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Perspective to Pen: An Anthology

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This collection of poetry and prose is worthy of every reader to delve into.

Synopsis

Twelve talented poets showcase voices and styles as diverse
as they are. Being of many various ages, genders, races,
orientations, and nationalities, each poet joins together here
to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. This
anthology is focused on sharing and exploring a plethora of
differing perspectives, becoming separate yet simultaneously
united. Throughout these pages, you will find multifaceted
expansions on very human experiences, like the ecstasy of a
first love, the treacherous pits of loneliness, raw and crippling
grief, the visceral beauty of nature, the nostalgia of childhood,
just to name a few.

"Perspective to Pen: An Anthology," is a collection of poetry and prose is worthy of every reader to delve into. Edited by Ben C. Ward and created by Robert A. Cozzi, it features the works of familiar and fresh voices. Robert A. Cozzi. Brian Fuchs, Lisa Bain. Shanika Benoit, Max Asbeek Brusse, Emily Salt, Nathaniel Chin, Anthony James Rivera, Cody James, Davian Williams, Carl Straut-Collard, and Ben. C. Ward make up this anthology.


Lisa Bain went on a global solo adventure to recapture her sense of self after becoming a young widow. Her poetry is based in grief and mourning.

From "Baggage (v,2)"

"I silently berate myself, forcing tears away.
Someday I'll acknowledge what it took to make it to this day.
But for now, unzipping my bag, I dump the contents on the floor.
I'm done with this.
I refuse to carry deadweight with me anymore."


Robert A. Cozzi is an award winning poet who mentors writers internationally.

From "Living Alone in 2020"

"Sometimes
Music is his only comfort
Brokenhearted lovers mourning their losses
Lamenting their loneliness
Is all that salves him
The music brings the sting of isolation
To such a precise agony
That it makes him feel less alone"


Brian Fuchs is a woods-dwelling poet who focuses on small details in his writing.

From "A Mood"

"She is spending time
figuring things out,
getting help with grief.
We aren't drinkers.
It wasn't what she thought
and her mom is still dead.
Everything smells -
mildew and potatoes.
It's old, everything is old.
I'm tired."


Shanika Benoit was born in Trinidad and now lives in Connecticut, USA. Her writing reflects inner dialogue and observations of her personal life.

From "On Guidance"

"It can come to you in a dream,
little nudges from your destiny,
a calling, a journey you must take."


Max Asbeek Brusse is originally from the Netherlands where he grew up on fairytales. This shows through in his poetry.

From "Drifting Away"

"I paddle to the middle of the lake
Long strokes, making the water "shush shush" around me
Besides the company of some ducks I am all alone."


Emily Salt is a poet known for writing abut mental health and the stigmas attached to mental illness.

From "Release the Elephants"

"These elephants don't despair
No-one's bothering to acknowledge them anyway
Big or tiny
These grey marvels are getting comfy
There's one on the couch"


Nathaniel Chin writes from a Christian religious viewpoint, and investigates the inner burdens and hopes of humanity.

From "Intersectionality"

"But if I were to be defined by a word,
I'd be a metaphor,
The archetype of meaning and divine inspiration.
A Neoplatonic spark,
Cast in brown skin.
Born within the caste
Of the working-class hero"


Anthony James Rivera is a Latin American poet from New England. His poetry focuses on relationships and jaded hopes.

From "Take a Stand"

"When you stand alone
No on e else can take your stance
The shoes might fit
But only you can wear the pants"


Cody James writes from the perspective of a reformed delinquent. His poetry exposes the questions and pain of living through life's disappointments.

From "Cell Ceiling Blues"

"I'm here to deep clean
Spring clean
My cell ceiling blues
Scrub the remnants and tenements of
past souls whom knew just what to do"


Davian Williams writes poetry with storytelling in mind.

"From "Bet It All On Hearts"

"Money speaks loudly in a casino,
But could never outstand
The worth of a man's words."


Carl Strait-Collard is a New Yorker with a passion for the arts and activism.

From "Break Thru and Write"

"Empty pockets take the weight off my pen.
I release time/space on my own clock
With visions of fellow Writers
Composing together and alone."


Ben C. Wars is a young man whose survival of domestic abuse pours into his emotional words.

From "Memento Mori"

"I can't find my father's bones, but it's possible that they're mine too. I shudder at the thought and approach the city's edge, where the violin cries broken sobs, trying to catch its breath."


This is a poetry collection to be treasured by both readers and writers.

Reviewed by

Jessica Lucci is an award winning indie author on a quest to use books to unite society.

Synopsis

Twelve talented poets showcase voices and styles as diverse
as they are. Being of many various ages, genders, races,
orientations, and nationalities, each poet joins together here
to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. This
anthology is focused on sharing and exploring a plethora of
differing perspectives, becoming separate yet simultaneously
united. Throughout these pages, you will find multifaceted
expansions on very human experiences, like the ecstasy of a
first love, the treacherous pits of loneliness, raw and crippling
grief, the visceral beauty of nature, the nostalgia of childhood,
just to name a few.

