Crystal Fire: Poems of Joy & Wisdom
Editor: Maja Trochimczyk
Art by Ambika Talwar
144 poems ~ 14 paintings ~ 188 pages
Publisher: (Moonrise Press, October 2022)
ISBN 978-1-945938-58-0 (color paperback) ~ 188 pages ~ $53.00 plus S&H
ISBN 978-1-945938-57-3 (color hardcover) ~ 188 pages ~ $68.00 plus S&H
ISBN 978-1-945938-59-7 (eBook) ~ $10.00 instant download
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Edited by Maja Trochimczyk, and illustrated with paintings by Ambika Talwar, the Crystal Fire anthology gathers poems of joy and wisdom by 12 poets, eight women and four men: Elżbieta Czajkowska, Joe DeCenzo, Mary Elliott, Jeff Graham, Marlene Hitt, Frederick Livingston, Alice Pero, Allegra Silberstein, Jane Stuart, Ambika Talwar, Bory Thach, and Maja Trochimczyk. The poets span all ages and diverse life experiences. They include émigrés from Poland, Cambodia, and India, and those born in the U.S. College professors join community poets. Native speakers appear alongside those for whom English is the second, or even the third language. The ”joy and wisdom” they write about are also different, as each poet follows their own path and gathers unique reflections to share with their readers.


Maja Trochimczyk’s remarkable new anthology, Crystal Fire, pulls together many poetic gems from several writers. The focus of the book is laser-tight on joy and wisdom, but the kaleidoscope of poetic imagery and insight ranges from the natural world to divine shadows to human relations. Beautiful artwork by Ambika Talwar further enhances and unifies this collection, with such paintings as Meridians and Serenity at Dusk brightening its pages. Poems such as ”Snow Flower” by Jane Stuart and “What is Important?” by Alice Pero further expand the cosmic scope of the book. Do yourself a kindness in these challenging times and refresh your soul with this lovely volume.
–Kathi Stafford, author of Blank Check (Finishing Line Press, 2016)


Maja Trochimczyk is a poet, music historian, photographer and non-profit director born in Poland, educated in Canada (Ph.D., McGill University), and living in California. She published seven books of music studies, edited five poetry anthologies and published six books of poetry, most recently Brights Skies. Selected Poems (2022). Her articles, research papers, poems, and photographs appear in numerous journals and anthologies in English, Polish and translated into German, French, Serbian and Chinese. She was twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes (2021 and 2022) and serves as President of the California State Poetry Society and Managing Editor of the California Quarterly.


Ambika Talwar is an India-born author, wellness consultant, artist, and educator whose vision is to realize her sacred destiny and invite others to find their brilliance. She has authored Creative Resonance: Poetry–Elegant Play, Elegant Change, 4 Stars and 25 Roses (poems for her father) and My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses about her travels through Greece in 2002. It is a poetic-spiritual travelogue that seeks to discover our collective human purpose. She is published in numerous journals and anthologies, and received many prizes, including two Pushcart Prize nominations, in 2018 and 2022. Also a wellness practitioner, Ambika practices IE: Intuition-Energetics™, a powerful fusion of modalities and creativity principles for speedy recovery from ailments so you can experience being whole again. Recent retiree as English professor at Cypress College, California, Ambika makes her home in Los Angeles and in New Delhi, India.


If I Rise

by Alice Pero

If I rise up past the sun
I will keep a point
down in the green
I will not cast all my anchors up
I will still touch
the tiny trees that sway
the weeping branches

If I hide behind the moon
dark shadows paint
on planet’s hills, beam
a long ray on moon’s quiet
I will still leave
my thought, brush
the wings of birds
in Earth flight
form greeting

If I try to fathom space
mark deep traces
in the unknown
I will not rise up forever
past the fallen friends remaining
loved ones grieving
Those caught in Earth’s
endless turning

I will catch the silver
Of the deep and silent sky
I will bring a treasure home
to touch the earth, each eye


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