Perceptions, A Book Review, by Ingrid Wilson

A huge thank you to Ingrid from Experiments in Fiction. Please visit her fabulous site by clicking on this Link >>

My article here is a Direct Copy of her post she published on her site earlier today

Book Reviews: ‘River Ghosts’ by Merril D. Smith and ‘Perceptions’ by Ivor Steven and Derrick Knight

If you are looking for some recommended reading, I have the following book reviews for you from Merril D. Smith, and Ivor Steven/Derrick Knight. Curl up with a cup of coffee and read on…

River Ghosts by Merril D. Smith

This delightful volume of over 50 original poems is Merril’s debut poetry collection, published by Nightingale and Sparrow Press. The striking cover was designed by Merril’s child Jay Smith, maintaining the strong family connection which runs throughout this book, dedicated to the memory of the author’s mother, Sylvia L. Schreiber.

The book is haunted by ghosts, from the title poem onwards:

ghosts in dusty grass
sit still in the long ago,
a gull’s laugh breaks the silence…

These echoes are a recurring and unifying theme throughout the book, in keeping with the author’s dedication to her mother, whose “laugh still echoes.”

There are echoes of the distant past, in poems such as ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ and ‘Jawbone: Homo Sapiens,’ which display Merril’s interest in, and strong connection with, ancient history:

His epitaph,
“eight teeth, one broken.”
Not living,
no longer here,
yet not completely gone.

True, too, of the skeletons of the more recent past. ‘Observe, And Again’ carries echoes of the Holocaust:

Freighted bodies bound for
the unknown—

a train to hell
where fear is the constant.

Atrocities prefigured in ‘The Pogrom:’

and I do carry within me the burnt ruins

of that long-ago pogrom—

an incipient conflagration—who knows?

All levels of history and deep time are here, from human history to the evolution of the universe; subjects close to my heart, as is the historical reputation of women, so thoughtfully examined in ‘Through the Ages, She Is Blamed:’

scared of her knowledge, scared if she’s free
those named and nameless who do not see
it is they, not she, who commit the atrocities.

There is so much to love in this collection! I could go on, but I encourage you to discover this stunning debut for yourself: River Ghosts is available from Amazon.

Perceptions by Ivor Steven and Derrick Knight

Perceptions is a cross-continental collaboration from poet Ivor Steven (Australia) and photographer Derrick J. Knight (United Kingdom). Here are dragons, faeries, foals and swans captured in verse and image, which complement one another perfectly. The images are predominantly of nature, and perhaps reflect humanity’s struggle to find a place within the natural world, in the ruins of so-called ‘progress’, as evinced by Ivor’s poem, ‘Mankind’s Dirty Hands:’

within nature’s naked forest
waiting for mankind’s dirty hands
to stop the desert sands
from ravaging the last strands of what remains hanging over our land 

The poems are a mixture of haiku, senryu and longer poems featuring Ivor’s trademark end-rhymes:

All the world is green
within my midday dream
please, do not disturb me
let me sleep, let me be 
(from the poem, ‘Let It Be’)

Other contributors who deserve credit are Derrick’s wife, Jackie Knight, who has provided some excellent photography (I particularly like her images of birds) and of course, Ivor’s niece, Kerri Costello, who designed the cover, and linked the book to yet another continent (she lives in the US).

The book (available from Lulu) is a fortuitous combination of verse and image. Despite his own advice to the contrary in the section ‘Do not quote me,’ I will end with what strikes me as a most pertinent quote from Ivor:

“A poet following a poet, gives you poetry in motion.” 

It is a testament to the friendships formed on WordPress that these two artists have been able to collaborate successfully and bring this globe-spanning project to fruition!

Happy Reading,

Again, Thank You Ingrid, and here is a poem you mentioned in your review …

There Will Be An Answer

All the world is green
Within my midday dream
Please, do not disturb me
Let me sleep, let me be
Let it be, let it be

     I do not comprehend
     Your unnatural trends

Of killing your neighbours
After kicking in their sacred doors

Do not listen to me

Hear the breeze among the trees
There, under nature’s ancient marquee
She wisely decrees

Live in harmony like the bees
Co-existence is free

Let it be, let it be

Perceptions is Now Available via:

Jaymah Press:

Lulu Books:

OR: email me directly for a signed copy –

Ivor Steven (c) January 2031

Throwback Friday, The Faeries of Fry’s Lane, by Ivor Steven

Here is a copy of my article I posted on “Go Dog Go Cafe” this morning,

A poem I wrote in May 2020 and now is published in my book “Perceptions”, page 3, prompted by Derrick Knight’s Featured Photo Above: ‘Hedgerow faeries along Fry’s Lane’ >>

