Awenydd and Conversations with a Country Boy by J.R. Maston

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“Awenydd” is an exploration of the self, growth, and measuring our internal perspective against the world around us. “Conversations With A Country Boy” is a collection of memories, recollections and thoughts on the culture and lives of the people growing up in rural Northern California.From the author of “Velvet” and “The Jar Curse.” (taken from Amazon)

I don’t often review poetry, probably because it’s such a personal medium. I find poetry to either be beautiful and real, or trite and annoying. There’s really no in-between for me. J.R. Maston’s poetry is of the beautiful and real variety.

What I loved about this collection was how incredibly raw it was. There was no holding back, or shying away. This isn’t a book about happy trees, or cute bunnies. It’s more like a conversation held late at night, when people are too tired to quiet themselves and their hidden thoughts and fears come out. Some of the poems felt so brutally honest that they were tough to read. I loved them, though.

This collection felt like a journey: you can walk it with the author. Themes of nostalgia, love, regret, loss, and healing can be found throughout. I can’t really say that I had a favorite poem: more like lines and snippets that stuck with me. At the moment,  parts from “Little Gray Dove” are circling though my mind.

“You know sometimes grief is like a little gray dove
we take him into the cup of our hand
we take all the time we need
whisper into him our sorrow”… (excerpt from “Little Gray Dove”)

I highly recommend this book, as well as the other collections by Maston: Velvet, and The Jar Curse.  

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