Bridges: To There

Poems for Mind, Body & Spirit

Poetry - Inspirational
104 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Inspired by nature and the beauty around him Gary W. Burns started writing poetry at a young age. Early on Gary was able to express his thoughts, ideas and emotions through the vivid imagery of his verse. His poetry has been published in various literary arts journals, anthologies and magazines. He is the author of 10 books of poetry. Through his poems Gary shares his reflections on the many facets of life and on the beauty of nature. The expressiveness of his poetry has been enriched by his wide reading in philosophy and psychology. He has traveled throughout the world and has lived in numerous countries, to include, Italy, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. He has also lived in Hawaii and several other states. Currently, Gary makes his home in Northern Virginia near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

From love to reflection, journeys to interpretations, Gary W. Burns' Bridges: To There is a collection of short poems that reflect on many things, and encourage the reader, in turn, to reflect on themselves. Peaceful, tranquil, and relaxing are but a few things stirred as the poems invite you to experience mindfulness and appreciate all each poem has to offer in the here and now. Take a moment and find yourself in reflection, harmony, and thought.

Bridges: To There - Poems for Mind, Body & Spirit by Gary W. Burns is a book of poetry you can take as much or as little as you want from. On the surface level you will find some beautiful words, verses, and imagery, but looking deeper you'll unlock a multitude of different meanings, thoughts, and reflections limited only by your own imagination. You can easily visualize some of the scenes, and others will stay with you long after you've turned the pages. There are even nice thoughts to meditate on, as the title suggests.

As a holistic therapist, I always enjoy things that will make me think on different levels, and I liked the short verses, as they're easy to hold in your mind while you do other things. Sometimes simplicity is best, and there is certainly no waste of words. The collection itself is segmented into parts - Aerial, Suspension, Crossing, and Banks - with each including some beautiful photographs. This book is perfect for a lazy afternoon read surrounded by nature. There is a lot to enjoy about this book, and it is certainly reflective and filled with rich imagery.

Edith Wairimu

Profoundly captivating and lyrical, Bridges: To There - Poems for Mind, Body & Spirit by Gary W. Burns is an enchanting collection reflecting various themes. It is divided into four sections: Aerial, Suspension, Crossing and Banks. In the first section, the poet’s message revolves around the importance of appreciation of oneself. Love, truth, freedom and gratitude are attributes that are also predominant in this segment. In the second part, the themes of love, compassion, imagination, the beauty of simplicity, harmony and peace are highlighted. In the third part, awareness, stability, calm and intimacy are explored while the fourth part closes with a particular focus on beauty and reflection.

All the poems in Bridges: To There are reflective and evocative. I was taken away from my fast-paced world into a new dimension of calm and simplicity filled with splendor. Gary W. Burns starts the section titled Aerial with an appeal. The request expresses the need to celebrate oneself. I found this to be unique and it served as a great reminder to me to celebrate myself amidst the mayhem of the modern world. I specifically loved particular poems more. In the poem Harmonious, the poet acknowledges the importance of simplicity in the drive and desire for balance or harmony. The poem titled Perhaps helped me appreciate my current moments and realize that what I really need ... perhaps I already have. The beautiful images are a delightful backdrop to the poems. I enjoyed the imagery, the simplicity of the poems and the depth that each of them contained.

Vernita Naylor

Love, Spirit, Togetherness, Longing are words carefully chosen by author Gary W. Burns in his latest collection, Bridges: To There, Poems for Mind, Body & Spirit. You will discover over fifty short poems that will offer you a quick fix of inspiration, especially on those gloomy or despairing days. On each page you will be greeted with a poem that emits words of peace, reflection and wellness. Just as Gary’s other books of poetry - from Twilight: Awaking the Stars and Poems of Love: A Selection to Moments: This to the Next - you will leave with a feeling of being touched by the essence of poetic words. The simplicity of words used for the poems that Gary has created expresses the love that he has poured into each one. When you want to convey a lot, say very little. This book of poetry will speak to your heart, mind, soul and spirit.

I loved this piece of work because you are able to not only breathe through each page, but the white spacing on the pages allows you to stop, pause, and fill in the spaces if anything within your mind, body and spirit needs to be said. Opening up each chapter header, Aerial, Suspension, Crossing and Banks, with a beautiful shot of various bridges from South Korea and Japan to the San Francisco Bay helps to reflect the transition between movement and life. Contemplation, Mystery, Guided, Singing are the words that speak to the bridges in our lives.

