A review of Sublime Planet by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Reviewed by J. R. McRae

Sublime Planet includes a section called Sacred Lessons, Poems by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and one called Tipping Point with poems by Magdalena Ball. Two very different poets, very different styles of writing, have produced a collection united by their passion for environment, for the world that touches their skin and imbues them with its presence with every breath they take. This collection is their tribute to their world, both physical and mental; our world.

It is replete with flashes of insight,

forcing myself to see
all these stories
left to grow
viral in rubbish
[from “Toxic” by Magdalena]

memorable lines that linger in the soul.

Writing in my sleep, metaphors that sit on the bridge
of my nose.
[from My Favorite Things by Carolyn]

The collection is sprinkled liberally with stunning images that catch and hold the eye –

Van Gogh brushed sea
marked with freighters,
lights twinkling.
smudged parentheses afar,
looming presences up close.
[From Malacca Strait by Carolyn]

grain of sand in your speculation oyster
truth taken for granted
[From Walking Into Eternity by Magdalena]

Acerbic or more subtly needling, comments, hit home –

Forgotten history meets trashtree
another landfill specimen
pink, fragrant, invasive
easing pangs
you wear like designer clothes.
[From Trashtree by Magdalena]

He unaware
he is endangered,
I unaware he might
be dangerous.
[From The Giraffe by Carolyn]

This is a collection to be savoured in quiet moments, in those reflective times with wine or coffee in a comfy couch.

About the reviewer: J.R. McRae once worked in a circus, as a Rare-Books Librarian, as a book-reviewer, as assessment package writer and Associate Lecturer, English Expression, for international postgraduates, University of Queensland. Her short stories and award winning poetry are in anthologies and journals, like Basics of Life, 100 Stories for Queensland, Stories for Sendai, The Spirit of Poe, Trust and Treachery, Poe-it, Quadrant, Long and Winding Road, Bound by the Secrets We Hide, Antipodes, Social Alternatives. Her Artwork/photography features in Ripples, ABC Pool, The Mozzie and Vine Leaves. As awarded children’s/education writer, J.R.Poulter, she has thirteen books, eleven digital and more coming 2013/14/15. Websites: http://www.jrmcrae_subversive.weebly.com ,