by Paul Guerin
GENRE: Poetry – Inspirational
Poetry: writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience, in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.
Poetry means different things to different people. For me, it is all about feelings. If it captures the emotions of the reader, a poem will resonate and fill the soul. It can mean everything to one person and not much at all to another. The mood of the reader and no-one else determines the outcome.
For example, love poems are wonderful when you are in love and their passion is amazing. If you are facing adversity, however, love poems likely will just annoy or even anger you.
In “Poetry from my Heart”, I have attempted to divide the poems into categories which will fit your mood no matter what you are experiencing at the time you choose to explore them. There should be something for everyone, no matter whether you are in love, out of love, you hurt, you are lonely, angry, abandoned, or you are facing other challenges in your life.
Poetry has a healing power that nurtures the soul and quietens the mind, and so I hope that whatever your situation is in life, you will find something here that helps you safely on your journey.
You awoke my world
I met you and you awoke my world
Suddenly the birds sang louder
And the music seemed more magical
Our souls touched and our hearts beat as one
We both know that this is not possible
We will pinch each other to see if it is real
We both know there are hurdles ahead
But just now we do not care
I promise you I will never control you
Promise me you will love me always
Let us promise each other forever friendship
Let’s become the best friends of our dreams
I promise you can be free with me
That I will always want you to fly on your own
I will always be here for you no matter what
I swear these promises to the God inside my soul
Time will pass and we will climb mountains
We are a team of simple, pure, amazing grace
The changes we have made in our lives are huge
Let’s move forward with the speed of mutual lightening
At times I feel afraid of the pace and the risks this change may bring
At times I simply want to be alone to figure the right path
At times I stagger, falling and getting back up
Always, I have been there for you without a word
When you need space, it is freely yours to have
I will never hold you when you need to be free
My soul will never smother your free spirit
I will always hold you when you need to be held
Q1. Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Castletownroche, a townland village situated in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland. My early days were spent in and around Castletown where I came to love the countryside and became enchanted by the magic of the land. It was a “romantic” start to my life! As a young man, I lived in London, England and practiced as a chartered accountant. Later, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where I continued to practice my chosen profession. Today, I live in Surrey, British Columbia and I am married with four children and four grandchildren. I turned 75 in 2021 and Poetry from my Heart; a Journey through Feelings, in part is in celebration of this milestone and in part, is a legacy to my family and to my friends. Currently, I am working on my second poetry book in the Willing Heart Series, and I continue to write as the inspiration comes to me. I continue to work with a small number of clients, many of whom have become close friends.
Q2. Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Poetry from my Heart; A Journey through Feelings is a collection of poems spanning the period from my birth in the year 1946 until the present day. The poems are based on my life experiences – those “designer moments” that I often refer to. When I look back, it feels as though I was born into poetry and groomed by life itself from day one until I found the courage to write it all down and “go publish”.
My creative writing abilities remained dormant for years, until I was able to find the right level of emotional freedom. After that, it took a few more years of transformation and encouragement from close friends, for me to emerge from the literary closet and admit to family and friends and even to complete strangers, that YES I am a poet and I have stuff to share with you, some of which you will most definitely find personal and sensitive.
Poetry from my Heart; A Journey through Feelings is divided into categories, dealing with different personal experiences. During the development process, I decided that each poem should be illustrated to visually enhance the reading experience. That was a great decision and I love the result. It was a time-consuming but enjoyable exercise finding the images that are now in the book opposite each poem.
The title of the book is aptly named as that is exactly what you will find when you look inside. There are love poems, poems of adversity, poems of solitude, and poems of hope and inspiration. There is also a section called Ireland, embracing the green magic land of my birth. The final section at page 209 is called Furry Friends and will be appreciated by dog lovers. My two Furry Friends, Murphy and Brody, helped me along the way for 15 years for which I say, thank you, thank you, thank you!
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
In my senior years at school, I studied English Literature and Elizabethan history. I always liked poetry and I had studied poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and Shelley and William Shakespeare to name a few. My studies involved analyzing the meaning of the works and observing the writing styles. It was there that I learned the rhyming couplet style of writing. That was the genesis of my love of writing.
On graduation, I took up Articles in London, England and became a Chartered Accountant. People often said to me, how come you didn’t major in math – wouldn’t that have been more useful in your accounting profession? My answer was always maybe – maybe not. The truth was, I found my literary schooling becoming more and more relevant to my work and as I grew in my chosen profession, I spent more and more time on report writing, reaping the benefits of those literary skills.
I started writing in earnest when I first encountered adversity and emotional pain. My emotions were on free-fall, and I didn’t know why. I was fearful and had low self-esteem. There was a substance abuse period, followed by a failed marriage and a serious business challenge. All of these “designer moments” propelled me not just to talk about my feelings but to write them down. At other times in my life, for example, when love was in the air, I was motivated to do the same. As I wrote, the poet emerged the poet emerged.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I can write wherever I am. I don’t need music or any stimulants – I don’t smoke and I have been sober for 26 years – when an emotion is tweaked, the keyboard clicks away!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
As I observe things, situations, people interactions, nature or when a particular feeling comes to me, I make notes on my iPhone. Later I start to write around the notes. There are many “designer moments” that trigger the topics that I write about. It’s all out there to observe!
What do you like to read?
I like fiction mainly – old war stories (Jack Higgins and Alastair MacLean), David Baldacci, Tom Clancy , Gregg Hurwitz and Dean Koontz to name a few.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Just do it – if you don’t, your thoughts will die with you and the world will be worse off!
Let’s make it a better, happier place by sharing what we have found out from experiencing our “designer moments”!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes! Thanks for inviting me to share and I hope my answers are helpful.
As a very young boy, I lived in a small Irish townland village called Castletownroche. The village was situated in the very beautiful and pastoral County Cork. I had an Irish uncle who played in a showband and who taught me to fish at age four. I wrote a poem about that. My mother was absent and I never knew my father. I wrote another poem about that. We lived in abject poverty. I survived by the grace and loving kindness of an old Irish grandmother sporting a black dress, black shawl and a wicked temper driving a razor-sharp tongue. I called her Nana.
Nana taught me to fear her retribution and used it to keep me safe and provide security that I could find nowhere else. Well into my teens, my inner world was cast in fear and I had no real sense of belonging or attachment to anyone or to anything. The inability to handle those feelings eventually led me to substance abuse. My journey along that road has generated much of the poetry of adversity, hope, and inspiration that you will find in this book. I truly hope that those poems in particular will salve the souls of those of you who are still trudging that happy road to destiny on your way back from hell.
Not surprisingly, I have had difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships throughout my life, and much of the love poetry is about those failures and many, many, sorry attempts to return to love. Those painful/happy experiences had a major influence on my writing.
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