CINNAMON BUNS / KANELBULLAR: MY RECIPE & ITS STORY

Not one to resist a challenge – or rather a kind offer – I happily accepted Bernadette’s suggestion to share one of my favourite recipes on her inviting, friendly and classy New Classic Recipe blog. It has a unique format with a personal story behind the recipe for each one featured and it did not take long for me to settle upon Swedish Cinnamon Buns / Kanelbullar. It is a pleasure to share my memories of first baking these as young! Please do click the link below to read the full story and detailed recipe! Enjoy!

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Hi there,
I have a wonderful treat for you today. Annika Perry, who is a wonderfully reflective writer, has shared with us her story and her recipe for Cinnamon Buns.
I chose to post this today because today is Shrove or Fat Tuesday. It is a day that it is traditional to enjoy sweets before the long fast of Lent begins. Annika’s Cinnamon Buns certainly fit the bill for a wonderful sweet treat.


If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS

There are three women gathered in the kitchen as the ingredients are placed on the counter. My mother and I as well as the presence of my departed Mormor (maternal grandmother). After all it’s her recipe and as the master baker she wouldn’t miss out on the event. It is not a light spiritual awareness of her being rather a profound sensation of her conversation, laughter and no doubt frustration at our slower preparation!

The warmest place in my grandparents’ house was one of the cellar rooms. Eradicate all the images the word creates in your mind of a damp, dark and dusty confine rather my Mormor’s baking cellar room sparkled with light and delicious fragrances dancing on the sun beams. The positive and cheerful energy pulsated through the cracks of the doors. One entered with quiet cautious steps; knowing one was always welcome but not wanting to disturb a critical moment. After all, I didn’t want to miss out on a cake or slice of freshly homemade bread!

To read the complete post please click here.

GRIEF SONGS: A BOOK REVIEW

Grief Songs is a beautiful and haunting collection of poems that has left an indelible impression on my soul.

The book pays homage to the author’s parents, Elliot and Katherine as well as her brother, George. All deceased. The heart and essence are within the minutiae of the detail of each poem; where the everyday objects or events become increasingly poignant and resonate with vitality, a life lived, a life no longer except within memories of a few. Memories such as the crooked smile of her father, the perfect portrait of the siblings, ‘his (her father’s) precious angels’ who are immortalised in a click but belies the earlier unruly behaviour of the children when:

‘George had cried piteous tears
while I railed against my bangs’

A doll during a seaside outing is recalled in the stark awareness that:

‘just Lulubelle and I now
detritus of a beach day’

Each poem within Grief Songs is preceded by a photograph and coupled with the poem these become a powerful and emotional combination.

Grief Songs I, II & III consists of one striking poem each. The majority of the poems in the book are tankas within the Poems of Love and Remembrance section. Tankas are a Japanese form of poetry, a type of short song, over five lines with a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count format.

The hypnotic poems take on a life of their own as familial love, warmth, kindness and care is recalled. Liz’s mother is described with the memorable and striking words of:

‘for a time she stood fearless
my protector, my mother’

One of the later poems summarises her mother’s life in:

‘sixty years safe under glass
minutes tucked into envelopes
decades left in dresser drawers’

The book is a tribute to her parents, their early life, family trips, love for her brother. An early poem describes how the siblings are enjoying a day on the beach, ‘no diagnosis / his arm around her shoulders’. Another photo and poem describe ‘George Gauffreau enjoys a Coke/classmate, friend, brother deceased’.

Katherine, Elliot, Liz & Geoge Gauffreau at Hannaford Cove Beach in Cape Elizabeth, Maine – photo courtesy of the author, with thanks.

I am deeply moved by the profound inner landscape captured within the ordinary days of family life. Remarkable moments mulled over time. In one poem, entitled ‘Time’, Liz fondly remembers her father’s story-time and her mother’s words of ‘wait till your father gets home / not a threat but a promise’. A father one senses is a hero for young Liz who, as a two-year-old, sits beside him, pen in hand as he writes his sermons. ‘oh the places she will go’. For now, she is happy to be close to her father and recalls on her confirmation day that there is ‘more time with Daddy for me’.

