Posted in reviews

Uncommon Poems for the Common People – A Review

UNCOMMON POEMS FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE

by Charly Priest

Reviewed by Kelvin M. Knight

Yvette Prior from PriorHouse blog introduced me to this collection of poetry and I am glad that she did. First up, the cover is simple yet interesting and the book title drew me straight in, followed by these words from the Preface in rhyming poetry formation propelling me onwards.

…Suitable for those people who are not poetry experts,

but also for the so-called experts,

this is not a

piece of Shakespearian literature

this is raw, informal

yet also normal

for the common people

that don’t read Shakespeare…

Even though I have read Shakespeare (and can recite the odd soliloquy or two from Macbeth for my sins) I was undeterred because I like words and ideas that are different. And Charly’s collection of chaptered poems is certainly different. There is such a diverse feel to the poems here with the repeating themes of war, relationships, and self-development at the core. Indeed, I read poems about the ugliness of revenge and retaliation. I read poems about flirtation and prostitution and love ending. I read poems of shuddering, juddering purpose finding and trial by error transformation with moments of sublime realisation. These moments I wanted to cling to, for example whilst re-reading and savouring Recalibrate and Judging Is Great in Chapter Three – Life Reflections.

There is a rawness in Charly’s poetry that is refreshing – even though sometimes the poetry could be a tad too raw, and the imagery and emotion Charly’s trying to stir escaped me. And yet, upon reflection, in this rawness there is healing. Nowhere is this more obvious in the fifty poems in Charly’s collection than in my two absolute favourite poems Soul Searching from Chapter Four – Front Lines and the first I poem in Chapter One – Architect of Words:

I stare at the white wall I hear the water droplets fall

I stare at the water droplets fall I hear particles in the white wall

The overriding feeling I am left with upon completing Charly’s collection is honesty. Nowhere is this more beautifully expressed than in the poem Invisible People found at the beginning of Chapter Five – Humanity.

Charly’s book can be purchased here.

Posted in what pegman saw

THAT HOLIDAY

Picture by Mon Lan from Google Maps


THAT HOLIDAY

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

The air crackled with excitement. Standing at the rear of the crowd about to surge forward, Peter tried to be a part of the crowd without feeling apart from the crowd.

Who was he kidding. He hated crowds. For decades, he’d prided himself on always standing apart from the crowd. He used to argue fiercely that he would even stand apart if he was caught up in an emergency situation and everyone was running for their lives. Until that day it happened to him.

When this crowd surged forward to touch that golden boulder, he tasted smoke, he heard screaming and choking, then he was stampeding to that emergency exit, his elbows sharper than everyone else’s.

Everyone else.

So many people didn’t make it, including children and pregnant mothers. His selfishness saddened him deeply, but what could he do? When it came to the crunch, he was human after all.

(150 words)


The above story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part in posting their stories, and those who support this community by reading and commenting.

Posted in what pegman saw

THIS PLACE

Church of the Granite Columns from Wikipedia under a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence


THIS PLACE

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

In the emptiness of here, I see sand swirling, rising. You see sandcastles.

I see pillars cracking, crumbling. You see a palace.

I hear people weeping, wailing. You hear crowds cheering.

I hear an ominous silence. You hear distant angel song.

I smell fear feeding failure. You smell the sweetest perfume.

I taste dust. I choke on dust. You savour the cleanest water.

I feel time is coming to an end. You feel everything is just beginning.

I feel despondent, despairing. You feel full of hope.

‘Have faith, friend.’ Your lips, your eyes, your entire being blossoms into a smile. ‘Everything is going to be okay.’

Your smile touches me deeply. Your words fill me completely. Swaying, I see a sandcastle forming in the air and gasp as the wonder of this place reveals itself to me.

(137 words)


The above story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Old Dongola, Sudan, Africa

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part.

