[Book Review] “Letters to the Rock: A Spiritual Journey in Poetry” – Leonie Phoenix

The title of the book “Letters to the Rock: A Spiritual Journey in Poetry” speaks volumes of a personal journey of a child of God, encapsulated in written letters from her heart to God (aka the Rock of Ages), sharing her deep, innermost thoughts and feelings of doubts, sorrows, joy, hope, aspirations, dreams, fears, peace and so on. God is her confidant and her diary in whom she trusts, and her letters are expressions of her soul journey.

Her letters are written in the form of poetry, which includes themes on acceptance, trust, love, hope, healing, peace and forgiveness, and traverses various seasons of life that encompass despair, uncertainty, silence, joy, comfort, doubts and exultation. The book begins with poems on the still, small voice of Love, with language that evokes imagery, offering glimpses of divine love on Earth, inviting readers to be aware of the reality of heaven around them and in their own consciousness.

The medium of poetry lends itself well to convey the mystical experiences of the divine and the human, which go beyond intellect, beyond physique, even beyond the soul, and are open to interpretation. At times, the poems are soul-baring and heart-searching; other times, mentally stimulating, as the author Leonie Phoenix has employed certain poetic devices in some poems, such as ukiah-haiku and alliteration, to express thoughts and emotions.

Readers may relate to honest thoughts and feelings expressed in the poems, such as feelings of doubts and despair, and take comfort in knowing they are not alone in feeling alone and abandoned by God even though God is always with them (and in them). Some verses in her poems stand out for me as they resonate with me concerning our oneness with Divine Presence, such as:

“Consciousness of the presence of My Captain,

Knowing that I carry Him within me”

(From the poem “A morning swim”)

“I have the patience of a saint now,

And begin to know my worth”

(From the poem “Like a phoenix”)

The above-mentioned verse from “Like a phoenix” can be seen as a reflection of a lifelong journey of knowing our intrinsic worth as beloved sons and daughters of God.

I like how the book ends on a high note, with poems that express a hopeful expectation of good things from God as well as a prayer for everyone to have an increasing awareness of God’s love and provisions for us each day. Indeed, love consciousness wins the day.

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