skills too.

3. Use the tagging option in post settings, so your post can reach the bloggers you want to reach, and to share your stories/poetry/inspiration – whatever your niche is. Don’t focus too much on niche at the start, that will come and enjoy the process.

Blogging is full of encouragement, like minded and real people (non of this perfect social media portrayed life) when you read the material that suits ‘you’ that is.

Yes, there are times when it can feel overwhelming, and when it does, then take a little step back, recharge those batteries as your blog will “always” be there. Read up on blogging tips and remember “you have to crawl before you walk”. Something I’ve been learning more about lately. Try not to be too hard on yourself and take each step bit by bit.

So what tips do you have when starting out blogging and how has your blogging experience been so far?

Thank you for stopping by, happy blogging and be kind to yourself and others.

Have a lovely day ❤🙏

Categories
poetry poetry community

My first attempt at a Villanelle…

Hello there you and hope your day is good to you..

This was my first attempt at trying a Villanelle. This was a prompt set by themumpoempress (a lovely poetry writing club for mums that I’m part of)

Now, it was a challenging form to do that’s for sure, but also fun. Great way to keep you focussed on technique, rhyme and structure. I had a headache after that little creative burst from all that focussing!!

Of course, I based it on this awful past 18 months of (dare I say it?) Covid (I said it)

Please let me know your thoughts – and do you enjoy playing about with different forms?

Have a great day and keep writing ❤

Categories
journaling, gratitude

Journaling, gratitude and 5 tips to help you practice daily…

During Covid, so many of us have had time to reflect on life (I’ve been doing lots of soul searching) and to appreciate the simple things.

Practicing gratitude is something I’ve introduced into my life daily. However, some days it can be difficult to practice when you’re not in the mood, or life just becomes too busy  and you have to dig that little bit deeper.

I also started writing a mood journal during Covid and I finish each entry with a gratitude list: finding it helpful to be more present and focussed.

5 Tips to help incorporate mood journaling and gratitude into your life.

1. Write, write, write… I find just putting pen to paper and writing in free flow helps to process any overwhelming thoughts and it’s good to let it out. Get yourself a good journal.

2. Try not to get too focussed on having to write everyday, but try to write as much as possible into your journal and always have the journal in a place where you can see it everyday (as a little reminder to write).

3. Write a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day – or even thinking about it as you wake up in the morning or before going to sleep at night.  It can be the simple little things and can make such a big difference.  The more you practice, the more habitual it should become and part of your thought process…

4. Write in the same place each time you journal, so it becomes a habit over time. I write at the table and have my journal and pen in a little basket on that table, so I’m not trying to find where I left it (cuts out the stress of looking for it)

5. Date each entry into your journal and write down whatever mood you are feeling that day. If you are looking back over your journal, you can pinpoint what triggers certain moods. 


Journaling is good for your wellbeing – a great way to process your thoughts and to also document the ups and downs in your life. We all have those ups and downs – we’re only human after all.

Writing for me is cathartic.

Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to appreciate the little things – when you stop, listen to yourself and become more aware and present.

Do you journal and practice gratitude? And what works for you? 

I hope this post has been helpful to you and helps to incorporate journaling and gratitude into your life ❤🙏

Thank you for taking the time to read and happy journaling 😊

Categories
health, inspiration motivation wellbeing

Atlantic Coast of Ireland, fresh air and soaking up the outdoors…

I was brought up in Donegal;  surrounded by fields, stunning beaches, mountains, sheep and cows. Breathtaking views…

Now, If you asked me about the Atlantic Coast when I was a teen (dying to move away from the place) I would have described it differently… Something along the lines of ‘it’s so boring and I really can’t wait to move to the BIG city’. Oh yes I loved moving to the big city at 18, for college, work, meeting new people, the nightlife and all that jazz. I had a great time (the mountains, beaches, sheep – not a second thought was given)

The importance of the outdoors and appreciating the ‘simple things’

Here I am writing a blog post about the Atlantic Coast of Ireland, older and wiser (ok, that might be debatable) as I’m visiting my family for a few weeks and it’s been over a year since I was last home (Covid wouldn’t allow and I now live in England)

Seriously though, I look out at the mountains every morning, I walk the beach every single day with my hubbie and girls (you can always wrap up) and I breathe in that fresh air.

I make sure I instill the importance of the outdoors and it’s beauty to my little girls as they grow. They absolutely love the outdoors (I love watching them skip through the fields like little lambs) There is nothing like a walk in nature to blow away those cobwebs. How I took it all for granted when I was younger…

Muckish Mountain ❤
Girls enjoying the hens, ducks and geese at my cousins farm
Happy out at the beach 💖💖
Muckish is always there ❤
Moo
I love walking the beach at sunset…
Stunning 💫
Tory Island in the background and still surfing/paddling at 9 pm
My other half soaking it all up ❤💛


Take yourself outside and soak it all up… It’s the simple things in life and nature is always there. It really is good for the soul.

Haiku

Fresh air clears the mind

Warming the soul, the outdoors

Soaking up those views


Thank you for reading my post – have a beautiful day and fill up those lungs with plenty of fresh air. Go on, get that jacket on and go for a good brisk walk ❤

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bloggers

Check out the wonderful blog (southpawpoet) for interesting facts,sayings, poetry and lots of other hidden gems…

Welcome to Welcome Week!