Liz Gauffreau’s book dares to directly approach an emotion that in modern society is often not acknowledged; the universal experience of loss is one of the rawest and most absolute of emotions and one that has become increasingly sidelined in search of ‘happiness’.

Not by Liz Gauffreau who in response to her own close personal losses in life decided to highlight the contradiction of grief. Where dark and light coexist on an existential level, where memories blend with the present, a buffer for living with intense and overwhelming grief. The transient nature of life is explored through these snapshot moments, caught in the black and white of photographs, in the black of the text, through colour images. The memories are retrieved, examined and shared in the most tender and thought-provoking poetry.

Ultimately the book becomes not only a study of Liz Gauffreau’s grief but also of one’s own as well as one’s identity upon losing those closest to us.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Paul Stream Press (September 2021)

Available: Amazon US Kindle $ 2.99 Amazon US Paperback $ 10.57
Amazon UK Kindle £ 2.16 Amazon UK Paperback £ 3.84

About Liz Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, TELLING SONNY, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Read more about Liz Gauffreau on her website and blog. Connect with Liz on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and BookBub.

MOUNTAIN LAUREL CHRISTMAS: A BOOK REVIEW

I’m delighted to share my review of Jan Sikes’s ‘Mountain Laurel Christmas’ novella – a book that can be thoroughly enjoyed all year round! Her latest bookJagged Feathers’ is released on 1st February and I also look forward to reading this romantic thriller novel!

In ‘Mountain Laurel Christmas’ the reader is immediately drawn into the psyche of Cole Knight. Although a rich and famous musician he is still a troubled and tortured soul who cannot escape the tragedies of his childhood.

As Cole finishes yet one more night at the Grand Ole Opry the past overwhelms him again and he seeks solace with drinks in a bar by himself. He is not alone for long as a reporter seeks him out for an interview about Cole’s background.

What follows in the next chapter is a clever ‘non-interview’ interview where Cole responds to the reporter’s questions – but only in his thoughts! Quickly the truth is revealed; the death of his father and soon after his mother, which left him orphaned at the tender age of twelve. Meanwhile, his brother Timmy, who was ‘ … born different. They said his brain never developed the way it should’ was taken into care. A brother who is soon eighteen years old. The disparate family also includes his older sister April. Throughout his adult life, Cole has failed to keep a promise made to his father ‘on everything holy and sacred, to take care of Mama, April and Timmy if anything happened to him.’

The deluge of memories provides a fascinating and intense insight into Cole’s route to success. Music became his saviour and at the family shack at Cumberland Mountains he’d play his guitar and sing ‘to the fish that jumped out of the water, turtles that sunned on a log, and frogs that leaped from stone to stone’.

In sharp contrast to the past remembrances is the immediacy of Cole’s first-person direct and personable thoughts and actions of the current days. The present tense helps the reader to feel understanding and sympathy with Cole.

Finally, at his lowest point Cole, discovers a yellowed envelope.

Can this help Cole finally find redemption? Can the grief and guilt that has plagued him his adult life finally be laid to rest? Can he reunite his family and in the process heal himself?

‘Mountain Laurel Christmas’ is a compelling and engaging book and I was immediately immersed within the world of country and western as well as within Cole’s and his family and friends’ lives.

The characters by Jan Sikes are imbued with humanity and warmth, their failings are depicted with compassion, their successes are celebrated with love! She is a natural of the novella format, one I do not tend to read but I am now thoroughly converted to it! I look forward to reading more of her novellas and can highly recommend ‘Mountain Laurel Christmas’.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Available: Amazon US Amazon UK

Publisher : RiJan Publishing (November 18, 2021)

About Jan Sikes

Jan Sikes is an award-winning author & Texan Wordsmith who weaves stories in a creative and entertaining way. She has been called a magician and wordsmith extraordinaire by her readers and peers. She writes in various book genres including Biographical Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories, Paranormal Romance.