Posted in what pegman saw

THAT SUNSET

Rasgado’s Jazz Club, Baía Farta, Angola by

Claudio González Jorge, Google Maps


THAT SUNSET

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

This sand, this golden golden sand, how it kissed their knees and hands. Working apart, they patted and pushed, slapped and squeezed. As the tide crept out, this magical sand rose into an amazing tower, one that had been in their eyes from the beginning.

People milled around them, nodding and gasping, pointing and smiling, but they continued obliviously until their tower was the perfect height. Only then did they lift the object that had been between them all this time, and, on tiptoe, carefully place it at the top of their tower.

The tide surged forwards. Silently they moved a stone’s throw from their tower. When the waves chomped at its base, he was the first to bow his head and sob. Trembling, she reached out for her father’s hand. Moments later, their shrivelling tower toppled and the ashes of her mother slid gracefully out to sea.

(148 words)


The above story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Angola, Africa

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part.

Posted in what pegman saw

THE BARE NECESSITIES

Picture by debbiayelet from Pixbay


The Bare Necessities

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

We didn’t know we could dance. We didn’t know we could sing. If they hadn’t welcomed us into their amazing home and encouraged us with their kind words, their wonderful music, we would still be none the wiser.

The way their drums beat, the way their lights pulsed, was like lifetimes of heartbeats becoming one.

Our arms lifting, our bodies gyrating, we became one, whereupon our souls were revealed, harmonious and multicoloured souls that swirled before them, made them clap and cheer until their souls flopped out: ugly pits they were ashamed of. Pits writhing in agony where we glimpsed our ancestors standing naked, chained at their necks and feet. Their fur was bald and bloody and caked in excrement. Tortured, our ancestors were forced to fight until they died.

Motionless, we bared our teeth then held out our clawed paws, offered them our forgiveness until their lamenting began.

(150 words)


The above “talking statue” story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Riga, Latvia

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part.

Posted in what pegman saw

LOVING MYSELF

Picture of English Garden Entrance by Trevor D from Google Maps


Loving Myself

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

There’s this garden before me I long to enter, one bursting with scents that make me feel alive.

Behind that perfect picket fence, blood-red roses grin at me. Behind them, a crazy-paving path zigzags across an immaculate lawn before circling a cottage which has the neatest of thatched roofs and the whitest of walls.

Around and around, flowers of every variety are weaved into collages by bees dragging pearls of pollen, while butterflies with angels’ wings dance  and birds sing the most heavenly song.

Inside the cottage, children giggle, adults too. Their good humour makes me want to hurl this wretched broken boot away and stomp forward.

I could.

I should.

I would love to enter this divine garden, join all those souls who passed me, but I am not good enough, I have never been good enough. And yet, it is entirely too lonely here to give up trying.

(150 words)


IMG_20190810_131301.jpg


The above story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Manitoba, Canada

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part.

Posted in what pegman saw

THE END OF THE RAINBOW

Picture of Storybook Island by Jeffrey Hammel from Google Maps


The End of the Rainbow

© Kelvin M. Knight, 2019

You can’t see me, little girl, you can’t!

Stop looking at me, little girl, stop looking!

No, I’m not going to wave at you because you’re waving at me, because I’m busy trying to hide my pot of gold, all right!

Sheesh – have I got to make another rainbow, slide along those sharp colours by the seat of my pants again? Cut myself to ribbons yet again? Have I? Have I? Hmmm!

Please, little girl, just look away. Please, please, pretty sugar and spice and all things nice please, look away.

Fine.

How about closing your eyes and counting to fifty? That’s right, I’ll play hide and seek with you. You count to fifty and I’ll hide my pot of life savings. When you open your eyes, if you can find them they’re yours… if you can’t, well, I will just add your soul to my collection of golden coins.

(150 words)


The above story was written in response to the What Pegman Saw prompt, which this week took us to:

Black Hills, South Dakota

You are warmly invited to the Inlinkz link party to read other globetrotting contributors’  stories inspired by this week’s prompt.

Click here to enter

Thank you, as ever, Karen and Josh, for hosting this great weekly prompt, and for everyone who takes part.