The Faeries of Fry’s Lane

Walking down Fry’s Lane

Sheltering from the misty rain

I did spy among the hedgerow berries

A Frolic of mystical faeries

Like iridescent glowing canaries

A fluttering of night-time luminaries

Trying not to disturb their magical home

I quietly asked them, “Areyouallalone”

The faeries laughed and danced

They replied, “Your visionisby perchance

and your dreams may turn to stone

if you wish for a golden throne”

Suddenly the glittering sands of time

Illuminating the faeries wings of rhyme

Begun vanishing from their falling stars

And the faeries quickly flew back to their green Avatar

Tullawalla is Available From;

Jaymah Press:

Ivor Steven: email,

Amazon: search via, ‘Tullawalla by Ivor Steven’

Perceptions is Now Available via:

Jaymah Press:

Lulu Books:

OR: email me directly for a signed copy –

Ivor Steven (c) December 2022

Perceptions, meet the Photographer and the Poet

Derrick Knight, The Photographer

Ivor Steven, The Poet

Perceptions is Now Available via:

Jaymah Press:

Lulu Books:

OR: email me directly for a signed copy –

Ivor Steven (c) December 2022

Perceptions is Here!

This morning my Publisher/Editor, Judy, delivered a large box full of “Perceptions” books to my front door… and the final product has far exceeded my expectations. I had a few tears of joy run down my face, so I thought the poem “Sogginess Sets In” would be appropriate for my post today.

Tullawalla is Available From;

Jaymah Press:

Ivor Steven: email,

Amazon: search via, ‘Tullawalla by Ivor Steven’

Perceptions is Now Available via:

Jaymah Press:

Lulu Books:

OR: email me directly for a signed copy –

Ivor Steven (c) December 2022

Faerie Runnels, is in AnoMaly Street, Issue II, Published by Geelong Writers Inc.

List night Geelong Writers Inc. launched the 2nd Issue of this year’s AnoMaly Street, Chapbook Publication (Poetry with a difference), and I am honoured to have my piece “Faerie Runnels” selected in this superbly produced journal. It’s always a great thrill for me to have my poems represented in a locally produced and published book. The Below Photo/Scan shows how my poem appears in the book.

“Faeries Runnels”
also appears in new book “Perceptions”(page 41)

Beyond the Sky (Prose Poetry), is in this week

Hello dear readers and followers, I now write for “Coffee House Writers” magazine on a fortnightly basis, and my poem “Beyond the Sky (Prose Poetry)”, is in this week’s edition of Coffee House Writers Magazine. … please click on the link below and visit my poem, at Coffee House Writers.

Beyond the Sky (Prose Poetry)

Today I traveled to the stars and touched the outer limits of the universe’s Milky Way. There, I opened a magical storybook that had traversed the mysteries of my bedazzled mind.
My unravelled visions were impelled by a strong solar storm originating in the Atlantic Ocean, from beyond the windswept Isle of Wight. Then within my perceptive mind. those dreams cautiously touched down on the curiously tranquil waters of Geelong’s windswept Corio Bay.

Ivor Steven (c) November 2022

Urban Glare (Perceptions, page 43)

The weekend challenge on Weekly Prompts is: Urban. Please visit their fabulous site by clicking >> Here … Below is my response to their prompt, and the poem is also included in my new book “Perceptions”, due to be released in early December
Featured Image Above: by Derrick Knight >>


Urban Glare (Perceptions, page 43)

Down into the valley

I wander

Away from urban glare

Beyond reach

Of those who do not care

About nature’s faded flare

Along a cool creek

I wander

Away from urban air

Beyond sight

Of those arrogant stares

Who do not see nature’s plight

Ivor Steven (c) November 2022

Beyond the Sky

Today I have been proofreading my copy of “Perceptions”, and to break-up the tedious task of proofreading, I wrote this metaphorical poem about reading the book.

Beyond the Sky

Today I traveled to the stars

And touched the outer limits

Of the universe’s Milky Way

There, I opened a magical storybook

That had traversed the mysteries

Of my bedazzled mind

There, my unraveled visions were impelled

By a strong solar storm

Originating in the Atlantic Ocean

From beyond the windswept Isle of Wight

Then finally, my distant dreams

Cautiously touched down

On the curiously tranquil waters

Of Geelong’s windswept Corio Bay

Ivor Steven (c) November 2022

Perceptions, Book Cover Revealed

My new book “Perceptions” will be out in late November. “This colourful and fascinating book is a collection of collaborative articles. The photographs were taken by Derrick Knight from the  New Forest area of southern England, and associated ekphrastic poems were written by Ivor Steven from Geelong, the other side of the world, the southern end of Australia.”  

Ivor Steven (c) October 2022