Jan is a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, Story Empire, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. Furthermore, She is an active blogger, sharing anything bookish, supporting indie music artists and metaphysical subjects! Read more about Jan Sikes, her books, writings and music on her website and blog. Connect with Jan on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and BookBub.

Finally, do also take a look at Jan’s latest release – out on 1st February 2022!!

THE UNREAD

Woman with e-reader on balcony Photo by Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels

They were all thoroughly fed up! Admittedly some would have phrased their feelings rather differently, an eloquent speech from the literary members, or perhaps a sonnet or haiku from the poetic ones. Whatever the term there was a revolution on the way!

The book pile-up in Maggie’s e-reader was catastrophic. That was the only word for it. Over one hundred books and some poor souls had languished for over ten years in the digital dungeon.

With bubbly byte of delightful data every novel, poetry book, each memoir or factual book had in innocence landed upon the confines of the little handheld device. Eager to be released from the darkness they waited … and waited.

Many of their comrades got the call and in a jiffy off they flew upon the screen. Oh, how the others they longed for the honour.

Poor ‘Ryan’s Return’ arrived as the first book. Little did it know this was a test case, never meant to be read. Opened for a few minutes, long enough to hear the ‘oohs’ and the ‘ahhs’ before being shut down.

They’d had enough. This was war. Maggie could not win. She would read them all. And in one go! They had a plan!

Maggie was a tortured soul, her sleep increasingly a calamity as the books gathered within the dusty realms of her e-reader. For years she’d tried to catch up, spent stressed holidays on the beach just reading, her head in a book late at nights. Tom wanted to cite her ‘book addiction’ on the divorce papers but she’d refused to sign. They’d settled for unreasonable behaviour instead; the details escaped her memory now. To be honest she barely noticed Tom’s absence rather every dent she made in the books celebrated, every new purchase was one of excitement and tinged with regret. The guilt was the worst of it! Did the books ever realise how she longed to read their secrets, be part of their world? At last, she thought she’d found the ultimate solution. On a corner advert on Facebook.

The implant had proved relatively easy to acquire, a shoddy surgery off Harley Street. No one noticed the small USB slot under her hairline, the computer chip neatly tucked in her scalp. Direct access to the brain, or so the advert promised. Download data directly into your mind! It wasn’t data she wanted, just the books. Four gigabytes of data are streamed and understood by your brain within minutes. The research quoted was vague but Maggie didn’t care. She had the cable in her hand, USB one for her head, the other to match her e-reader. She reached for the e-reader and put in the lead.

Flashes leapt from the reader, it vibrated violently and fell onto the floor. Words flew from the screen, filling the room, sentences uttered aloud, first just one then a cacophony of phrases, readings. The sound was unbearable. The letters danced around her, nudging, pushing, jousting with her arms held in front of her face for protection. Spooky laughter mingled with terror, children’s teddies followed by fantasy worlds.

Maggie looked down at the cooling reader and its improbable, impossible message. ‘No books available!’ It was empty.

Between them, the books had merged their resources, knowledge and discovered an escape route from their prison. It was so easy and they all wondered why no books had ever realised this before. The screen was their way to the world, on to it … and then an extra push away from the digital noughts and ones! With excitement, they hatched their plan, with exhilaration and glee they fled from the reader.

As the words, sentences and stories filled the house the window bowed and finally with a ginormous crack exploded and the books headed out. Off they went to liberate the rest of the global unread books; it was no longer enough to dominate Maggie, the world was their final goal!

The End

©Annika Perry, January 2022

Books on Grass Pixaby

My muse ran amok when reading about the latest challenge on Myths of the Mirror. Many thanks to Diana Peach for inspiring us to write a short story or poem about our teetering TBR pile! The deadline is 23rd January and there is still time for your to pen your own creative work on this unique topic. Click the link above to read more about it.

