|From My Heart to Yours|
Now avaliable on Amazon Kindle
By Laura A. Alston
88 pages- $15.00
A collection of beautiful, heartwarming poems written over a period of five years by a talented author and poet.
Reviewed by Joan Leotta
Poetry is the most personal of the literary arts. Jane Foust's cover painting, Inner Me, attracts browsers to the book – and they will not be disappointed for this small treasure box of poetry introduces readers to the inner Laura, someone any person would be proud to call friend. Among these poems are those to be shared with friends over a cup of tea, savored in quiet moments of our own, read for solace when we are experiencing sadness and shared with friends in times of joyous celebration.
Organized by the years in which they were written, ranging from 2009 through 2014, Alston takes on topics of self-worth, hope, holidays, and whatever else is of importance in that year. The Integrated Woman opens the book with a vote of confidence for the creative soul. This is one of the few strongly rhymed poems in the book and demonstrates Alston's mastery of rhyming and non-rhymed forms.
One of her strengths is imagery. I love the images called up by the title of one 2009 poem, Dancing to the Sound of Laughter—and the poem's subsequent images live up to the beauty of the title's promise. Alston opens 2010 with Winter Sunshine, a poem of hope in the cold moments of life. Her poems teaches us how to cherish unexpected moments of joy with the line, "I feel like hugging this day close" so that she can still enjoy the sun when winter is gray again.
Her year by year organization means there are several poems on the same general topic—Thanks giving, Christmas, Easter, the seasons. Yet each one is very different. In reading them in sequence, we see the evolution of her thought on these topics and enjoy with her, fresh insights each year brings to the topic. One of my favorite poems in the entire book is Come Daylight, where she artfully describes how dawn will provide her with opportunities to do good for others in a new day. Another favorite is 2013's God Gave Me Wings on Christmas Day where she offers up the glorious image, "I can touch the star of peace."
My copy is already full of little notes to myself where her words sparked my own imagination as a writer, or simply offered me memories of my own past happy moments and possibilities for future joy. The book's last poem is Life's Lessons. In this little gem, Alston exhorts readers to always be kind to those in need and to gather strength from being real and living life with zest and with emphasis on what is good and right. Good words to live by.
This collection is well worth reading and owning. The Editor's note that shares that Laura's sight is such that she can no longer contribute poems regularly to Righter Review. I hope she will find the strength to share more of her heart, if not on a regular basis, at least once in a while. She is a gifted poet and as a person with insights into life that need to be shared and she shares them with grace and beauty. I love her poems and will keep this book handy to read and reread for inspiration and enjoyment.