What is the meaning of life? It is the age-old question that has puzzled philosophers and the like for hundreds of years. Are we here just to create life and keep the circle going? Or is life just the pilot run and once we ascend, that’s when life really begins? But fear not dear readers for I think we have found the answer we have been so desperately searching for.
Today dear readers I am on the blog tour for Miles Of Sky Above Us, Miles Of Earth Below (Published 18th August 2019 by Cajun Mutt Press) By Steve Denehan. A big thank you for my copy to review, always appreciated. And also to the lovely Fly On The Wall Press for the invite to take part. Check them out when you have a minute, they publish some beautiful poetry.
About The Author
Steve Denehan lives in Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poet and his chapbook, Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong, is available from Fowlpox Press.
Miles Of Sky Above Us, Miles Of Earth Below
Touching and uplifting, Steve Denehan’s debut collection brings to life the small things and turns them into the extraordinary. In family life and the love for his daughter, he finds poetry, taking the reader on a journey of love and discovery.
Denehan’s collection is one that wraps you up in a cosy warm hug and brings you honey tea as you indulge in its contents. His poems show the reader the pure undisturbed moments where life lovingly exists. The wonderful thing about poetry is that it speaks to everyone and we all interpret it differently.
There’s something truly captivating about hearing the words aloud as you read them on the page. It’s a magnificent trick of the mind that pulls you farther into the world of the writer. In Ivory you can hear all the sounds of the dentist attacking a stubborn tooth. It sent goosebumps up my arm making me shiver at the image. I was completely engrossed and loved every second of it.
He had told me that it would be painless
to raise my hand if I felt something
first of all, I felt pressure
I felt the weight of him push onto my jaw
I heard, I felt, the sound of metal on ivory
cracks and creaks finding their way to my ear
by dancing along my jawbone
There is a loving theme of family in Denehan’s poems. He speaks of memories as a child with his father and as a adult with his daughter. It’s touching and emotional as his poems bring a comfort to the reader that this is life in all it’s finest forms. This is why we breathe and walk upon this earth, for these preciously delicate moments. Love and family.
These poems are not only personal to Denehan but are also tended to and cared for by his passion. He paints memories of his childhood and spending time with his father elegantly. In My Father Was a Carpenter he shows the reader how they would sharpen sticks, taking their time as it is a craft. But years later he sees on the TV that a machine can do it in seconds. Yet this doesn’t matter because it was never really about how sharp the sticks were. It was about the time spent and memories they made together. It forces you to reevaluate certain aspects of life, how hard work and craftsmanship is often disregarded these days because a machine can do it quicker, but it doesn’t always mean that it’s better.
We used to sharpen sticks together
sitting in front of pastel sunsets
clocked in birdsong
he, imparting secret wisdom
while yellow wood shavings pooled between our feet
it would take a while
a long while sometimes
to get the points just right
This collection reminded me of a scrap book, bursting with laughter, tears and love that weakens the binding the more memories that are added. Yet it does not break and holds together strongly. Each poem has a purpose and a place here, Denehan has taken the time to weave his craft and the results are a delightful pleasure to read.
The relationship Denehan has with his daughter is endearing to see and brought tears to my eyes as I can strongly relate being a parent myself. Children are only children for so long, they grow up ridiculously quick. Denehan has captured the innocence and joy of the little things like childhood perfectly in his poems. I loved reading Toothpaste as it reminded me that the simplest of pleasures can be found in the smallest of things. You only need to look or in this case be shown by the excitement of a child. It’s a magical experience and one we should all partake in. You’re never, ever too old.
The bedroom door burst open and I felt that sudden pulse
adrenaline, that half second of panicked limbo
then, I saw your eyes, full of sparks, and I relaxed
you thrust your little fist toward me
unfurling, slowly, the reveal of sorceress and
in your palm, an empty toothpaste cap
I give Miles Of Sky Above Us, Miles Of Earth Below By Steve Denehan a Four out of Five paw rating.
Engaging and immersing poetry. Denehan’s imagery is strong and crisp, you feel as if you can reach out and touch, taste, smell the beauty he concocts. You are left feeling wined and dined on only the finest of delicacies while leaving a more than generous tip as you eye up the hors d’oeuvres for a return visit.
This book is for everyone and I highly recommend you give it a read. To simply put dear reader, it’s just beautiful.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
Hop hop wiggle wiggle