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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
To New Safe Ports Found: A Poetry Tribute by artist and poet Harold Louis Deen, with photography by Ana Costa Alongi and Harold Louis Deen, is a visually stunning and emotion-stirring collection. The stanzas of two companion poems, “To Ron” and “To Victory’s Height,” are set against photographs of the California coast and skies, which support a spiritually uplifting, inspirational, and meditative theme of navigation, sailing, and flights to the stars, blended with expressions of gratitude and freedom. Deen artfully pairs the lines of his poems with visual backgrounds that invite the reader to understand more than the mere words in the text, as stirring as those are.
As I studied each page in To New Safe Ports Found, I was reminded of times when I sat in meditation gardens. My mind moved from the grains of sand at my feet, to the nearby vegetation and rocks, to the landscape and seascape further away, and finally to the horizon and the heavens. Colors, textures, patterns, and the rhythmic play between land, water, and sky reinforced the overall meditative tone while supporting themes of hope, freedom, and victory.
Deen encourages us and exhorts us with words like: “For you/no north, no south/no boundaried width/no unfathomable depth/no height your limit/no distant goal too far to reach/your past track clear and certain/Away!/To new safe ports found/where future’s promise will abound/or to fields where children’s laughter/is not shadowed by Evil’s plan/but in Life’s light grow/with song and art in a still free land.” A tantalizing collection that both comforts the eye and refreshes the soul.