Paradise Taken: The Diary of Eden Flores Part I By Omar Gonzalez

When the innocence of a child is tainted by the gruesome realities of the world, then paradise becomes an unattainable dream.

Paradise Taken: The Diary of Eden Flores Part I is a collection of true events about a girl named Eden Flores. The author, Omar Gonzalez, captures Eden’s life experiences remarkably in this book and shares them with us in the form of stories and poems. 

The book begins with stories about Eden’s childhood and her family. The family visits her parents’ native place called El Paraiso (“Paradise”). Here, Eden first realizes after witnessing certain events that life is far from being anywhere close to a paradise. As young kids, Eden and her brothers would always look for reasons to escape so they could avoid the chaos and violence at home. But, even the outside world had its perils and dangers which she soon experienced. The ordeal just gets worse, making it an immersive reading experience. 

All Eden ever wanted was a life filled with smiles and simple joys with her family. But how does one cope when family inflicts the most amount of pain? There are many things in this world that we take for granted and don’t appreciate enough, Paradise Taken is a book that makes us realize that. 

It discusses themes around racism, religion, sorrow, suffering, domestic violence, and sexual child abuse. The careful interweaving of stories and poems provide an impactful narrative that stay with you after the last page.

Also find my review on Reedsy.

It was almost like the sepia filter was turned on,
On the old forgotten roads.
Not a soul to be seen on the muddy streets.
He rode a bicycle and sang songs from the 80s.
He hurried home,
Saw his little daughter waiting for him at the porch.
They went inside hand-in-hand,
And found awaiting –
A bowl of hot rice
Steaming hot sambar
& crunchy papadam
That made his belly rumble and grumble with joy.
He sat down immediately to eat,
From the kitchen came his wife shouting,
“Wash your hands before you eat!”
All of a sudden, he woke up from his sleep.
Found beside him a white lady in green.
He wondered to himself,
“Which one of this is a dream?”

Sunny days in June

It was noon, sometime in June, when the wildflowers had started to bloom.
A straw hat on the head for the groom and a dusty pink gown for the bridegroom.
In the golden light of the summer sun, people glittered like shiny pearls.
Glasses clinked, lovers winked, kids frolicked holding orange ice cream.
Eyes sparkled with merriment, there was a magical happiness in the air.
Celebrations, weddings, garden parties, on sunny days are always the best.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

Soon

Dreaming of low tides,
Long nights under the moonlight
Sitting around logs set on fire
Upon white sand and
Mountains looming under dark skies.

Sea breeze muffles our voices
As we share stories
Holding mugs of warmth
In our mitten covered hands
There’s always so much to say,
To listen,
To laugh,
With friends around
There’s no track of time.
Soon.
Those days will come soon.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

A Daydream

It’s so peaceful.
Another world,
Another universe.
The sound of waves gently lashing on the beach.
Each one with its own song to sing.
If only you could hear,
At a far distance – a bird
No, lots of birds – their sweet calls
Then someone calls me ..
Breaks my reverie,
And I’m back on this beach,
On earth.
I look around.
I can no longer hear the music of the waves,
Lost are the songs of the birds.
I am in this world
Trapped!
I want to be free …..

– By Abizer Lokhandwala

Spotlight is a new category on Into Words. Here, I will be posting poems from people who have shied away from sharing their work/don’t have a platform to publish their work/never considered putting their work on a public platform.

Sometimes we don’t realise how good our stories, poems, and thoughts can be and like the saying goes, “This world needs more art.” and art in any form is always appreciated. This section is all about sharing and appreciating ideas. It doesn’t have to follow any rules of perfection. If you feel you have a story/poem/idea to share, then please give me an opportunity to put you under the spotlight.

Email me at: nuraine.sadaf@gmail.com

Shout-out to Abizer Lokhandwala, thank you for sharing this beautiful poem with me and the community. If you enjoyed reading this, then don’t forget to show your love and support by liking or commenting below. Looking forward to reading your writings. ❤

Cafe and Rain

Every time it rains, I go to a cafe.
It’s a blessed land.
It creates an ambience of love.
The comforting homey aroma of warm baked food welcomes you.
The soothing, mellow background music makes you settle in.
The large glass windows are so inviting,
You can while away time dreamily looking outside,
Watching the raindrops and the empty black wet streets.
The warm yellow lights of the cafe elevate the romance in the air.
The rustic wooden interiors bring back that old world charm.
Oh and the mesmerizing, divine scent of coffee,
How it draws on my soul!
That tempting, sinful indulgence.
There’s something about the smell of coffee, I tell you.
That strong attraction!
This is where all the yoga sessions come into play.
Deep deep inhalations and a long sigh of satisfaction.
Somehow wrong but feels so right, perhaps like an extra marital affair.
As I call myself a chai lover.
But, who can deny the combination of butter croissants and coffee.
It’s a match made in heaven, don’t you think?

