Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Heavenly Mist, Earthly Dew by Kimberlee J. Benart is a unique collection of poetry, digital art, photography, and a personal account of the author’s pilgrimages. The gardens are drawn from her personal adventures and the stunning places are seen through photography and poetry that reflects on life and beauty. The artwork highlights a love of gardens and a religious insight that is inspiration derived from places Benart has been. The images are colorful, pairing well with the poetry and drawing out the beauty of nature through flowers, paths, and architecture.
Kimberlee J. Benart blends poetry and artwork and brings to life sentiments of quiet moments, reflections on life, spiritual wanderings, and explorations of gardens through the perspective of an oasis of peace. The photographs focus on different aspects of the gardens with up-close shots of flowers, pathways, and architecture. The poems are lovely and personal with each one coming from the heart and containing an emotional tone. Room to Bloom is the first poem of the collection and sets the tone for the book through a reflection on the words her mother advised her about never hiding her light and blooming wherever she was planted. The poem has a sweet and sincere message of having the room to grow which will allow for failure and to try again. The tone weaves in the presence of her mother throughout. Spiritual But Not Religious focuses on spirituality and an exploration of the world that calls it out for its greed and hate, then explores the idea of love and understanding. Here, Now, My Soul is a poem with a quiet, restful tone that brings to life the descriptions of a storm in the distance and a well-tended garden. So Bright the Sun is another example of a poem with a warm feeling and a quiet tone with the sun shining and leisurely peace of mind.
Pathways play a significant role throughout the book, highlighted in poems such as This Stoney Walk, Roundabout on a Straight Path, and I Walk the Garden Path and paired with photographs of paths leading through a garden. Architecture plays a role in several of the poems such as The Temple of Man and Oh Eagles, Let me Pass, which are also paired with lovely photographs. Additional photos are included that show various clear and vibrant images from gardens. Benart also includes personal reflections on the pilgrimages she has taken, extra poems, photographs, and digital art which reflect who she is and allow some insight. Heavenly Mist, Earthly Dew is a collection that will appeal greatly to artists, photographers, and those who love gardens and architecture as the poems and images are reflective, spiritual, peaceful, and stunning.