Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again. {Book Review}

Tammy Stone Book Cover

 

By Melody Lima

For many of us, our path is sprinkled with love, discovery, exploration, nature and spirit; as we travel along we experience frustration, clarity, distance and community.

In her new book of poetry, Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again, Tammy T. Stone paints her journey from her childhood in Canada to adulthood in Japan. With six sections/chapters, this book of poetry reads like a novel or a memoir reflecting the author’s inner struggles and triumphs.

 

Sleep is a story between what you know

and what your dreams are for.  p.14.

 

Sadness take you back,

brings you memories to anchor it, terrifies you

in the dark, because of who you were and might still be. p.  28

 

Stone details the outside and nature in the chapter entitled, From Here, I See. The reader senses there is a shift in perspective for the author.

 

Uphill, past the moat without a castle

and school without a parking lot, the

forest. Cedars and pines,

the origin of green

and the source of everything

my mind now longs to know.  p.34

 

In the fourth section, Kali Dance: Five Rupee Poems, the circle of life is celebrated by Ms. Stone in more of nature’s details and travels. Temples, gods, streets, buses, weather and spirit float through the text and imagery of these poems. It feels like Ms. Stone never stepped indoors, rather she embraced the communities, culture and customs in the locations her travels brought her.

 

Red, blue and yellow cloths

hanging from branches, growing out of half a tree.

The other half burned long ago.  P. 59

 

The monks are in

the Gompa, prayer hall, chanting

and praying for the happiness

of all beings, here

and now, past and future, all

over the universe.  P. 72

 

In Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again, practices of mindfulness are threaded throughout the narrative.

 

I think the flies might be little Buddhas,

buzzing

around

our heads

as we try to meditate

but think of other things,  p.63

 

A layer of film forms at the top of my glass of chai.

we meditate: a light

comes to sit on top of my head.

Covering? Protecting?

Loving?  p.75

 

Ms. Stone continues with detailed outside descriptions, often reflecting an internal journey searching for answers and clarity. Family, geography and love inspire every word of these poems.

 

The paint is speaking

from this century,

thanking

gurus,

The Beatles,

everything that

Made Love

here and Be Still,

the ashram sings. P.92

 

There is nothing here.

they took the town away.

mountainous remains,

it’s time we go. p.99

 

Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again closes with 25 haikus, summarizing years of observation and transformation.

 

dark night falls

everything thought wrong,

still, I need you  p. 107

new winter beckons

clarity sweeps

lighter than wind  p.109

 

we move time

a deity

forever breath  p. 113

This collection of poems paints the path of one author’s journey of the heart with beautiful details of nature, culture and practices of spirit. Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again speaks to any mindful individual who embraces the process of searching, observing and living.

Formation was printed through Prolific Press. For more information about the book or for a signed copy, please contact Tammy through her Facebook Author’s Page or e-mail

Photo: provided by author

Editor: Alicia Wozniak

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Melody Lima

Melody Lima, is a creative adventurer, who will tell her story somehow in some way. The narrative is filled with movement (yoga teacher), words (writer), color (artist), texture (parenthood) and other experiences of discovery. Sharing her observations on & off the yoga mat, she attempts to keep things mindful and not too cynical. She loves peaceful debate and good scotch.Visit her blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.
By | 2016-10-14T07:48:12+00:00 May 9th, 2016|Arts, blog, Featured|0 Comments