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,
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.
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,
here and Be Still,
the ashram sings. P.92
There is nothing here.
they took the town away.
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
lighter than wind p.109
we move time
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