Paintings

A Collection Of Lyrical Tales

Poetry - Inspirational
94 Pages
Reviewed on 03/06/2015
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

As I write these words, I’m a few months away from turning 56. So far life has led me down many different roads, and allowed me to observe myself and those around me from vastly different vantage points.

What I find most alluring about the course of my life is I’ve been just as prompted to leave behind great success as well as the agonizing moments of complete failure.

Every chapter set before me, whether it unfolded with a sense of ease or undue stress, eventually presented the very same question to me, “Are you satisfied, Kelley?”

I have come to understand that for me, true success in life is reaching a sense of satisfaction. Through my extensive exploration and unwavering curiosity, I have stayed focused on finding the key elements that will sustain my attention and dedication.

Not so surprising to me, there has been only one path of travel to remain unfettered and free from derailment which is the search for the right balance between body, mind, and spirit.

I used to be naive enough to think I could reach a place of prolonged peace. I now understand that this is not the point of my time on this planet. The wave of life will continue to take me under and turn me around in order to shake free any and all complacency.

I will continue to be shown how my behavior and habits interfere with the health of my body, and the serenity of my spirit. Yet my sense of self remains the offering that provides me with a safe place to contemplate the many mental formations that continue to lead me astray.

During the treasured times of being in the moment, I feel such peace because I’m free from the past where pain lives and oblivious to the future where fear looms.

However, it’s never very long before another layer of my complex existence is exposed only to bring back disruption, but also, another golden opportunity to grow. I’m just now able to glimpse the beauty behind this repeating pattern that preserves my perseverance of such a path.

I will continue to work on projects that are designed to take me through my life’s experiences for the sole purpose of proper self integration, and I’ll savor the tiny moments when I’m satisfied and given the gift of just “being” rather than wanting or worrying.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Paintings: A Collection Of Lyrical Tales is an inspirational mix of poems, photographs and art composed by Kelley Lee McDonald. Each poem is preceded by a photograph or illustration that creates an impression echoed by the poem. Some poems discuss the author's past life and memories, while others reflect the nature photographs that precede them. The poet writes in a loose mix of free verse and rhyme, which creates a stream of consciousness effect. The reader is invited to read backwards and forwards and see how the words of each line merge and gain meaning. There are a number of graphic and city images, as well as an impressive collection of nature photographs.

Kelley Lee McDonald's eclectic inspirational poetry collection, Paintings: A Collection Of Lyrical Tales, is a heart-felt and ferociously brave memoir in verse. I was enchanted by her nature photographs: you can see the delicate hairs lining the iris and almost see yourself in the reflection of a hawk's eye. There are marvelous sunsets, cloud pictures and snowy winter landscapes. The poet's poem, His Name Is My Father, is perhaps my favorite, and is, in my opinion, the strongest piece in the collection. McDonald's poetic voice is clearest in this work, and her focus is laser-sharp on the images she remembers of this man, the nuances of their relationship and the legacies he left her. The photograph that precedes this work speaks loudly and eloquently to the poem and its subject. Paintings is also a beautifully prepared and presented work that is a joy to look at and appreciate. Paintings: A Collection Of Lyrical Tales is highly recommended.

Jane Finch

Paintings: A Collection of Lyrical Tales by Kelly Lee McDonald is a collection of photographs and poems written during turbulent times in the author’s life. The poems are sometimes sad and mostly reflective of times past, and recall events or people who have stayed in the author’s memory and had a significant impact. There are also stunning descriptions such as the sights and sounds of the whispering forest that encourage readers to make the most of the natural world around them and the special people in their lives. There are poems about appreciation of people and places, and poems about regrets and longings and faith. The accompanying photographs reflect perfectly the mood of the poem it supports.

I was so moved by this collection of poems that I felt I was going through the experiences with the author, and felt such a mixture of emotions that can only be to the credit of the author, Kelly Lee McDonald. It was lovely to have poems that rhymed naturally and flowed so beautifully, and the reading became an experience enhanced by the accompanying photographs. I found myself re-reading many of the poems because they were so gently written, yet so bursting with feeling and emotion. This is a truly stunning piece of work where the author has bared her soul, but in an admirable and creative way that will stir the hardest of hearts. I loved this work and would like to read more from this author. Not only is this writing clearly an emotional release for the author, but it is an encouraging and uplifting work for the reader.

Christine Nguyen

Paintings: A Collection of Lyrical Tales by Kelley Lee McDonald is a delightful book of poems and art, creating a visual feast for readers' eyes and imaginations. The poems range from love to personal power, to hope and to a higher plan that encompasses many facets of life that can be so confusing and painful. Through many of her poems of despair and darkness, Kelley Lee McDonald offers a tunnel of hope and light at the end so readers can delve down to their own demons and dark periods of life. Readers can understand what the poet is writing about, but at the same time not be sucked into negativity. The artwork that accompanied the poems, ranging from photography to graphic design, was a very nice complement to the poems and readers got a glimpse into the artist as well as the poet.

Poet and artist, Kelley Lee McDonald inspires readers to connect to the dark to get to the light. She shares insightful wisdom that she gained throughout her lifetime with poems like Days of Despair, with verses such as, "I won’t fall prey to this vicious cycle that gets in my way no matter how hard no matter how strong when the black veil comes it steals my song." Most people have gone through despair so readers can fully comprehend the verses and relate whole heartedly. Another of my favorite poems is Personal Power with verses like, "the secret lies in our personal power and the ability we have to make it flower." The verses are so simple, but resonate within me so clearly. I highly recommend this for everyone struggling to find their path in life, and it is beautiful reading.