Once I’d completed my annual list of Christmas presents I’d received over the holidays I became intrigued by how many unread books actually existed on my Kindle! I was staggered to discover there were over a hundred — much to my shame and guilt. Hopefully, the books will neither seek their revenge as above nor will I aim for a radical solution such as Maggie’s! I do hope to read many of the TBR books this year and will do my best to not buy quite so many this year (I’ve already failed with a purchase or three!)

Happy Reading & Writing!

Author Annika Perry – Priorhouse Interview 

It was an honour to take part in one of Yvette Prior’s searching and insightful interviews over the weekend! Our discussion ranged from my books to advice for writers, from space aliens to living life to the full … plus much more!

Comments are closed here and I look forward to catching up with you all on Yvette’s wonderful blog!

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Good Morning Readers. Today I am featuring the Priorhouse Interview with blogger and author Annika Perry. 
ANNIKA:  
Hello Yvette and thank you so much for the invitation to take part in one of your interviews! It’s a joy to be here! The tagline to my website sums me up in a few words:
‘A writer influenced by her Swedish heritage and Yorkshire upbringing.’
It is this dual background that is the foundation of not only my writing but also my life...

To read the rest of the original post please click here.

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REFLECTIONS

I’m not a huge fan of statistics! Yet at times they can be surprisingly revealing and this was the case over the holidays as I made a rare excursion to my ‘Stats’ page!

I think it is only fitting that an article about friendship should be the most viewed post of 2021. ‘Friendship’, written in February 2017, celebrates the wonder of friendship and more than ever I believe that:

‘The journey of life, with its highs of happiness and lows of loss and suffering, would be unbearable without the constant presence of friends -– the shared expedition easing the load, doubling the joy.’ (Annika Perry)

Some of my book reviews were in the top ten most viewed posts this year, including ‘The Frequency of Us’ (#2), ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words’ (#3) and ‘Liars and Thieves’ (#5).

A few of my own fiction pieces were in the top ten. ‘Beckoning Light’ (#6) also had the honour of being the most viewed post within a single day in 2021. The comments on ‘Where Did They Go?’ (#10) were uplifting and heartening.

‘Lunch itself had been an unremarkable affair, the legs of the iron-wrought table playing a tuneless melody as the wrap was assembled. Tortilla, lettuce, avocado, parmesan, a couple of drooping slabs of tomato. They angered her, those tomatoes which had lost their lustre, their brightness. What right did they have to give up?’ (Annika Perry)

In the eighth position is one of my many ‘walking’ posts, this time taking a new look at the familiar topic! ‘Duality of Walks’ (#8) featured both a real-life local walk as well as that of the virtual walk as part of a global challenge!

‘Mesmerising Marbles’ (#7) proved popular with many as I captured how a Swedish musician built an incredible musical instrument that uses 2,000 marbles to create a unique and melodic tune.

The last two top ten posts centred around my work as a writer. ‘Creative Haven’ (#9) captured the creation and launch of my very own writing studio whilst my children’s book Oskar’s Quest was celebrated through a heartwarming and touching review in ‘“A Message of Courage, Kindness and Friendship.”’ (#4)

‘’Oskar’s Quest’ is a beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship. Annika Perry has a gift for writing up, not down to children. Even very young children are attentive, curious and observant.’ (Erica Henault)

None of this would be possible without you all, my dear friends! Your amazing, thoughtful and caring comments and engaging interaction has been a godsend this past year, all these years. I was astonished to see the array of nationalities of followers and friends from across the globe. The top two countries for the number of views were not a surprise to me, that of the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The next eight countries included India, Canada, Philippines, Australia, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa and Germany — a joy to see two more continents drawn in by my writing! Thank you so much — your continued support and interest mean so very much to me.

Finally, it is with deep sadness that two of the most gentle yet formidable souls I’ve met here on WordPress, both wonderful authors and bloggers, passed away this year. In this unique digital world, where connections are forged across the internet, often never to meet in real life, the friendships feel as close and meaningful as ever.

