Image credit: frankie’s/

“I contain multitudes’ – Walt Whitman

There comes a time we realise and feel
a lack of linearity within and confused
we stumble through our memories as if to excavate
the shape and form of who we are
from what we’ve been
But like a ghost unto ourselves
our pasts present the multitudes
of chosen paths and abandoned possibilities
and nothing more, nothing more

What is I, what is the form and being
that inhabits my thoughts and body?
Does it exist as something separate, inviolate
or does it merge with the all in ways
that blind belief in individuality shields
from my weary eyes?
Can I proclaim that I remain
an entity of separate form and matter
or in multitudes do I swim
another cell in an unseeable
and unknowable large schema
and nothing more, nothing more?

(c. ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Promise


Image credit: Irina Alexadrovna/

He made the promise to you
One perfect springtime morn
His words they were so precious
So much to wish upon
How could you know by summer
That he’d be gone?

Your dress it was so pretty
He said beyond compare
And all the flowers circled
In your wondrous hair
How could you know by summer
He’d not be there?

Such promises are sweet
They take your breath away
His earnest loving words
He’d never go away
How could you know by summer
He would stray?

So young girl take this warning
Turn not your pretty eyes
To look upon a lover
As something like a prize
Lest you find in summer
He only ever lies

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments



Image credit: Elena Schweitzer/

Admit me in
To the possibility
I have remained a novice
All this time
Read my books
And learned my lines
Awaiting on
The appointed moment
When the doors would open wide
And welcome me inside

Give me hope
Through the possibility
All my yesterdays
Guiding lights
Every token
Shining bright
Breathing through
The sea of wonders
Swimming to the other side
To be welcomed here inside

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Review: The Contract by John Howell and Gwen Plano

The Contract

Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for anything about angels, redemption, universal love and honour. So The Contract, by John Howell and Gwen Plano, had me ‘at hello’ – or ‘chapter one’ as they say in the literature world.

This is a truly unique book – a cross genre meeting of spiritual, action, thriller and romantic minds. One part evocation of spiritual growth and destiny, one part thrill ride through a rollicking mystery and political action rampage, one part one of the loveliest and most affirming romantic stories I’ve read in years. I’m not giving anything spoilery away by noting the story is about two souls that willingly contract to go to earth and avert a political disaster. But how this all unfolds is delicious and should be read by the reader, not told by the reviewer here.

I must say I’ve been a long time fan of John Howell’s writing. It is fun, fast paced, warm and engaging – much as I suspect the author would be.  The fascinating thing here is how seamlessly his style and Gwen’s mix.  I truly couldn’t tell which parts were written by which, so well did they merge from one to the other.  It was very much like a harmony of two perfectly attuned instruments in a symphony.

They are the ideal writing partners to tell the story of two other perfect partners – of a different kind – as they fulfil their heavenly contract. ( And I loved the meta tip of the hat to this at the end of the book -very clever!)  This makes me want two things: that they quickly do the sequel they promise at the end, and also I want to check out some of Gwen Plano’s other writing too now.

I thoroughly recommend this book to one and all – its genre mixing offers pretty much something for everyone, and by the end you will have enjoyed a wonderful, action packed, politically on point thriller that is also a romantic and life affirming ride.

As I said at the outset, I’m a sucker for honour and the spiritually uplifting, so I shed a few happy tears indeed in the final chapters. If this isn’t what the spiritual world is (and I for one hope it is) then it should be! Don’t miss out on a sublime experience – get your copy now!


Posted in Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments



Image credit: lady_in-red13/

How much of her is me?
How much of me is her?
A mirror lets me see
More yet I may infer
It seems we may have split
When did this occur?
How much of her is me?
How much of me is her?

How much of me is her?
How much of her is me?
Denial can be kind
So can duality
If I run so fast
Could I yet be free?
From all of me in her
And all of her in me?

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Helen, for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your blog and appreciate your focus on elemental writing. We hope you find our book to be an example of such written passion.

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.


Here is an excerpt.

Brad and Sarah left the complex and strolled back to their residence. Brad leaned close to Sarah and whispered, “Why do I get the feeling we’re being watched?”

“I’ve had that feeling since we arrived on base. I just assumed it came down to everyone here knowing you.”

“Naw. This feels different. I had this same instinct back in Afghanistan—nothing you can put your finger on but just a knowing feeling.”

“What should we do?”

“Keep our eyes open.”

“I would love to have a pair in the back of my head.”

Sarah’s comment broke the tension,and they both laughed.

Brad said, “We just have to keep aware of who’s around us.”


“I need to tell you some things about this whole situation. It will make you nervous, though. Let’s take a moment and sit here.” Brad pointed at a lone bench that stood beside the pedestrian path.

Bewildered, Sarah sat and looked at Brad, “So something is going on that you haven’t shared with me? I’ve had that strange feeling you described, onlyit has to do with you and me.”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last Circumstances of Childhood is a family life story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s Books

Available on Amazon at

Posted in Conversation | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Anne Boleyn


Image credit: tomertu/

A crown
And books
For reformation
Reformed you

A king
A church
A guttural cry
Gutted you

Small worth
A kingdom
Power taken
Overpowering you

Just a crown
And books
For a bloody reformation
Reformed you

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments



Image credit: Vadim Sadovski/

Stars falling, dying
Planetary stillness
And frenetic force
It’s true
Even the birds can’t see
Careening into view
Into you

Hemispheres shifting
Birthing worlds
A view
Only your heart can see
Everything askew
Within you

A view
Only the blind can see
Every running through
In you

(c) Helen valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments



Image credit: andreluc88/

Winter falls
He walks alone
Down pathways known
Only to him

Snow blasts
Across tired eyes
Blinding, dull
Deep surprise

Rugged up
In animal skin
He holds the cold
Deep within

Winter falls
He walks alone
Down pathways known
Only to him

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments



Image credit: Kamin Jaroensuk/

I have traveled these bleak expanses
For days, my throat parched and my lips dry and cracked
Sheltering my body as best I can
From relentless sun and sand filled wind
Battering my face
Looking for something, anything, in this place
That might approximate belief, or wisdom, even grace

Every night I have prayed to unhearing gods
Each day I walk on unencumbered still by doubt
For it was promised so long ago that on these plains
Would be the key to all of time and space
Or something yet that held the taste
Of belief, or wisdom or even grace

I cannot recall true comfort or a belly full
These days I am a hermit wanderer bent upon pursuit
Of something I’ve forgotten
Yet still I walk on, relentless against sand and wind
My raw and aching face
Faithful yet, that I might find the answer in this place
To bring me belief, wisdom, and even, yes
A little
Just a very little grace

(c) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Earth, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments