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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Life is full of experiences, some good, some not so good. It’s all these experiences that make us what we are, lead to where we should go, record what we have left behind. Each moment in life is an experience, a nuance of something else, greater, smaller. Every moment in life counts for something: “a shadow,/ a dream,/ lost…/ until it shows itself again.” Life is a journey, sometimes easy, sometimes more difficult, as we meander through a quagmire of experiences: “There are so many connections, signals./ Touching, crossing, overlapping./ Confusing leaves me trying…/ Trying to understand./ Trying to untangle the web./ To find the path forward.”
Jacqueline Belle’s chapbook collection of eleven poems, When I Walk Upon the Earth, is a perceptive look deep into complex nuances of life and what it means. From feeling like flying: "Soaring upward,/ free./ Endless possibilities/ like the night sky,” to deeper emotions like sadness: “Gnawing…/ behind you,/ elusive at each turn,/ ghostly fingers.” This poet has a powerful control of the words she chooses. Writing in free verse, each poem in this collection ruminates on a theme, an experience, a subtle nuance of life. The reader experiences the depth of the poet’s concept of some very abstract thoughts. This collection is a celebration of all that life means, as the poet digs deeper into the intricacies and complex webs of living. This is a very inspiring and thought-provoking collection of life poems, something a reader will want to study in greater depth and read through multiple times, as the reader, like the poet, will leave "footprints on the soil".