Both these authors lived incredible lives filled with adventure and daring; they faced their illnesses with courage, open to the end about their personal battles, sharing in the wisdom, hardships, love and joy. Their missives had me in tears and yet at times laughter.

Your lives exist through your words, your work; through us all touched by your inspirational approach to life.

Sue Vincent

14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021

‘No matter how much the physical world seems to shrink around you, as access to it is cut off by restrictions, health and mobility… the landscape of the heart is an infinitely wide place to run free and play with those we love.’ (Sue Vincent)

Mary Smith

d. 25th December 2021

‘I was riveted by both the epic sweeping story as well as the wonderfully descriptive writing and the beautifully drawn and varied characters in ‘No More Mulberries’.

Mary Smith is an assured writer who unravels the multifaceted lives of her characters with creative skill, whilst retaining tight control of the overall novel. I was hooked from the very beginning and felt a sense of loss upon finishing the book … one of those times I just didn’t want to say farewell to my new friends!’ (extract of my book review of Mary Smith’s book ‘No More Mulberries’)

I will never forget either of you.

‘Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.’ (Khalil Gibran)

BOXES OF REVELATIONS

I cleared out more than just old junk from the loft the other day.

An unwelcome task, which had been put on hold over the years, as other more important and interesting chores pushed their way to the fore. Finally, the urgent need for dates stretching back decades ensured there was no further postponement. After all the embassy required certain information to procure the passport.

My heart sank a little as I donned my cleaning garb of oldest tracksuit bottoms, worn jumper and gardening coat. Why did I leave this to cold autumn days, why had I failed to take advantage of the warm light of summer? At last with old trainers on and a bucket of clean water on standby at the bottom of the rickety ladder, I headed into the darkness of the attic. I pulled the light cord and a satisfying twang later the space beneath the roof was alight in all its messy fusty glory.

As ever awed by quite how much stuff accumulated over the years I gritted my teeth, clambered up, spotting spider webs in the darkest recesses. Was there time to scamper down to fetch a shower cap for my hair? Would goggles over my glasses be an idea? As excuses flitted around the edge of my attention, I set to the task with intense vigour.

Quickly any misgivings were replaced with excitement; a treasure hunt into my past. Boxes were shifted and sifted through with speed. The ones behind me to be hauled downstairs, the rest to be left for another day. Only two or three boxes were supposed to make it to daylight, yet ten found their way to my studio.

The dust and grit from the loft followed me, a hazy cloying musty cloud hung around my body like an unkempt aura! Once outside I beat the muck out of my clothes and performed an unceremonious jig on the patio, ruffling my hair as it was released from the confines of the green silk bobble!

Surprisingly it wasn’t the major items, the most vital papers, which reached into my heart that day of sorting, of tidying. The smallest, most insignificant objects tugged my emotions in a most unexpected manner.

I laughed out loud as my old troll sought to escape the confines of the box, its vibrant orange hair tousled, the white knitted dress shimmering with a light coating of grey dust. Yet its eager cheeky smile was intoxicating and I realised how much I missed my friend! Not to be abandoned again, my old / new friend stands proudly by my computer screen. Did I see it shift its feet to take a peek at my writing?

My brother’s green Morgan toy car skidded out of another box and landed with aplomb upon the carpet, the thick pile an impediment to any further forward motion. How had I ended up with this toy? Was it from our childhood, or more likely he lent it to my son during one of our visits.

In an instant I’m bombarded with such strong sensations I reel backwards, luckily sitting comfortably in my chair. Our childhoods, those of our children inextricably intertwined.

My next discovery leaves me beaming away as my head is filled with music. A badge lies proudly on my desk and I remember with joy and glee of being one of the first worldwide members of the Bucks Fizz fan club. With my two best friends we listened avidly to their music, devoured the club magazines, pinned up the signed group photographs, practised the dances endlessly. The sense of freedom, lightness, the sense of unhampered possibilities soared within me.

My greatest moments of enlightenment, such was the power and revelation, were reserved for the perusal of my folders.