Lisa Bain

LISA BAIN


Lisa Bain became a young widow in 2016 after losing her


husband to cancer. She quickly learned we live in a grief-

phobic society that isolates the grieving even further. The


Idaho-based author took off on a (nearly) two-year solo trip

around the globe to work through the grief process and found

her voice along the way. With both humor and heartbreak,

she incorporates grief and bereavement issues into her

keynotes, blog, poetry (featured in Ireland-based Poethead),

and her debut novel, Heart of a Kingdom (The Light Network,

2019).

Her poems are snapshots of love, death, and the journey of

starting over. Sometimes they rhyme. For more, visit:

TheRealLisaBain.com or on Instagram @LisaBainWrites. For

all other muggle and magic shenanigans across social media,

check out @TheRealLisaBain.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


2


Butterflies

I’m fully submerged; a blanket of bubbles pulled up to my

lazy smile. Belting out Butterfly, off-key and at the top of my

lungs, is justified since I have this wing to myself, and it’s

only late afternoon.

I didn’t hear you until you were already in my room. I’d

forgotten to lock the door.

Jumping up, I slosh water and bubbles all over the marble

tile. Crazy Town is still singing in my airpods.

The look on your face is a blend of “I’m gonna get fired” and

“best Friday ever.” You stammer your bit about the

complimentary bottle of wine from hotel management in

your limited English. I’m sure it’s flawless when you don’t

have a bubble covered American standing in a pool of water.

When I finally regain my senses and reach for a towel, you

hastily turn and leave. I can feel you grinning as my cheeks

burn, and I lock the door.


Lisa Bain


3

Butterflies Part 2

It’s the off-season in Dubrovnik, which is why I splurge on

the five-star resort. The deal is too good to pass up. It’s also

why the smaller crew is working every shift.

I walk into breakfast alone to be greeted with the smell of

fresh coffee and American-style bacon. I haven’t seen

American-style bacon since I left home six months ago. For a

split second, it makes me hungry and nostalgic.

And then I notice the heads turn, and every one of your

colleagues is suddenly grinning like a schoolboy.

Before I know it, you appear at my table, still wearing that

grin I gave you yesterday You’re now my waiter. Great. I

want the floor to swallow me up. But not until after I’ve had

some coffee.

And bacon.

The soundtrack to my departure is a burst of laughter from

the kitchen. I can’t help but join in as my cheeks burn once

again.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


4


Believer

Dedicated to Ryan Wallace, The Opera Guy of Belfast

I await your arrival with eager anticipation. My mind

wanders back to that dreich day I first heard you singing in

Belfast. You, so dapper, and your angelic voice delivering

messages from heaven, right there in the middle of

Cornmarket.

Has it really been three years?

Today, as you begin to sing my favorite song, Bocelli’s

version of Fall On Me, the hazel eyes smiling back at me

suddenly belong to another. Just like the first time we met.

They say angels walk among us. You make me a willing

believer.


Lisa Bain


5


Zoom Life

Together in our isolation,

we share our beauty.

In our separate closets of night,

we stitch together light and color.

Creating life;

sending it out over the ether

to weave us together

in a patchwork cocoon of the brightest love.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


6


Stirling Silver

It’s late morning on a weekday, and the café isn’t full. But

when you see me dining alone, you choose the table across

from me, situating yourself so we’re facing each other. I

have a sudden image of us as Victorians at a ten-foot table,

and a giggle sneaks out. I accept the initial greeting you lob

over the space between us.

I mentally squeal when you call me lassie in that soft brogue

and check it off my list of Scottish experiences. It feels

fatherly. You kind of remind me of my dad, and I resist the

urge to hug you.

You listen so intently when I share my travel stories. You’re

easy to talk to, and when you ask me why I’m on my own, I

can’t hold the words back. My recent widowhood spills out

over my lips against my will.

Your kindness spares me the look of pity I’ve come to

despise. And my heart can tell you know it all too well. It’s

why we’re both dining alone.


Lisa Bain


7

Stirling Silver Part II

Dedicated to Richard McDonald, the piper of Stirling Castle

We talk about music, something we both love in a way only

the bereaved know. I take notes and write down all your

suggestions. You invite me to hear you play the bagpipes at

Stirling Castle tomorrow afternoon, but I am booked on the

early train to Oban. I suddenly want to change my plans so I

can spend more time with you.

And then you burst into song, right there in the middle of

Our Place Café. You serenade me with Wild Mountain

Thyme, reminding me to write down the Joan Baez version

in my fancy phone. I feel other patrons looking at us, but I

only see you.

