Bigotry

 

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Bigotry

perchance you know

the pain you cause

torment never-ending

putrid seeds you sew

become pain’s harvest

if only you could feel

that which you inflict

the darkness from you

extinguishes all light,

robbing others of their

dignity, before the glow

of kindness & generosity

largesse’s root to rising

you who are so vacuous

see not, know not, feel not

the gravity of your own

imperfections, festering

within creation’s greatest

gift which remains as

mysterious and foreign

to you as that which my

words clearly bespeak

sorrow, pity, and regret

are but a very few of the

words that aptly describe

that which the caring feel

towards a heartless and

even worse, soulless you

 

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw

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Readers’ Favorite Review of WITHOUT FROM WITHIN: POEMS BY RON SHAW

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For several years, I’ve had a number of my fellow authors and #amwriting friends suggest that I enter one or more of my books into the yearly Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Awards Contest. Initially, I resisted due to a number of personal factors. I’ve come to appreciate the gravity of their suggestions, especially with the knowledge of the excellence of Readers’ Favorite. In short, this stellar organization’s reviews and awards are highly coveted by serious writers.

This year the decision was made to enter two of my books, WITHOUT FROM WITHIN: POEMS BY RON SHAW and THE YELLOW BUS BOYS GO BLUE: CANADA BOUND, into their contest and reviews. I also requested a review of a third book, TraVerses: Poems by Ron Shaw without entering it into their awards contest.

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During the first week of May 2016, I was thrilled to receive an excellent 4-star review of WITHOUT FROM WITHIN: POEMS BY RON SHAW by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer, Mamta Madhavan. Thank you very much, Mamta Madhavan for your excellent review of my book.

I published a post on this review over at LinkedIn.

I hope you will give my poetry a chance and read and enjoy this review. Many have expressed their appreciation of my book of poems and #photography provide by my brother-in-law, Photography by J. Robert Sosby.

Author Biography

Ron Shaw is an Atlanta, Georgia, native who currently resides in Gwinnett County, Georgia, with his wife and daughter. He attended Roosevelt High School in Atlanta and continued his education at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia for two years. Ron met his future wife in Atlanta after his second year at Mercer and transferred his junior year to Georgia State University.
In 1973, with new responsibilities, he became an Atlanta Police Officer while attending college full time. Ron attained a BA degree in English Literature from Georgia State University in 1974. He retired from the Atlanta Police Department in 1996 after a very fulfilling and personally satisfying career.

 

Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Without From Within: Poems by Ron Shaw is a collection of 43 poems that gives readers a peek into the heart and soul of the poet. The entire collection reveals a wide range of emotions, from pain to pleasure to loneliness to his observations on life and his surroundings. The sensitive journey of the poet and the visual ideas that he conveys through his poems leave the deepest of impressions upon readers, making them ponder upon life and the emotions surrounding them. The poetic value in his writings stands out; so do the sentiments and the intriguing images, making it an engaging collection.

All the photographs at the beginnings of the poems give an aesthetic effect to the book. There are poems for everyone in this collection. Ron Shaw’s style of writing and expressions are stark, sublime, and all the poems are thought provoking. These are heartfelt renditions of the poet’s inner self and readers can connect well with his thoughts and feelings. Many poems are of a cryptic nature, for example, ‘Invisible,’ and will make readers want to read it many times because it can be interpreted in different ways.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite poem as they all deal with different feelings and emotions, and are wonderful and vibrant both in content and form. All the poems evoke sensations, sights, and sounds, and readers will experience an immense feeling of satisfaction trying to interpret each piece. The blending of a realistic and an imaginative approach in the poems works well and gives the collection a real and surreal feel. An engaging collection that will make readers reflect upon life.

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Edgar Allan Poe…don’t you know?

Way back when quite a handful of writers had a profound influence on me. During the fleeting and flickering years of college, several writers loomed larger. Edgar Allan Poe was and is one of these leading authors.