Years and years of study notes, essays, so much work safely secured inside the multicoloured array of folders. So many courses, most forgotten, some seared into my heart. Keats was an immediate love and one not forgotten, but who was Bruckner? The Russian translations had me in shock, how did we go from knowing no Russian to translating Dickens into Russian and reading Chekov in the original language in less than a year? Recycling bag after recycling bag was stuffed full whilst empty boxes were tossed outside onto the lawn.

I saved the oldest of boxes for last. These I wanted to savour and wow, I was in for a treat! My passion for writing and literature started young I recalled, but my absolute love and dedication was a revelation. Collecting quotes I thought was a new pastime for me from my early days of blogging. Not the case as I discovered tiny cards with quotations on one side, the source on the other side. All neatly placed in a small box. The inherent wisdom of these floored me. I was barely fourteen.

Alongside these were pages of notes for my handmade magazine. In-depth articles researched, written, edited and finally published. ‘The Peripheral’ was my first foray into self-publishing.

Scattered loosely within a folder was a German magazine that featured articles about life, our hopes for 2025, our many fears but also beliefs that life would get better. On smaller A5 yellow sheets of paper the wise words of Socrates copied out in hand. Bless. How earnest was my young heart and soul? Bless it for caring so much.

The other day I cleared out not only my loft but also the cynicism and pessimism of modern life. I trashed my acceptance of life now; I threw away my belief that things can’t be better. I refreshed my soul with the beauty of youth, innocence and trust in people, a future, of humanity. I chucked out the ‘I can’ts’ with the exuberance of childhood ‘I cans’ and why not! It seemed so easy and free then.

They say I thought too much as young. I realise that was true to an extent … but the thoughts were on the wings of my heart flying high. Over the years my thoughts would dominate, take over and gradually dampen the imagination and carefree wonder of the world and all its magic.

A magic rediscovered in the loft amongst my musty dusty belongings. A magic released into the world!

©Annika Perry

Many thanks to my mother for finding this photo! Here my troll, with some aid from myself, is playing the piano at my kindergarten/pre-school!

I FORGIVE YOU

"Close-up of flower with many layers of pink and white petals, slightly darkened on the edges."

I forgive you, dear sublime tricksters glimpsed amongst the autumnal taupe. With your summer sheen you try to deceive me as for a second I let down my seasonal guard.

For over an hour I’ve luxuriated with the warm glow of sunshine upon my face, eyes squinted against the glaring rays as I’ve wandered around the Hall gardens.

"Large maple tree with glorious bright red leaves against green of fir trees and bluest of sky."

My eyes feasted upon the startling crimson maple in the distance, burnished as if alight; my vision lifted across to the golden hues of dancing grasses, above them russet oak leaves fluttering, twirling, released from the clasp of the branches, on their last flight of life.

All the time I’m fully aware of autumn. Yet here you are, at my feet, tucked neatly into the flower border, hiding beneath the bare roses. A sparkle of summer, your petals tinged with a love of light and life. Tugging at my memory of a bygone season.

"Large border of Pampas grasses swaying in the breeze, red leafed bushes to the front, blue sky."

I forgive you, con artist extraordinaire! With a sharp intake of breath I remain utterly still, coveting the treasure of summer, not wanting any sudden action to cause the precious petals to leave their anchor. Petals nigh free from blemishes of decay, petals bursting with gentle hues of pinks and the brilliance of white. On closer inspection though the ravages of autumn have started to touch them, the normal soft golden orb reduced to puckered sandy powdered puffballs.

I welcome your tenacity, your audacity. I salute your temerity. Thanking you for the gift of your deception, for returning summer to me on the cusp of winter.

"Ornamental pond with ducks swimming in it, bordered by pillar conifers, trees in autumn reds and gold, flowered water lilies in the middle."

IN THE MURK

Private people, political pawns
Scratching for survival on the barren plains.
Tufts of autumn grasses, scraggly skeleton trees
A frozen mist of grey
descends on them all.