Now, the best part about cafes is,
Somehow nobody bothers you.
No one gives a second glance.
When you are being all dreamy and pensive by yourself.
It’s like.. they understand that feeling.
Especially these cute lil neighbourhood coffee shops.
Totally love their relaxed vibe.
Everyone is lost in their fancy world of imagination.
You can just sit alone with food and coffee.
Writing down notes on a piece of paper,
Borrowing a pencil or a pen from the attendants.
Or, you will often find someone sitting in a corner reading a book.
Or, somebody with headphones crouched on their laptop.
Or, a couple –
Sitting cozily on a couch
Lost in each other’s eyes.
Or, you will find a group of friends,
Sharing stories excitedly and giggling.
Or, you see a tired soul,
Just stopping by to relax the bones.
Whatever be the reason,
Coffee shops don’t really care who you are.
They just let you be.
Content.

Photo by Huu1ef3nh u0110u1ea1t on Pexels.com

Did you like the post? If yes, then I would love to know what you think about coffee shops. Leave a comment down below, like, share, and follow. Thank you! ❤

What Do the Trees Say?

What would happen if the trees in a forest got into a conversation?
What do you think they would talk about?
Would they compare their heights?
The lusciousness and colors of their leaves..
Talk about the texture of their bark?
Would they discuss in lengthy sways about the weather and the winds?
How hot the summer would be this year..
How the previous winter dried the very roots and shoots of their being,
Almost a near death experience!
When it rains would they get romantic,
Secretly extending their roots to hold hands underneath the soil?
Will one tree get jealous by the blooming blossoms of another?
Or upset that the birds always flock to that one cool tree?
Will they discuss who’s the new kid around the woody block?
On a full moon night would they share stories,
Of how they grew in the shade of their father –
From a little sapling to a mighty tree?
Do they get annoyed with the travelling band of monkeys,
Who seem to tickle them as they go swinging by?
Do they wonder about the creatures of the forest,
Of their quick and meaningless lives?
Do they smile at each other, shake hands, or nod heads?
So, what do you wonder my wondrous trees?
Wish I could sit down and listen to you speak.

On World Poetry Day

Poetry,
Does not have to be a jumble of words
Or, beautiful sounding prose.
It’s what the people always say,
Poetry is in everything that’s around you.

It doesn’t need to be
Created, written, spoken, or sung.
It doesn’t have to always be expressed.
It can be in the unsaid little things of life.

When you close your eyes in prayer,
The reverent bow of your head, my friend, is a poem.

It is a feeling that flows,
It does not have to be controlled,
Who says you need to follow rules, meters, or rhymes
To feel poetry,
and if you do, that’s great too.
Well, then that’s the ultimate form of poetry.

But poetry, my dear, is you.
The emotions that flow inside of you.
The good ones, the bad ones,
The sad ones, the angry ones,
The love, the hate.

When you feel a darkness creeping within,
Gnawing at your skin
Breaking you, pulling you down,
Haven’t you tried to fight, to overcome?
Expecting light at the end of the tunnel?
You have reached your hand out for help,
Right there is hope, right there in your spirit is poetry.

When you are drowned in work,
Day and night with no track of time,
You have forgotten to eat,
Hungry and tired.
But, when you finally raise your head and stretch
In that deep long breath of exhaustion is poetry.

You are hanging onto your life,
In a local crowded train.
Sweating, cursing, sighing,
Pushing, pulling, struggling..
Struggling for a breath of fresh air.
In that struggling, funny anger my lovely one, let us find poetry.

Poetry is not always flowery.
It can be anything that you want it to be.

Doubtless, that the poems written by
The hopeless romantics,
On the falling leaves,
On the blooming trees,
On the rising, thrashing waves,
On the pouring, loving rain
Will always be the rainbows in the skies.

But, let us continue finding beauty
In the most unexpected traces of life.

Some days, the passion to create is so strong,
That everything around seems like a flash of inspiration.
From the morning cup of tea,
Sunshine on the feet,
Crumpled sheets,
A smiling person on the streets,
An empty blank sheet.