Thought-Provoking and Powerful Poetry #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

Origami Stars and Hot Air Moon

by Mandie Hines

Copyright 2020


What Amazon Says


To get past grief, we must go through it. In Origami Stars and Hot Air Moon, Mandie Hines traverses through the process of grieving, finding understanding of what loss is, and what it is not. These poems take you through a journey of reclaiming hope, remembering love, and rediscovering memories, while taking you down a path that eventually leads to healing.


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My Thoughts


I met the author, Mandie Hines, a few years ago through WyoPoets, my state’s poetry society. I enjoyed hearing her read her work during our monthly Zoom events. Now, I finally got around to reading this, her first poetry collection.

I liked the narrative quality of these poems. “Things I Regret Forgetting,” the first one, reminded me of losing my husband. Closer to the end of the book, she includes a poem called “About the Things I Regret Forgetting,” which explains the original poem, and I think that adds a nice touch.

Many of the poems are powerful, pinpointing loss and grief. Others speculate on poetry and various topics. I’m sure many writers will relate to “SASE,” a supposed response to a rejection letter. The title poem at the end brings the collection to a satisfying conclusion. If you’re dealing with loss and/or enjoy narrative poetry that evokes powerful thoughts, Origami Stars and Hot Air Moon is for you.


New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?