In Time Poetry Series by Heather Allen

Book Review
Titles: Reflections In Time, Seasons In Time, Lyrics In Time, Visions In Time
Author: Heather Allen
Publisher: Heather Allen
Released: Reflections and Seasons – 2007; Lyrics – 2008; Visions – 2010
Pages: 28 pages (each)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-0-3 (Reflections In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-1-0 (Seasons In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-2-7 (Lyrics In Time)
ISBN: 978-0-9804233-3-4 (Visions In Time)
Stars: 3.5

Heather Allen is an Australian poet who had her first poem published in The Sun newspaper when she was 11-years-old. Her poetry was read on Melbourne and Bacchus Marsh radio during the 80s and 90s and she also received various commendations and certificates of merit for her work which has appeared in many different publications since that time.

“Heather has conducted poetry workshops for primary school students, and is a past secretary of the Bacchus Marsh Writing and Poetry Group. She worked for The Ballan News, Near West Country Living, and The Ballarat Courier as a freelance photojournalist, columnist, and editorial assistant. Her weekly column Reflections was featured in The Ballan News for eight years, and she produced three newsletters, including the community publication The Ballan Monthly Review.”

I have known Heather, who resides in Ballan, for years via MySpace and Facebook and as we both have an affinity for animals and all things Irish (Heather’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day), not to mention poetry, I was delighted to receive her In Time poetry series and I want to share my thoughts about it with you.

Heather sent me Reflections In Time, Seasons In Time, Lyrics In Time and Visions In Time and I understand that another volume entitled Moments In Time also exists. Each volume is spiral-bound with plastic covers and presented with a unique and lovely colour photograph on the front cover. Each volume also opens with a thoughtful quote from Vincent Van Gogh, St. Augustine, Leo Rosten, and Robert Frost respectively and features 23 pages of poetry, many of which feature award-winning poems.

In Reflections In Time, award winners included First Love, Footprints and Reflections; Seasons In Time included award winners Surrender, From Blackwood To Greendale, This Is My Australia, Think Of Me First As A Person, Dailyarata, The Custodian and Girl Friday. Lyrics In Time featured song lyrics and poems written in 2006 & 2007 spanning the genres of folk, rock, pop and country and western music, and were inspired by such artists as Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw and Australia’s Mark Wilkinson. Visions In Time highlights poetry written in 2007 & 2008 including Make Poverty History, Memories In His Swag, and All We Owe The Dead, all of which are among Heather’s strongest work.

Most of Heather’s emotive poems are about love and loss and to be honest, while I can empathize with the feelings that were behind them as I’ve certainly had similar emotions myself; I’m not in a place anymore where I get a lot out of reading them. And I will say the same thing about my own poetry. Her poems are intelligently written, sometimes powerful, often moving and easily relatable. She is not afraid to write about what she knows or to wear her heart on her sleeve – sometimes even bleeding on the page a little – but always maintaining her dignity, hope and faith in a better tomorrow. It’s when she ventures outside of these themes that I am most attracted to the poems and in particular I really enjoyed Street Kids, Diary, Yours To Embrace, Make Poverty History and Science. My favourites from Reflections In Time are Burning Love and If Walls Could Talk; Surrender, This Is My Australia and The Custodian from Seasons In Time; Can’t Un-Do My Love and I Wrote A Language With You from Lyrics In Time; and Mate Of My Soul, Ditto and Don’t Leave Me Here from Visions In Time.

This Is My Australia

Sunrise at the Barrier Reef, a sea of molten gold.
Termite nests reach towards the skies, standing tall and bold.
Russell Falls, Tasmania, set amid the mountain ash.
The Opera House, Sydney Harbour, Dame Edna and Pat Cash.
A desert filled with Spinifex, heated cruelly by the sun.
Port Arthur’s penal colony where convicts’ time was done.
The mining town of Sovereign Hill, the brilliance of Ayers Rock.
River Red Gums in the Flinders’, Bendigo’s large town clock.

Sheep shearing at Talbarae Station in outback New South Wales.
The bushmen of our country fill generations with their tales.
Three Sisters at Katoomba, Gambier’s Blue Lagoon.
A man-made lake at Eildon, men heading for the moon.
The forbidding chasm Lock Ard Gorge, pinnacles in W.A.
I’m proud to be Australian, here’s where I want to stay.
The man from Snowy River, the cottage of Captain Cook.
Our nation and our heritage, our history fills a book.

A history in the making, a land so rare and true.
A land they call Australia, the land of the true blue.
A land of sport, of Aussie rules, of mossies and blowflies.
Of Holden cars and boomerangs, of takeaway meat pies.
This is my Australia, and Australian I’m proud to be.
I’m proud that I’m a native of this island in the sea.

I would love to read more of Heather’s poetry about Australia and the things in everyday life that inspire her aside from her romantic relationships. She’s bright, insightful and a really good writer and it’s time that she wrote a volume called Down Under In Time. I’m putting in my request for it now. Don’t stop writing, Heather!

Orders, enquiries and reader feedback are welcome and you can contact Heather via email at hjallen59@hotmail.com or on MySpace at www.myspace.com/shamrocklady.

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