Hilary Hawkes

Bridges: To There, Poems for Mind, Body & Spirit by Gary W. Burns is a collection of nature inspired short poems. Sixty-nine short poems are attractively set out, one to a page, and divided into sections: Aerial, Suspension, Crossing and Banks. Each thought-provoking verse is around four or five lines – the majority no more than ten. Photographs complement the start of each section.

Bridges: To There is a delightful and thoughtful collection that readers who enjoy inspiring verses will appreciate. I found it was best read at a slow pace, savoring and pondering the messages of each poem. I love poems that connect nature with our inner lives or selves and prompt us to see parallels or messages in the way creation behaves. The short lengths suit poems such as these with reflective points, ideas and truths. Sky and stars feature in many of the Gary W. Burns's poems in this book, prompting me to consider the gentle and changing nature of the atmosphere or space, and how our own busy lives might compare with this “just being”. My favorites though included Nature’s Care and its message of Nature’s stillness and beauty, and Journey’s Mystery speaking of the way we must follow life’s path without knowing or realization:
“Each turn
In every road
Leads,
We follow
Journey's Mystery” page 86

Burns’s poems are an invitation for the reader to pause and consider life in an insightful and thoughtful way, and to remember the important things: our connection with others, love, our sense of peace and ability to “just be”. As we are travelers through life, nature can show us the way with its unaffected and unforced ways, and being observant enough to see and absorb this can give balance, strength and peace. A book that would make a lovely gift and definitely one to keep nearby to dip into at quiet moments.

Melinda Hills

Peaceful, contemplative and evocative, the poems in Bridges: To There: Poems for Mind, Body and Spirit by Gary W. Burns provide the opportunity to relax and reflect. Cleverly divided into four sections representing different types of bridges, their purpose and their grounding, the poems reflect those characteristics. Aerial poems focus on the sky, clouds, wind and love. Suspension poems offer feelings of support or the things that help us love ourselves and one another, such as compassion, meditation, spirit and, again, love. The Crossing section seems to also incorporate how to center oneself, but also deals with love, balance and unity. The final section, Banks, feels earthier just as the banks ground the ends of a bridge. The earth, seasons, day/night and balance are topics as are beauty, happiness and love.

Read and savored individually, each poem can serve as a focus for meditation or deep contemplation. Alternately, the words can bring a smile to your face as you briefly think about the image that comes to mind, providing peace, tranquility and a deep spiritual connection. Either way, Bridges: To There is a pleasant experience you can return to over and over. Along with beautiful verse, Bridges: To There: Poems for Mind, Body and Spirit contains stunning photos and artwork to support the themes of the poems, adding to the relaxing effects of the words. Gary W. Burns has created a complete experience to help deal with the stresses of everyday life. Well done. Very soothing and thought provoking. Enjoy a connection to a world of peace with this engaging collection of delightful and thoughtful poems.

Renee Guill

Bridges: To There, Poems for Mind, Body and Spirit by Gary W. Burns is an inspirational book of poems. It has poems that will help you contemplate and relax. Gary W. Burns has a way of using rhythm and rhyme to help you find a sense of peace and calm. It’s like music for your soul. He has a unique way of world building. You can feel the love and peace. It is a short and fast read, and one that you should keep nearby for those times when you want to relax. It has beautiful images as well. A great book to keep by your side, and to read with a cup of tea.

I was happy to see another book of poems by Gary W. Burns. Bridges: To There, Poems for the Mind, Body and Spirit did not disappoint. It is just as peaceful and relaxing as his Garden Walks book of poems. Gary W. Burns has a wonderful way of using rhythm and rhyme that is almost hypnotizing. The cadence is spot on as well. It really is like music, without the background noise. I love how he uses nature to build “worlds” and scenery. Even the photos he uses are peaceful. I almost wish I had these in a real book format to keep on my nightstand for the times when I need to relax. I deal with anxiety, and always looking for ways to combat it, and Gary’s poetry is a wonderful addition to help fight it. I am now officially a fan of Gary W. Burns's poetry.