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It wasn’t until #amwriting became a pleasant distraction and words met screen that I realized just how much of an impact they had made on me.

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From a dingy and damp corner came the “Poe” in me.

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The following “Poetrilogy” of poems were written in honor of Edgar Allan Poe. Their subtitles are He, She, and You.

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He
From the womb, He felt no pain,
while others prepared his feast.
He made no mistakes,
thinking not of gain,
floating, playing, growing.
Suspended in warmth and space
unaware.
A rude awakening awaits
just beneath his feet
to shepherd his thrust into light,
radiating want and need with pain.
Bursting forth, in agonizing screams,
aliens pawing at the new He.
For decades to come, life remained free.
Thanks to loving mom and busy daddy.
Neither fret nor worry visited He.
At ease in wombs of luxury, comfort, glee.
On a gentle breeze, manhood explodes
whilst playing a fool’s game of free.
Parents seeing to his every need.
Death oft claims more than deceased,
stranding for life some, just like He
tutored by none at a trough of free.
No nuts gathered, a fiddler he be.
To want is to knead, a lesson untaught.
Winter comes early, wolves in need.
It’s true in life, naught is free,
not only to those fiddling…like He.

She
An odd egg She was since aged three,
immersing herself in words of fantasy,
with dreams of becoming another who
wrote, what She called, poe-a-tree.
E. A. Poe became her muse, at ten.
Her poems growing darker due to him.
She changed her looks, as Goth as can be.
In mental crypts, her sleep did come
beside the worms, dampness, and glum.
Carrying murder, revenge, and mayhem
to school, She played, burying a classmate
alive beneath teach’s desk. The interred
played along, fancying her look, but not
Miss Lee, Annabel was not she.
Off to the office the cast did go,
thanks to a muse, named Edgar Allan Poe.

You
Everything’s a test, and it’s all queued for You.
Either pass or fail the path remains true.
A tough lesson to face is simple indeed.
Is the glass half full or fifty percent empty?
You may not grasp, but this one’s tricky.
For You see, truth of the query lies within ye.
It’s what You say it is, and that’s no lie. But
a deeper meaning broods, escaping most.
There are those, unlike You, who have no glass.
In thirst, they see no hope, no promise, parched
lips existing at odds with a bleak tomorrow.
Half empty would be perfect response for those
like them. Maybe not You but surely me.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw

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Evolution of a Story

Please pardon the use of a weary and worn cliche, but in fact, variety is the spice of life. This is also true for those of us who spend endless, mostly joyful, hours of #amwriting stories and publishing #books.

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At times, the tales that draw us in are as unfamiliar as the tardy-rabbit’s hole that Alice tumbles into. As #writers and #authors, we may well know the hole is there, but sometimes, the stories possess a life and clock of their own. Their entrance honors no particular genre, time, or date. Such were the genesis and evolution of my latest book, a novelette, entitled CHRISTMAS PAST: AN ANGEL’S STORY.

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It was a difficult task to listen to this Christmas muse, so out of season, but apparently, an angel flooded my thoughts with memories of my family’s past. Once again, like during SEVEN FISH TREE, I was compelled to write a story that came from beyond or above me. I chose the adamant source to be the narrator of this tale. In essence, the angel pushed me down this abyss without me knowing it was one step ahead.

The overwhelming majority of what is presented in this novelette is true. Wrestling with the idea of changing everyone’s name within it became a solitary process. The muse was silent on this one, as she was initially for this work’s cover concept.

To some people, or possibly most, out there, this may sound a tad insane or as mad as the Hatter, but to those who write, it’ll make perfect sense. If my statements ring sane to you, you’ll also agree that our muses rarely appreciate the troubles they have caused.

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A year or so ago I had toyed around wth the idea of using a marvelous image from the Hubble Telescope for a book cover. The necessary contacts were made with the folks who control such greatness. That’s right, they wrote me back, and they, STScl, are amazingly friendly and accommodating.

