Ripples Into the Light: PhotoPoetry
Poems by Michael Escoubas
Paintings and Photography by Vandana Bajikar
34 Poems ~ 6 Paintings ~ 28 Photographs ~ 73 pages
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-93-95224-68-0
To Order: or direct from
Michael Escoubas at


Ripples Into the Light, is a collaborative collection featuring the photographic wizardry of Vandana Bajikar and the poetry of Michael Escoubas. Both Escoubas and Bajikar specialize in landscapes that suggest peace amid the turmoil of life. Wallace Stevens has famously written that, “The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.” Both the imagery and the poetry of Ripples, showcase not only the visible beauty of the world, but reach into the invisible truth of human spiritual experience.


“Ripples Into the Light: PhotoPoetry, by photographer “Vandana Bajikar and poet Michael Escoubas, is an evocative exploration of various aspects of water–mists, fogs, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, oceans, bayous, cascades, waves, clouds, and snow and ice–and how they are gifts to calm troubled souls or simply to bring pleasure and joy while contemplating Mother Nature's artist's palette. Vandana, a domestic abuse survivor, finds the scenes she captures as sources of healing. Her images of familiar places, or places you have never visited, allow you, also, to linger awhile in contemplation. Michael's accompanying poems beautifully weaves words and Vandana's images into stunning portraits of places of peace, his descriptions invitations to create your own.”
–Vaughn Neeld, writer/editor/poet, Cañon City, Colorado

“As a Native American I was immediately drawn in by the emphasis on natural-world beauty and the spiritual experiences of people, vividly portrayed in Ripples Into the Light. By pairing Michael’s ekphrastic poems in juxtaposition with stunning photographs by Vandana Bajikar, I found a spiritual refuge. During times of stress in my life, Ripples offers an emotional lift ‘on tap.’ I keep the volume at my beside or sometimes drop it into my handbag when I travel.”
–Shamagne Leland-St. John, author of Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poetry

Ripples Into the Light opens the heart to the beauties and mysteries of nature. It's a joy both to read and to reflect on. This book nourishes the soul.”
–Kathleen Murphy, Facilitator of the Pontiac Chapter of the Illinois State Poetry Society.

“In Ripples Into the Light, poet Michael Escoubas maintains a lovely conversation with artist and photographer Vandana Bajikar, centered around the sacred elements in nature–forests, rivers, flowers, waterfalls, wild creatures. The third-person stance of many of the poems invites the reader to share in observing the ‘balm and beauty of the earth.’ A light gloss on the pages adds to the rich tone and colors of the book, aiding in its dreamlike quality. We see a lover who appears and disappears on a wooden bridge, hear waves ‘whisper in sweet caresses’ at the seashore, and come to understand, as these artists clearly do, that “Beauty is Its Own Reason for Being,” which is the title of the joyful final poem.”
–Kate Hutchinson is the author of A Matter of Dark Matter (2022), which was awarded runner-up in the prestigious 2022 Book of the Year contest held by the Illinois State Poetry Society.

“This is a poetry book to awaken your senses. The photo-poetry seamlessly blends into a delightful pleasure for the reader. Consider Michael’s poem “Peace” in the presence of the green serenity of the Gibbs Japanese Gardens of North Georgia, “could such love live here” juxtaposed with “The blazing sky, hovering, imparts light, power and order” and the photo of Glacier National Park, in Montana at sunrise in Michael’s poem, “Liquid Fire.” It is mesmerizing to read Michael’s ekphrastic and inspirational poems while savoring Vandana’s photographic art on the facing pages. The quality of both inspires and compels us to return to these pages again and again.”
–Candace Armstrong, author of Evidence of Grace


Vandana Bajikar is a survivor of domestic violence. Her response to these experiences finds expression through photography and painting. Nature is her source of inspiration and healing. Her camera and brush are instruments through which she reconciles life and moves forward redemptively. Her work takes her to many countries including Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Belgium, her native India as well as many of America’s National Parks. She has won medals in the 2021 North American Photography Association competition, as well as in competitions sponsored by the Photographic Society of America.


Michael Escoubas’ love affair with language began in his youth. After complaining to his mother that he could find nothing to do (about age 11), she encouraged him to read from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Intending to teach her young charge a lesson in self-contentment, her son's talent for poetry began a long period of incubation. Gradually he learned to love the way letters shaped themselves magically into words. Words had sounds and meanings that filled his mind with possibilities never dreamed of before. Escoubas serves as Senior Editor and Book Reviewer for Quill and Parchment. Ripples Into the Light is his sixth collection.


Beauty is Its Own Reason for Being
by Michael Escoubas
Photograph by Vandana Bajikar

Some things, my friend
are like this–
that instantly and in themselves
they are beautiful–
within their natural element
without help from man–
they pierce the heart with an essence
all their own–
they are erudite in happiness.

We feel a part of something
mere words struggle to express …
call it gaiety
call it joy
whatever it is
we take it deep
into our hearts–
we live in total belief that life is good–
this thing we call life … is good.


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