Books

How can I interpret the swirl of sentiment found here in this jewel of a book, Black Sheep, Rising? I cannot. I do not know the one word that will wrap this work from the heart in a bow.

I can tell you this, though: When I carefully read, re-read, chewed on, turned over, thought about, and later dreamed the sentiments that C. Streetlights put forth, my body responded with tears. Then I felt hope.

I started to believe in magic.

I saw beauty disguised as human folly. I found myself walking in her shoes. We were on a poetic path; we discovered together that what can destroy us will — not –if we choose to be just a little bit wild…

C.Streetlights quietly reveals the rainbow inside with her profound choice of words.

Black Sheep, Rising is a masterpiece, a sublime simplicity that peels back layers of emotion and years of confusion.The little girl with brown eyes can smile now. She no longer suffers the fate of disassociation brought on by the pain of mistreatment and solitude.

Julie Anderson, from Black Sheep, Rising Foreword

C.Streetlights weaves her story in between memories and dreams. In between poetry and prose. Breathtaking.Julie Empsom
In C. Streetlights, Tea and Madness, moving on, letting go and finding a home within is a never-ending search to becoming a whole human being. The reader sees that we all are “messy creatures,” “energy” in the natural world, and “mountains…quilting their new fall colors.” Streetlights brings us into the everyday nature of our world…Tea and Madness bridges our contrasts: sadness and happiness, forgiveness and hate, and reminds us that there is a wilderness inside all of us, full of the things we love and hate.

Loren Kleinman, author of The Dark Cave Between My Ribs

For those struggling past abuse, C. Streetlights illuminates the topic with clarity, exposing the ugliness of abusers and the healing nature of letting go. Elite Indie Reads
I read Tea and Madness last December when I was experiencing the depressive side of my personal brand of madness.

Ms Streetlights’ poems cheered me up because of their profound clarity and honesty and because her poetic voice is finely tuned to avoid the pitfalls of dumbing down the impact of personal trauma. Added bonus, she has better poetic goals in mind than trying to shock us with irrelevant details.

Personally, I related most with those poems that showed the emotional stamina required to stay strong and confident as a parent and a spouse even when one’s brain pulls us in a different direction.

The poem I love the most is the one I never expected to like, ‘Amen’. I am not a religious person and prayers are not in my catalog of self-soothing activities, but the clarity and honesty of this poem, the same clarity and honesty found throughout Tea and Madness, caught be off guard, forcing to ‘listen attentively’. Here is what I ‘heard’ and here is what I would like to say to Ms Streetlights if I ever had a chance to meet her.

Dear Ms Streetlights,
Your poem “Amen” caught my eye because it is a unique prayer that does ask for hope (“I don’t want to be inspired or even inspirational”) but wishes instead for tranquility in the midst of chaos: “I don’t want to keep trying. I want to burn down the hoops instead of jump through them.” Also, ‘Amen’ asks for a judicious mindful pause we all know we need and sometimes struggle to get:”There are days I want to lay my head down on the grass and close my eyes, remember what it was like before and breathe in the past, breathe out the could-have-beens.”

“Amen” is the perfect “Sanity prayer” for women who play many roles (worker, mother, spouse, friends, etc), giving 100% of themselves, and receiving minimal validation. It is a particularly important prayer because you make it very clear that there are no such a thing as a static self as long as we take the time to acknowledge that changes are taking place: “But I’m not the same. Not the same. Not ever the same. Never again.”

An individual’s willingness and ability to change while stuck in the routine of life is a strength of character. Very few people pay attention to it, and it’s hurtful. Tead and Madness does!

Thank you Ms Streetlights. Thank you!

Anais Abelard, aka Area Frenchman.