My angel muse stepped into the decision process and what better place to find a heavenly influence than through the wide, powerful eye of Hubble. Once again, I bugged the Hubble gang, and with their blessings, they approved my book’s cover concept.

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Angels and God do move in mysterious ways.

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Despite the timing, the evolution of a story, cover, book, or muse can be fascinating tales within themselves.

It’s never too early or late for a heart-rending, yet tender and inspirational, Christmas story shown by an angel named Percy.

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I hope you will visit and enjoy my Christmas story that gushed forth in May, arriving like a forgotten present from a CHRISTMAS PAST: AN ANGEL’S STORY.

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King Toad

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King Toad

Down near the swamp

a bit to the left of a big

cypress tree, a favored

fishing hole, well hid,

overflowing with life

to be hooked or seen.

Many hours day, night

I spent there in peace.

Twas birthday thirteen

when king toad came,

nothing biting, save me.

What say ye young man?

regal, fat frog did croak.

To my great surprise, the

green, slimy critter spoke.

How’s the fishing, catching

anything but that tiny bream?

“I’m sorry frog but are

you really talking to me?”

Well of course lad, I can

speak, and chatting with

you seems prudent to me.

Answer all my questions,

and I’ll give you three free?

“Sir toad, this is strange

to be talking with a frog

while sitting here fishing.”

Answer my questions, my

questions you must answer,

he recast, croaking testily.

“What free three do I win,

if your conditions are met?”

Forgive me for being unclear.

You’ll be granted three wishes.

I’ve already asked you two and

one more will equal my three.

Without hesitation I said,

“What I say frog is, nice

to make your acquaintance.

How are thee this fine day?”

Smart lad, you may well win.

Happy to know you, I’m fine.

“The fishing is awfully slow

this little bream’s all that I’ve

caught for the table tonight.”

Excellent responses from you,

but know question three is a

tad more tricky, for wishes are

hard to come by even from me.

Which is more important

the doughnut or the hole?

Baiting hook, provided

pause while thinking of

a clever return to this.

“I believe I know what the

correct rebuttal should be.

As you jump pond to pond,

whatever may be your goal

keep your big eyes upon the

donut and not upon the hole.

Now, for my first wish, I’d

like to see those chunky legs

fried and on our table tonight.”

King frog was speechless and

with a loud, harsh croak he leapt

into the pond, diving from sight.

You can’t trust those dang toads,

much less royal well-spoken ones.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw

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Percy the Ghost Seer

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Our cat, Percy sees ghosts or at least he does Mary, our resident apparition. It has been a couple of months since his last meeting with Mary, and seated, I witnessed the event frozen in fear with the hairs on my arms, scalp, and neck standing. It lasted far too long as Mary and Percy did a slow dance, her moving along the ceiling and Percy, with eyes fixated, following Mary’s every move. I could swear a chill in the air followed her inside the house.

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Our housecat Percy is the first to know when ghost Mary is present.

Our housecat Percy is the first to know when ghost Mary is present.

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A Cold Chill

It was late at night not so long ago and seconds before midnight when Mary decided to appear. Her sudden intrusion into our home wouldn’t have been alarming if not for the fact Mary is a ghost who mostly remained outside nearby her crypt that is a Victorian trunk.

All was quiet around the house as the girls had called it an early evening with me saying ‘sleep tight’ just after nine p.m. This was perfect, as I would have at least a few hours of solitude to write. All day long, mental plans were made to peck away at another chapter of a new work in progress because earlier that morning, one of the central characters had demanded to be heard. She’d patiently waited for a little alone time with me. Her moment had arrived.

It was a Sunday night.

Our house cat Percy had decided to bed down early like the ladies. He curled up into a comfortable C-shape on the carpet beside my den chair. My Dell laptop was humming as the words began to flow while Percy’s first faint snores could be heard a few feet to my left. He was apparently enveloped by a pleasant dream within a deep sleep.