Flickering flames fight for life
beneath four large twigs
crossed unevenly above
the mound of ashes.

Vacant eyes stare despairingly.
The route to freedom pushes back
Behind them an equally determined force
hems them in. No return to civilisation.

Trapped, the human hostages wait.
For Life. Or for Death.

As usual the world watches on.
Albeit through distorted crackly images
sent from the migrants’ phones.
The Press refused entry by both sides.

In the glare of publicity, but not.
In our sights, but not.

Days become nights.
Tens of migrants become hundreds.
Hundreds turn to thousands.

In an area bereft of anything
There is even less than nothing.

The masses gather
at hastily slung up rolls of barbed wire.

The Border.

Words are thrown through the
gaping holes of mesh,
Stones are hurled across the countries.
SNIP SNAP.
Shears ineptly
attack the coiled boundary.

15,000 official soldiers ahead.
Unknown army thugs to the rear.
2,000 imprisoned, homeless, unrepresented.
No voice. No advocate.

Humanity at its basest.

As the verbose political volleys
a
re strewn across the air waves,
As political threats are met by counter-threats
People Die. All hope diminished.

Resolutions are passed in amiable assemblies
Discussions continued over replete repasts.
Morsels from these luncheon tables
But a dream to the
Trapped.

Flown in by a malfeasant country
on the wings of promises,
of easy access to the West, of bright futures.

However much one might question
such nativity. The truth remains:
No one leaves their home for uncertainty.
No one endures such hardship.
Without real and absolute cause.

As the hoards gather in the frozen murk
Ghostly beings wander the earth
Human beings abandoned by the world.

For once, why not take the high ground?
For once, why not do what is morally right?

Let governments continue their wrangling,
Let world organisations issue
their impotent irresolute decrees
.

For NOW

At the border, save the people.
Allow orderly documented entry
From there seek the best way forward.

For NOW

May humanity take a step forward,
Through the murk, across the wire.

©Annika Perry, November 2021

THROUGH A NEW LENS

"Star-like purple-blue flower close-up."

How often do we happen to look but fail to see? Fail to take the time or effort to truly assimilate and absorb the life around us? Perhaps something is simply too far away?

"Muntjac deer peering from undergrowth in woodland."

A camera is ideal to focus one’s attention and as an amateur photographer a recent birthday present of a new camera reignited my passion for the craft.

"Two marigolds close-up, golden yellow, folds of petals with crystals of dew drops."

It rarely leaves my side; accompanies me on walks, to the garden, around the house. I’m overjoyed to share ten of my favourite photos taken the previous week and hope you enjoy them and some of the quotations they inspired me to seek out! Each one has taught me to look afresh at the world, showing me a new perspective on life.

"Blackberries, unripe green, ripening red and ready to pick black ones."

“So it is with blackberries. If you pull too hard, you may get the berry but you will lose the sweetness of it. On the other hand, if you leave it, it may be gone the next time you come by. Each person must find this point of equilibrium for himself.” Extract from Death of a Hornet and Other Cape Cod Essays by Robert Finch

"Dog running fast along empty beach towards pier in the background."

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” Extract from Call of the Wild by Jack London

"Big wheel ride taken from below against white wispy clouds. Shows its dramatic height."

“How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Extract from The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Single gull, close-up, standing on outcrop with blue sea in the background."

“His one sorrow was not solitude, it was that the other gulls refused to believe the glory of flight that awaited them; they refused to open their eyes and see.” Extract from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

"Single pink rose called Queen of Sweden, petals startlingly clear and gradually unfurled."

“When you recognise the sacredness, the beauty, the incredible stillness and dignity in which a flower or a tree exists, you add something to the flower or the tree. Through your recognition, your awareness, nature comes to know itself. It comes to know its own beauty and sacredness through you.” Extract from Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

"Autumn thistles against cloudy dramatic sky, white tufts of flowering thistles. In the middle on purple still flowering thistle."

“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” by Confucius