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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Christmas Chapbook in Celebration Series

Blooming Red

Subtitle: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
By Magdalena Ball & Carolyn Howard-Johnson
ISBN 9781449948245

Reviewed by Joyce White for Amazon
Award winning and happily espoused poets, Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball, have teamed up once again, to help celebrate their love of the holidays with their new book of poetry, Blooming Red. Carolyn is the Frugal Book Promoter and the Frugal Editor. You can find Maggie at the popular Compulsive Reader.

Carolyn and Maggie work together virtually as Carolyn lives in California and Maggie lives in Australia. It fascinates me how these two poets team up and get the best out of each other. Each contributed 13 individual poems to this festive holiday collection of wit, family charm, and myth. If you’re wondering, they also collaborated on Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future in the same way. All can be found at Both of these women enjoy a common interest in celebrating their sexuality and sensuality in poetry during the holidays.

Carolyn experimented with abstract and form in her poetry, and some of her one-liners, are:

“Christmas is always a surprise package…no one wants to decorate a tree pushing a star to the top of a 14-foot high vaulted ceiling…”

“Christmases all to soon pass us by as others laid claim to our progeny…”

“we have more time to think…to write…to remember while “all the gremlins and ants…cleverly disappear until it is Christmas time again…”

Carolyn turned to Google to help her find an anteater to adopt or rent out for the holiday…Google’s keyword elf gave [her] the best gift of all Christmas gifts…the idea of making-dinner-reservations…out!

Carolyn writes “Natures best gifts and ours never silent…blessed by no human sound.”

Reading these two award winners is like partaking in their womanhood, tasting their femininity, and meeting their past head on. Their poems cry out for their inner child who still wants Santa to come visit them, you know…equality for all; and, I agree with Carolyn who says “[in] Einstein’s less than balanced world…we would be less than dead.”

Maggie writes of abundance and waste, of gluttonous dyspepsia…of the inability to digest joy when others are hungry, what cannot be created or destroyed…a huge database of Christmas past (found in the attic)…random messy knowledge curse of recall becoming parcels he could leap…with only one present leading him to greatness…with anticipation turning to memory before weeping eyes…a house full of dreams, visions and desires, each glass ball becoming a wish, taken from the tree of life we decorate at Christmas…super connections pulsing, through the anti-matter of your tired brain, wrought with nostalgia and wrung through time’s dryer…Once the paper’s gone, it’s just us again, tired, spent, remembering life…one tap of the keyboard a newbie springs forth…no sacrifices in blood here…this is a rational zone so many years on fertile.
Make your holiday great and read your family Blooming Red. It is a great holiday stuffer! Fun and Informal. Five Stars from me. Merry Christmas to everyone!

The reviewer is the author of Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews ( and two books, Sculpting the Heart’s Poetry and Sculpting the Heart: Surviving Depression with Art Therapy,

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