Sunday, May 15, 2011


Well folks, we have crested the hill on the month of May and are sliding down the other side and right in to June.
June, the month where fatherhood is in central focus. So this year instead of another tie or some banal cologne, why not something that will be a treasure for times to come.
This weeks review gives a heads up on not only the collaborative work of two talented women but on an amazing book of poetry written especially for fathers.

The book is entitled "Imagining the Future"

It is third in a series of special celebration gift books that Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have produced together. Their goal in their own words, is that this book was
conceived for the men in their lives (and yours) who aren't particularly disposed to rhymed greeting cards of cliche` sweetness and light; men who prefer bone truths and 24K sentiments.

Here is a peek at the Table of Contents
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson:
Deciphering Earliest Remembered Sound
Long Before They Shut the Napster Down
Finally, Uncle George,
Grateful: The Last Lesson in Who He Was,
Who I Should Be
Remembered for his smile
Atrophied Spirit
The War to End All Wars
Unsung Heroes

From Magdalena Ball
Father Earth
Junk DNA
Foaming Stone
Truth Versus Fiction
Virtually enhanced
Grandpa’s Birds
Horizon Scanning
Boat Yard

A sample of their writing styles,
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

How little I know of dragonflies,
how they come in August,
leave again without a word,
wonder where they live when I can’t
see them, whether they sting, whether
that is a song they sing
or a warning.
This dragonfly, small, the first I’ve seen
dressed in amber and gold sunlight,
joins me in a swim, skims
the water’s surface, divebombs
Then comes
another—this one familiar
opal, much larger, mating perhaps,
two of them faster than one.
I duck to avoid them, frightened,
feel the water close over
my head. I choke, inhale air.
The things I didn't know
about my father, his coming and goings,
the fearing he would not return.
One day, only a dawn or decade ago,
he didn't.

By Magdalena Ball

Your body imprints sand
then you’re off
drawn by sea-stained blowholes
crunched sand-dollar sting
dolorous seagulls.
Olive bladderwrack
spreading vesicles
on pale sand
kicked aside
as you move along the beach.
at twilight
waves break at the shore
other than you, me
and one dedicated surfer
out there in shades of blue, green, grey
sky, ocean, sand blending to memory.
I can’t keep up
scooping shell fragments, mother of pearl, bits of seaweed
sticky clues
still wet with life.
In this frail opening
between the deception of time
and the prison of space
I’m always a few steps behind.
You broke before I was born
crashing against the shore of my mother
your secret hurt keeps you safe
while I scan the beach
a failed archaeologist
sifting flotsam in your wake.

A collaboration can be a tricky thing to balance but these two authors make it work seamlessly. They are both solid talent in their own right and share a symmetry of thought on the connection between human emotions and the elements of the natural world that surrounds us.
From  dragonflies to sand dollars, from water closing in to water giving life; metaphors and analogies are spun with a most delicate  touch. Their poetry seems to be more about leading you rather than telling you.
Sometimes honest feelings can go unspoken on both sides between a father and a child. These poems breath those thoughts to life in a book of poetry that will leave you feeling as warm as the June day when fathers are celebrated.

This book makes a wonderful gift for Father's Day or anytime you want to say something unique in a way that only poetry can, to the special man in your life.

Imagining the Future is affordable for all at only $6.75 @

A little more about the authors:
Magdalena Ball's works have appeared in a number of anthologies and books. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction and lives in new south wales on a farm with her husband and 3 children.
She is also the author of a poetry book Repulsion Thrust, the award winning novel Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and a poetry chapbook Quark Soup. Visit her website at
Or at The Compulsive Reader at
 OR her radio show at

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence. She is the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen.
Her website is
She co sponsers a muse contest here


Unknown said...

a book for fathers. wow.
what a novel idea, and the poetess are super creative here.

Thanks for introducing such a pleasant gift to us at Bluebell,

you rock, girl.

Indie said...

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment!