New Poetry – Gilded Images: Verse by Keith & Elizabeth Stanley-Mallett

For many years, husband-and-wife poets Keith and Elizabeth Stanley-Mallett have shared their observations on nature, life, politics, and the foibles of man in traditional, rhyming verse. Their newly-released collection, Gilded Images, is their fourth shared publication (between them they’ve individually published many more).

Keith’s poems comprise the first part of the book. Topics include nature; politics, metaphysics & existential questions; astronomy & science; the trials and joys of everyday life.

“Love Perseveres,” written for Elizabeth, opens the collection. “Almost Famous” is a meditation on the difficulties every writer faces in gaining a readership, and recognition. His writing, in rhymed couplets, is deeply thought and reflects a deep fascination with life’s mysteries.

“Only Time,” “The Lure,” “By His Hand and Name,” and “No Shield” are among those poems which explore humankind’s weaknesses – from war to consumerism.

Keith’s fascinations with science, man’s connection to the cosmos and the spirit, are beyond earth are expressed in the poems, “The Starmen,” “Born,” “Reality,” “Fabric of Time,” and others.

The Sky

Such clarity of sight 
    I can see through the sky.
So clear is the air 
    That now even I,
Can be like a bird 
    It's as though I can fly,
Reach out to infinity 
    Way beyond, so high.
Is it to this great height 
    My spirit goes, when I die?
Then again my mind plays 
    With ideas, the why,
Indulging in fantasy 
    As I gaze into the sky.

Many poems celebrate simple pleasures – holidays; ale, wine or spirit by the fire; walks outdoors; family pets; a beautiful collection of old tins. Some take their inspiration from nature: early morning stillness, sugary winter frost; twilight; a broad expanse of sky.

Elizabeth Stanley-Mallett’s work comprises the second portion of Gilded Images; her inspirations include relationships, faith, seasons, patriotism & politics, as well as the challenges and moments which give life its greatest meaning.

The poems, “I’ve Got the Bug,” “Joint Effort,” and “It Pours from His Pen” pay tribute to both Stanley-Malletts’ love of writing; “My Love” and “Better or Worse” offer thoughts on marriage.

Other poems express keen observations on relationships, history and politics, the seasons and nature. “What Does Christmas Mean to You?” and “The Christmas Fairy,” celebrate the heart of the holiday, family and tradition.

Each of her poems reflect Elizabeth Stanley-Mallett’s own, deeply-felt perspective on life. Many are witty comments or thoughtful explorations of life’s frustrations (e.g. weather, aging, indecision, fear & folly). Some poems share the joys which blossom from everyday experiences: fresh bread; a new car; a sunny autumn day; animals; friends and family.

Golden Waves

Ripened fully by the sun 
    The fields ripple in the breeze,
To fill the nation's breadbasket 
    Habitat of birds and bees.
Planted in early spring 
    On East Anglian clay,
Green shoots grew fast to form 
    Golden Waves on display.

Rainfall though sometimes sparse 
    Has finally drenched the fields,
To swell the ears of corn and 
    Bless this harvest's yield.

Thanksgiving time then arrives 
    The grain is proudly shown,
Golden-baked cottage loaves 
  From flour ground on stone.

The fields are ploughed and tilled 
    Bereft of the golden grain,
Lying fallow until the spring 
    When the cycle begins again.

Together the Stanley-Malletts have given us a glimpse into their lives, viewpoints, and experiences. Gilded Images should be enjoyed by lovers of contemporary rhyming verse.

The book is published by AH Stockwell, Ltd. You can buy Gilded Images at Amazon.

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