Comment on this article

This is Sharmagne Leland-St. John’s fourth collection of poetry and, like her previous collections, she ranges widely across the terrain of love, need, longing, family, friends, nature and, for good measure, a prose piece. Each poem is shaded subtlety and cut with the precision of the geometric shards of glass in a kaleidoscope. Turn the pages and the poems fall into magical, mysterious shapes that strike at some Jungian nerve in the reader. It is difficult to take this book in a single sitting since the reader will find themselves putting it down and running over the words again, fitting them into their own personal memories.

La Kalima is more than a collection of poetry – it is a tour de force covering the world we all live in. It is not just a set of descriptive poems with clever imagery and metaphors. La Kalima turns the universe on its cosmic axis and shakes our perceptions out of their assigned pigeon holes so they fall at our feet and we need to look at each one carefully to understand its new place. Her vision is not handed down to us, as with some poets, but shared with an intimacy one finds in Whitman at his best. This collection is not a lecture, it is a conversation with a lady possessed of a unique vision and a true feeling for her audience.

~Ed Bennett (poet, reviewer) excerpt from book review~

My idea of a good poem was "Mary had a little lamb" until I met Sharmagne-Leland-St.John and read her poetry, prose and haiku, all of which reflect her fighting, warrior-woman spirit in LA KALIMA.  Leland-St. John never lets you down in life as a friend or as a poet. Count on her to stand up and be heard, to shout out, whether about a deceased husband, an emotionally torn mother, a widow looking toward a reunion with her beloved spouse or a child pulling on her kindness.  Hard to contain her magnanimity in one book--a mere introduction to her strength of character and sensitive brooding soul, as she has written she is truly a rose without thorns. Heart is what she's about.
~Carole Mallory, journalist and  author of LOVING MAILER, FLASH and blogger for HUFFINGTON POST~

From the Book:

La Kalima
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John
Like swallows they return each year
their vermilion scarves stirring
in the relentless,
oppressive, scalding Sciroccos.

They come amber scented
from Tunisia
the hems of their lilac kaftans
fluttering in the zephyr's
white-hot breath.

They come from Kashmir
with mehndi stained hands and feet,
physical graffiti,
their silk saris whispering raginis
pitched to sultry winds.

They come from Cairo
their kohl eyes
searching the bazaar
for the delicate spider web lace,
the rondels woven by
needle pricked fingers.

They come from Andalusia
with jessamine and geranium
pinned into the lustrous ripples
of their burnished ebony hair

They come and they go
to return each year like swallows.

About the author:

Sharmagne Leland-St. John, 2007 Pushcart Prize nominee, is a Native American poet, concert performer, lyricist, artist, and film maker. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the poetry e-zine Quill and Sharmagne is also Executive Director of the US poetry divi- sion of Wynterblue Publishing Canada Inc. Sharmagne spends time between her home in the Hollywood Hills, in Southern California and her fly fishing lodge on the Stillaguamish River in the Pacific Northwest. She tours the United States, Canada, and England as a performance poet. She has published 3 books of poetry: Unsung Songs (2003), Silver Tears and Time (2005), Contingencies (2008); and has co-authored a book on film production de- sign: Designing Movies: Portrait of a Holly- wood Artist (Greenwood/Praeger 2006). 

Published: November 1, 2010
Publishers: Wynterblue Publishing Canada, Inc (Canada)
                   Quill and Parchment Press (U.S.A.)
Price: $15.00
ISBN 13: 978-0-9764244-3-7



Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]