The paragraphs flowed as my main character had her say. She was poised for verbosity this night and her scribe was doing his level best at trying to type her every word. This became my only focus. My attention trapped to the keypad from A to Z on my computer while feverishly typing.

Three hours passed. The Seth Thomas mantel clock sounded twelve chimes.

Without warning, a cold, invisible cloud rolled slowly from behind me touching my back first, hesitating briefly, and then, moving through my shivering body towards an unsuspecting and sleeping Percy. A cold dread raced through me, as the chill felt as if it had entered my body as quickly as the effects of an injection of pain meds at the hospital.

Typing ceased. Chattering teeth were followed by hairs standing at attention on the back of my neck and creeping up into graying hair and scalp. Fright overtook me when the realization that I wasn’t alone with Percy in our den. This thought wasn’t fully absorbed when the ghost entered Percy. From a sound sleep, he jumped from his prone position to all fours turning his body position facing the direction of the ghostly chill with teeth showing, curved back and claws dug deeply into the carpet backing. Percy was posturing as large as possible while a low, steady, guttural growl came from his clenched jaws.

I watched him, me in fear while his eyes focused on something that was creeping beyond me and towards him. His eyes fixed like laser beams on the invisible, quiet, and yet, cold intruder. He saw her. I know he did. It was perfectly clear from the look in his eyes and body language. This cat was scared just like this old man.

Percy’s eyes and head followed the floating ghost as she ascended to the ceiling in our den. He slowly crept along our floor with her aerial movements never once taking his eyes from Mary. I fixed my attention on the areas he was trained on while mimicking his stealthy attitude frozen in my leather chair.

While only moving my head slightly and my eyes, I watched as Percy followed her drifting up and down within our den, which has a cathedral ceiling. Twice, she and he traveled up and down the length of the den. At one point, Mary hovered for an extended period of time just above the lighted ceiling fan as if looking down on Percy and me. This was frightening. Percy stared up at her and possibly, she down at him.

Then, Mary was on the slow move again. They headed towards the hallway in the direction of the bedrooms where my wife and daughter were sleeping. At the large doorway from the den to the hallway, Percy stopped and I can only assume she did, as well. He watched her with his neck fully tilted back. Mary was at the top of the ceiling above the doorway.

His eyes and head moved down while she entered the opening to the hallway. Percy followed behind Mary staring up at her the entire time. They went down the hallway a few feet but never out of my view. The read of his body was still seen when he turned slowly and began to follow the ghost back into the den, past me, and into the kitchen to the rear of me. I never left my chair because I was frightened, possibly, beyond your understanding or appreciation.

I could not see Percy, but his methodical, slow footsteps on the tiled floor could easily be heard. I’m certain he made it all the way to the foot rug at the kitchen door that leads to our carport. This is within about twenty of Mary’s trunk.

In silence, Percy remained stationed at the kitchen door for a good while with me like a big puss, fear-frozen in my chair.

He walked back to the den. When he made it alongside my chair, Percy staring up at me. His little cat face etched with fear. From my chair, I stared down at him in shared fright.

The work in progress was over for the moment and the computer was bedded down.

Percy relocated to the highest, comfortable perch in our den and curled up for the continuation of his respite.

In a daze, I slinked off to my bed and hid beneath my covers.

Sleep came hard and slowly.

Copyright © 2015 Ron Shaw

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Percy’s Meow!

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Percy is overwhelmed by the human love and kindness he’s receiving from around the world via the various social media sites.

Our housecat Percy is the first to know when ghost Mary is present.

He wanted me to blog a powerful, claw-free, paw-filled, purrfect “thank you” to those out there who cherish life and especially, to the tireless volunteers like Steve Cartwright @sccart1 who so selflessly give of themselves, ensuring that abandoned and abused animals find a caring family and warm home.

