They say laughter is the best form of therapy. I can’t disagree with that dear reader but I do believe that the Arts and therapy are interlinked and often skip merrily hand in hand. In my lowest and darkest moments I have turned to writing. It’s my passion and runs ferociously through my veins. You see dear reader, the Arts allow you to express yourself in an unimaginable way, through words, music and colour. They bat your hand away from the pill bottle, the sharp edge of a blade and lead it towards a place of creative wonder, serenity and healing. It’s hypnotic and gives you a second life.
Today I have the honour of kicking of the blog tour for Second Life (Published 12th July 2019) By Karl Tearney. A big thank you to the publishers Fly On The Wall Press for a copy to review, always appreciated. And as always to the wonderful Anne for the invite. Thank you.
About The Author
Karl Tearney enlisted into the British Army at 16 and dedicated 35 years of his life as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He was medically retired in early 2016 and found great solace in writing and especially a new-found passion for poetry. The demand for his style of writing has led to National and local Television as well as Radio. In 2018, he was a panelist at the Hay literature festival, helped with a Poetry workshop at RADA and also exhibited some of his work at the ‘Art in the Aftermath’ Exhibition in Pall Mall.
As a newcomer to poetry and writing Karl has made quite an impact with his succinct and thought-provoking style. Encouraged by Emma Willis MBE after he’d sent her a thank you poem, Karl’s work has been coveted by many. His work has included appearances at festivals and readings around the country. He is hugely passionate about encouraging other sufferers of mental issues to look toward the Arts as a means of therapy.
I quickly discovered that reading Second Life would not only be therapeutic but also inspiring. The are three sections, My Mental Mind, Love and Moments. I didn’t realise how much these poems would make an impact on me, I wept, felt calmed and loved before weeping some more. I loved every second of it.
My Mental Mind portrays themes of struggling with mental health such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Tearney’s poems give the reader a sense of hope, that even when their world is dissolving around them, they should focus on the stunning view. It’s reassuring and comforting to read, to know we are not alone and will again one day dance in the rain.
I hope that one day, when I’m gone
My soul will shine for you
To help you reach into your soul
Then focus on your view
For life should be so beautiful
Not one of endless pain
So reach out for your happiness
Then dance amidst the rain
When I read The things you never see I found the striking imagery of war and horror that surfaced with each blow of the cleaver chilling and distressing. It made me realise that most of us today will never experience these traumatising events. That we need to remember there are people out there who have lived it, are still re-living it everyday and have risked their lives for us. The haunting images and sounds that still taunt Tearney are echoed throughout this poem. It’s brilliantly disturbing as you hear the sound of the clever hit the meat and witness the flesh being torn apart. I can’t begin to imagine the nightmares Tearney has seen. It’s brave, raw poetry that must have been difficult to write. It takes great courage to go back to those dark moments in our past and face our fears.
Sweet misery on misery
The butcher strikes once more
Skin and muscle ripped apart
My remnants hit the floor
Rivers flowing through my eyes
Bullets piercing ears
Blood erupting everywhere
A sum of all my fears
I admired that Tearney encouraged the reader to look after themselves first and foremost. It was a lovely fuzzy feeling to know someone cared. In Steam Tearney compares our brain to a steam engine and how that sometimes we have to focus on our own fuel supply before helping the other trains travel up the hill. It’s remarkable imagery and I savoured the metaphors Tearney tentatively uses. I could hear the train’s horn whirling around my head, reminding me to slow down and get back on track.
You cannot help the other trains
As they journey up the hill
You just don’t have the coal on board
And there’s nowhere to refill
So please I say, take care on board
Then journey where you can
That coal won’t last forevermore
Remember you’re one man
The poems in Love took a calmer tone. They were softer, sweet and charming to read. It was a welcomed gentle breeze to remember how enchanting the world can be. I applaud Tearney on his variety of writing style. He pilots the reader into the blood soaked fear skies but always brings them safely home.
I personally believe the poems in Moments need to be made public announcements on trains and buses. They speak the harsh truth of the disregard we have for human life. Tearney’s poem PlayStation showed how the younger generation will never know slaughter and carnage those before have had to endure. Today’s world is full of greed and self-absorbed zombies glued to a screen. We take everything for granted, holding our hands out and expect everything to be given to us on a shiny gold platter with the latest iPhone upgrade. Humanity is becoming a faded black and white photograph, crumpled and covered in thick dust. Tearney captures this perfectly and I am SO grateful there are still writers, poets, artists such as him filling our broken and tainted world with their vibrant wondrous art.
I give Second Life By Karl Tearney a Five out of Five paw rating.
Tearney writes poetry with such passion, conveying emotions, images and art eloquently on the page. He has an extraordinary skill of tenderly crafting his art and boldly displays to the reader powerful atmospheric scenes that tangle elegantly with his words. I really enjoyed this book and can’t recommend it enough. It is a must read.
Marvellously done sir. A talented poet to look out for, an inspiration to all and one who has my utmost respect. *raises glass*
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour, dates below. Enjoy!
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