"A prayer is a poem and that is my truth."

This collection of poems explores several issues, including human suffering, ecological devastation, violence and war, immigration, the Covid-19 pandemic, racism, discrimination, and other topics in which, as Gonsalves writes, "soul and spirit face a storm together." Throughout, the author undertakes a journey to "seek understanding and acceptance in all the chaos." Many pieces are written as religious prayers. Other realms are equally explored, including celebrating nature, children, personal obstacles, death, the power of words, global peace, the celebration of trees and forests, and the poet's determination to raise her child as a lover of nature. "In the forest I let him touch and feel the trees as he points them out," writes Gonsalves. "One particular tree has become his ritual: he squeals with excitement when it's in our sight."

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown are also explored. In the poem 'Evening Meditation of Pandemic Life," Gonsalves writes, "From today, thirteenth of the third in the year twenty twenty, we / are locked inside and bring the memories of a life lived to survive." She describes online devices as "countries where freedom is large," noting that online is now where we teach, entertain, create, and more.

Gonsalves' unique voice celebrates life with powerful words and imagery born from a multicultural and multilingual experience. One poem, written during International Albinism Day, honors the stigma, discrimination, and—in some parts of the world—mutilation of people with albinism. Another poem is influenced by Maya Angelou's 2006 eulogy for Coretta Scott King. Gonsalves reflects on nurturing racial and cultural tolerance, citing the UN General Assembly's proclamation of 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent, acknowledging the truths of "slavery, brutality, and colonialism." Gonsalves writes illuminatingly about being a diasporan herself, having been born and raised in Tanzania, where Swahili was her mother tongue.

Return to USR Home