The smile on your face mirrors the one in my heart. You

allow me to take your photo, provided I email it to your son.

He helps you with your computer.

The rough wool tweed of your coat scratches my cheek as I

hug you goodbye. I dash out the door before you see the tear

escape my eye.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


8

Bilingual Maybes

you did a double take when you caught me staring

but held my blushing gaze

no spoken words exchanged

in your smile, we explore the future

before time resumes its normal course

and releases us from a bold, bilingual maybe


Lisa Bain


9


Music Lovers

I walk into the pub late and you’re already on stage.

You begin to sing that song; the one you put on the playlist

you made for me. You won’t make eye contact, but I feel you

watching me as I order my drink.

When you sing the last word, your mouth turns up at the

corners and you finally look at me. You catch me running

my fingertips over my bruised lips at the memory of your

kisses and I blush as you fail to control the desire on your

face.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


10

Hurricane Ophelia

The wind screams through the chimney as Ophelia settles in

over Killarney. You are my only friend here. Or were, until

we had a fight two days ago. That should have been the end

of it. But you know I’m here alone, and your better nature

kicks in.

You brave the hurricane to show up at my door, peace

offering in hand. I’m not especially nice about it, but the

wind carries my harsh words away and we sit in awkward

silence in the front room. I look over the rim of my whiskey

glass at you in silence. You fidget like a naughty student

sent to the principal’s office but meet the storm swirling in

my eyes.

When the wind and rain die down, we walk arm-in-arm into

town. The storm blew away the anger and memories of why

we fought. You laugh at me as I try my first Guinness. I roll

my eyes as you complain (again) about my expensive

whiskey taste. We laugh and dance and drink it all away.

The music sets the night ablaze and the smoke from a turf

fire hitches a ride home in my hair.


Lisa Bain


11


Baggage (v. 2)

Heaving my suitcase onto the bed

I drop it on the floor instead,

Oops, forgot it’s full of laments for my dead.

Why did I pack the weight of grief and fear

when all I want to do is be light and clear?

Running away and starting over is my plan

So why did I decide to bring along a dead man?

I silently berate myself, forcing tears away

Someday I’ll acknowledge what it took to make it to this

day.

But for now, unzipping my bag, I dump the contents on the

floor

I’m done with this.

I refuse to carry deadweight with me anymore.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


12


Exposed

After checking my seatbelt for the seventh time, I look

around to distract myself from my usual take-off jitters.

Your bare ankle catches my attention from across the aisle. I

avert my gaze as I wonder why I feel my face flush in

embarrassment.

My eyes can’t stay away from the naked skin between your

trouser hem and shoe. So bizarrely intimate.

A wave of vulnerability crashes over my heart as a random

memory of my hand, resting sleepily on the warm skin of

another ankle, surfaces. I shake it off, returning to you and

cruising altitude.

As small as this plane is, I could reach across the aisle and

touch it. I want to. Instead, I hold my drink with both hands,

looking out the window at the clouds below as my palms

daydream about the feel of your skin and memories melt

into maybes.


Lisa Bain


13


Ancient Echoes

I join my sisters in a circle around this old cold henge.

The druid in our midst calls forth ancient echoes from the

towering stones,

rooting us deep in the Earth and across time.

Hands clasped, electric, in this ancient prayer of light,

the hair on the back of my neck stands

and I weep as the sun sets fire to night.


Perspective to Pen: An Anthology


14


Home Again

I secure the coveted perch next to the window. Closing my

eyes, I bask in the warmth of the sun on my face. My brain

generously overlays a beach track, and the sounds of

lapping waves replace the hustle and bustle of the crowded

airport.

Childhood memories leap to fill in the gaps and I take flight.

Warm, powdery, sand slowly squishes between my toes as I

walk along the liminal edge. My efforts to avoid stepping on

the LEGO-sharp pinecones are distracted by the view of Na

Mokulua and the sun glinting off the too blue to be true

water. I breathe deep the elixir of coconut oil, salty air, and

barbecue. The lazy breeze picks up the lilting sing-song

melody of the islands, wrapping me in the magic of home.

At least until final boarding call for the giant bird taking me

even further away.


Lisa Bain


15


Grounded

when all movement stops and forced stillness begins

there’s nowhere for a nomad to go but within

no boarding pass needed, no suitcase to check

no passport, no visa, no vaccine requirement

solitude prepared me for this dive in the shadows

who i’ll emerge, only the universe knows

this wasn’t my choice, but i’m done running away

what better use is there for a quarantine day

About the author

Award-winning poet Robert A. Cozzi continues to dazzle his international following with poetry and prose that tantalize all five senses and leave the reader wanting more. He was also the creative force behind assembling this anthology. view profile

Published on December 01, 2020

Published by

30000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Anthologies

Reviewed by