Below the Rim of Heaven
by Donnell Perryman
Stratton Press LLC

"Below the rim of heaven, we are all children of God, regardless of religious order, denomination, or faith."

The opening poem in this colorful debut collection is “My Knight in Shining Armor.” It celebrates the love of a gallant man for his lady:

Let me shield you inside my valorous heart
When your fragile world has come apart...

“My Brother” says the poet, may be rich, poor, healthy, humble, black, or Japanese, but most significantly, he is “any man you see.” A photo of an eagle in flight symbolizes “The Invalid,” with these stirring words:

If I cannot walk among men as an equal
God, let me soar way beyond their reach...

Perryman’s subjects sweep from the trials of slavery to the beauty of flowers, tributes to friends and family, and the humorous side of parenting in “Double Trouble.” All are vividly illustrated. The closing offering, “The Flight,” speaks of the soul’s journey:

Dare I fly into the wondrous realm of heaven
Beyond stark eternity, beyond the ever night…

In his powerful introduction, Perryman states that he created this collection to honor his grandfather, a man born in slavery who “dared to dream” and who, after teaching himself to read, always carried a book of verse. It is abundantly clear that the author’s mind has been infused with the frustrated aspirations of his forebear. Perryman proves here that he is amply able to write rich, emotive prose as well as to compose verse, both rhyming and free, that captures feelings and situations familiar to all of us. In addition, the words of each poem overlay a color photo, and the author has chosen them well, so much so that the reader might wonder: which came first—the picture or the poem? This is a collection that is designed to inspire on many levels, from hopes deferred in an earlier generation to talents realized and shared today.

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