There is love. There are its expressions. There are ways in which one chooses to talk about it. And then there is poetry, which seems to be the solution to every pain, heartbreak and every possible wound that is unseen or unheard.
I do not read much of poetry. Somehow, I don’t get the genre, but when something does get my attention, then that poet is booked for life for me. “Love and Other Small Wars” by Donna-Marie Riley is one such book of poems that I am hooked to. I have reread it thrice already and I know that I will go on for more, because it is that heart-breakingly beautiful and honest.
I was told by a dear friend about her and I could not help but check out her Tumblr page and also the wonderful verse and prose which she writes. Donna-Marie’s writing is a breeze, a welcome change from everything that I have read when it comes to verse.
She makes the simple extraordinary. The emotion, the pain and the expectations from life and what others expect from us, bleeds through these pages and that is what makes it beautiful. Riley’s poems are from the heart, they are from the gut, they are from every pore of her body – she does not mince words, she will not sugar-coat it for you and you will thank her for it.
From “How to Be Alone: A Twelve-Step Program” which is my favourite poem to “Consequences” – a poem about her gay brother and his boyfriend (who I could relate to more than anything else) to, “A Poem for the Insomniacs” and every other poem, Riley draws a picture so real and struggling with different emotions and life, that it feels like chewing on glass. It feels that wounded and real and somewhere down the line, you enjoy the treat so much, that you want to keep coming back to it – again and again and again.
Here is something for you from my favourite poem in the book:
“Learn to love yourself
like it is the hardest math equation
you have ever been asked to solve.”