Without kindhearted people, Percy would not be here to bring joy to so many.

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a poem for Percy

Meow

Percy is a cat
but he doesn’t think so.
He’s a pet
who believes we are, too.
Fancying himself
anything but what he is.
Going about
his self-appointed duties
of master,
defender of our abode,
protecting us.
Snatched from
death’s cruel grasp by
one who’d
become kitten then cat’s
true pet.
Like child, nightly
he rests upon her chest
under chin,
hugging the kind lady
who saved
his weak and tiny soul.
Nursing him
like a lost child. Suckling
Mom’s attention,
he rests in her loving arms.
Percy’s a cat
and keep it to a whisper
because he’s
staring at me now with
the oddest
look on his cute cat face.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw

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Epic Poetry Lives within Richard M. Knittle, Jr.

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It is both an honor and privilege to invite poet, Richard M. Knittle, Jr. and his precious son, Ryder onto my site.

If you are a lover of poetry in general, fear not, because lovely poems, including epic poetry, are alive and thriving from the pen of Richard M. Knittle, Jr. like in his book, Out of the Darkness: A Poets Journey.

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Like many marvelous, highly-talented and caring men and women, I met Richard about two years ago while seeking the best guests from around the world for my internet radio show, not-so-cleverly named, The Ron Shaw Show. Immediately, I was captured by his arduous journey in winning custody of his son, Ryder. His epic poem that is The Battle Lost: Ryder’s Birth, about this ordeal touched my heart like no other poem had done since my early college days during the 1970s. His illustrations within this work are the perfect compliment to the angst and pain Richard was experiencing with his battle for his son’s well-being, in fact, his life.

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I’ve been blessed to know this man, his son, and his beautiful poetry. Difficult journeys are no mystery to me, and my heart will always go out to those seeking a better life and justice for those in need whether family, friend or stranger.

Richard and I have done two Internet radio shows together, and it is always an extreme pleasure to chat with him about poetry, life, love, family, and any other topic of joy or tears.

Recently, Richard asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a poem with him. Of course, I was honored to do so. We tossed the idea around a bit and came up with what I considered as a unique creation. Richard was gracious enough to pick the overall theme of the poem, and he wrote the first three lines of his vision. I chose to weave a line of my own after each of his lines. This process, of Richard, writing the odd-numbered lines and me the even-numbered ones, grew into a beautiful poem by two men who have become friends through words spoken and in print, deeds, mutual respect, and admiration. But I am somewhat prejudiced because I’m a fan of Richard’s poetry and well, mine’s not so bad either.

We hope you like our collaboration, entitled “Love External” that was also a collaboration for the title. I picked “Love”, Richard “External”.

Don’t tell Richard…I selected and included the photograph by my brother-in-law, J. Robert Sosby of Atlanta, Georgia.

Thank you, Richard M. Knittle, Jr. for being my friend.

Hug Ryder for me.

 

Love External

when God created time and space

how could He have imagined

in the beginning of creation

before man was raised from dust

He must of had you and I in mind

at minimum a dream of splendor

that can never be reproduced

matters not what our intent imparts

and shall remain as irrefutable

from first breath to our final hour

as the stars and the sun in the

vastness of time and space attest

heavens that are painted above

bear witness to His omnipotent truths

for our love will outlast the sands of time

never to be broken our union abounds

and is stronger than the mountains

yet as tender as flower’s first petal

with a bond created by the very fabric of life itself

life itself

from God’s pure love gifted to you and I

through eternity

 

Copyright 2016 Richard M Knittle Jr.

Copyright © 2016 Ron Shaw
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from the heart

The genuine kindness and selflessness generosity of others within the worldwide writing community continue to amaze me, touching my heart, lifting my soul.

