we are poetry.

words sit thick

like cotton on the tongue

waiting to be spun

into a dress of pretty prose

for strangers to wear,

letters and lace to drape

across the shoulders of people

we will never meet,

soul stories told by hands

that hold tendrils of magic

we move between moments,

insomnia written into our bones

because sleep cannot make a home

in minds that do not rest,

in bodies composed

of air and water and hope and pain

we breathe wreckage and desire,

and we are not afraid of either

because we carry the blood

of vikings and warriors in our veins

our hearts wear a shield

made of woven strength

we are resilient

we are infinite

we are poetry

– ashley jane

Review – I Needed a Viking

Many authors have a way of touching the heart, but Alfa reaches deeper. She speaks to the soul. In I Needed a Viking, she reminds us of our own strength. She raises us up and readies us for battle because who better to fight for us than us.

In the first section, Forgettable, she gives us wisdom. Too often, we let the wrong people define us. Alfa reminds us that it’s ok to falter, as long as we get up. We are not always what others expect us to be. We are more, and that’s a good thing. My favorite piece in this section, “Fairytales Lie,” reiterates that we shouldn’t wait around on someone to save us. We can save ourselves. In “Light-Filled Days,” she tells us to be careful of those whose memory threatens our darker days. The ones who deserve our time will be there through thick and thin. Light AND dark.

In section two, Friction, I was drawn to the piece entitled, “You Know Better.” Her words are full of the wisdom of someone who has been there. Someone who learned the hard way that we shouldn’t get pulled back into the past. There will always be something or someone who wants to stop us from moving forward. But, we can’t let them hold us back. This hit me so hard, as I am so guilty of holding on to relationships that are not good for me. Sometimes, we have to let go.

Section three, Flamethrower, instills strength and resilience. Power and purpose. In “Make Every Second Count,” Alfa reminds us that we mustn’t dwell in the past. That we should surround ourselves with those who lift us up. Those who contribute to beauty, not those who steal it. One of my other favorites from this book is “The World Must Wait.” This is the poem I so often need to hear. It says it is ok to stop. It is ok to have anxiety. It is ok to need to pause and breathe. You are not a bad person for putting yourself first.

This book was the lesson I needed. It is filled with wise words written by a poet who knows what it’s like to be on the other side of brave. Alfa uses her words to encourage and embolden her reader. I suppose we all need a Viking, sometimes. But we needn’t look any further than the mirror to find one.

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Viking

waiting on answers from the sky.

we exist in this summer haze,

days trailing into nights

we sit beneath midnight skies

painted obsidian and aubergine,

sipping on Guinness and cider

and talking about life

and love

and the ache of it all

we keep waiting on this new moon

to impart its infinite wisdom,

waiting for stories untold

to unfold amidst the stars

but there is only the echo of absence,

a silence that shakes us

so we fill it

with chatter

with chaos

we get drunk on the noise

because anything is better than this

q u i e t

because anything is better than admitting

we have no clue

what is going on

we sit in shadows cast by starlight

and wait for the sun to rise

(maybe it will share its secrets)

– ashley jane