Poems Short Stories and Things Remembered
by Gloria G. Blakeney

"There is nothing quite so peaceful as the smile of a toddler snoozing."

While the compilation contains a range of poems and short stories that can appeal to a wide audience, the central theme undoubtedly revolves around faith and family. In keeping with this latter focus, Blakeney’s book also features special entries from her family, including pieces by her son Kyle, daughter-in-law Angela, and even her granddaughter, Allison, among others. The strength of faith and family shines throughout, creating an aura of positivity that overlooks poetic techniques.

Opening with traditionally structured devotional poems like “Angels in Time” and “Jesus is Born,” Blakeney’s style deviates to the experimental, using the acrostic structure in “C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S” and “E-A-S-T-E-R” where each letter represents the origin of each of these days. As the poetry progresses, poems like “A Father” and “Friends” dwell on the beauty of relationships. Similarly, “Have You Ever,” a clever play on the classic game, provides a clear message: Slow down in life, appreciate nature, and revere the savior that provided these gifts for the individual to experience.

The poems take on a more solemn tone as the poetry section nears an end. “Don’t Give Up” is Blakeney’s testament to persistence, faith, and positivity through tragedy depicted in “The Little Boy Who Wasn’t To Be” and “Depression.” Perhaps the most intriguing poem in the collection, however, is “Shades,” which seems to not only depict the colorful life of raising a child but also the various seasons of life.

To complement the poetry, audiences will find meaning in Blakeney’s section on short stories, particularly the biblical reference to the story of Ruth, “Our Neighborhood Park,” and especially “Memories of a Cat Named Smokie.” Ultimately, combining the first two sections with the “Sayin’s” yields a work that is full of emotion and genuine intent, resulting in a meaningful and heartwarming read.

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