Two simple words, “thank you”, do not adequately convey my deepest appreciation to beautiful people such as author, Tamara Ferguson of Illinois for inviting me into her wonderful site, TALES OF THE DRAGONFLY Romantic Suspense, via an interview. I’m equally honored and humbled.

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Tamara’s biography at Amazon is very impressive:

A member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the FTHRW Chapter, Tamara Ferguson is the top-ten best-selling, multi-award winning author of the Kissed By Fate Romance Series and the Tales of The Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series. Her latest release is Two Hearts Surrendered. This military romance is her contribution to the bestselling Magical Weddings anthology, which includes stories by fifteen USA Today, best-selling, and award-winning authors.

Tales of the Dragonfly Book II: In Flight was a 2014 WINNER at the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Her latest release, That Unforgettable Kiss was recently a top ten Amazon bestseller in Kindle Saga Fiction, earned 3-5★editorial reviews from Readers’ Favorite, and has just become the 2015 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards in New Adult Romance.

A graduate of Illinois State University, Tamara Ferguson was a Vice-President of her graduating class and a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She was awarded the Illinois State University College of Applied Science and Technology Collegiate Achievement Award upon her graduation.

A former horticulturist, she currently resides in central Illinois.

Tamara Ferguson can be easily contacted at the various social media sites below and her books found at Amazon.

Amazon (Author Page)

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Tamara’s Books;

Tales of the Dragonfly Book II:  In Flight

Kissed by Fate Series

A Touch of Passion (Boxed Set Series)

Mother’s Day Magic: …With Love (Boxed Set Series)

Magical Weddings: 15 Enchanting Romances (Boxed Set)

Two Hearts Surrendered

Tales of the Dragonfly Book I: In Tandem

Tales of the Dragonfly: A New Beginning and Updated-March 2010

Tammy, thank you so very much for being the sweet soul you are.

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What is it about…poetry?

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Hopefully, you can help me out with this one.

What is it about poetry?

I know I’ve been very fond of it from the earliest age, and it’s mysterious allure continues to beckon me into a world composed of words that are all too often veiled in deeper meaning. When reading literature, I tend to be more obvious oriented, a bird is a bird and a flower is a…well, not often in poems.

After publishing twelve works, from deep within me, the innate urge to express myself in an entirely different manner overtook me.

As far back as I can remember, reading poetry has always been a passion. It may well have been one of the key factors in choosing English Literature as my college major.

This collection is the result of exposing my soul and heart in a way I’d never dreamed of doing.

While my other published works are integral parts of me, I now understand that poetry is the essence of who I was, am, and forever will be.

With the understanding that these are my inaugural offerings and with the compassion to allow a heart without and soul within to falter, I hope you enjoy my poems.

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Without From Within: Poems by Ron Shaw is my inaugural dabbling into poetry. It has proven to be an entirely different journey in words than my other works. I never realized there was such a vast, worldwide community of poets and readers who share my appreciation of it. Yes. I am naivete is apparent. But through G+, a wonderful window has opened for me as a novice at writing poetry where sharing poems is a passion.

Poetry commands the singular ability to lay one prostrate and bare before the reader, giving safe refuge to words and thoughts of depth excavated from crevices yet explored deep within the poet. I find no other form of writing to be so utterly and beautifully invasive.

The poems that follow are my second collection of published poetry. My initial traverse into the purest of all literature, poetry, Without From Within, has surpassed my greatest expectations. It has been well-received. I’m humbled by the praise it continues to garner from readers worldwide. I’m delighted many have found favor with my poems and the photographs contained within the book. I see no reason to alter what has been a successful combination of poetry and photography. Hopefully, each offering will please your senses as well as touch your emotions. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a poem speaks volumes.

I hope you will enjoy TraVerses: Poems by Ron Shaw as well as the photographs presented by my brother-in-law, J. Robert Sosby of Atlanta, Georgia.

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If anything, trying my pen at writing and publishing poems has given me a deeper appreciation for the purest of all literature, poetry.

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