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The Power of God's Words

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

God’s words: Woman’s interpretation. In The Power of God’s Words, author Michelle L. Coley is at her best when her poetry stems from a place of sincerity. This is emotional poetry, from the heart. The poem “Clark” is a good example of Michelle Coley’s sensitivity: “My brother Clark died when he was in his twenty’s. / He was shot by an off duty / police officer….” The poem goes off in an unexpected direction, describing the fear and confusion felt by the narrator as her brother appears to her in a dream.

When the subject of religion is broached, content often takes precedence over style, and these poems serve as an overt and constant praising of God. This is not a volume of purple prose with fancy tricks: it is the poetry of the spoken word, in everyday language, telling stories.

The poem “I am Able,” with its simple rendition of all the things the narrator is able to do, “give myself a bath…. to follow directions…,” for example, only seems simplistic if you’ve never imagined what it would be like to become unable to care for yourself. It is a good reminder for people of all faiths to count their blessings. People who suffer from depression will draw comfort from this poem.

Many of the poems in The Power of God’s Words offer a traditional interpretation of the Bible, as clearly seen in the poem “Why Me.” The author states, “God said if you believe in me you are to be who you / are born to be, so whatever / you have between your legs is who you are!”

Other sentiments are hard to argue with: “Money is useless without a good heart. Money is / green, silver, and gold and / can buy you some of the things you want and need.” Coley continues, “money causes pain, / darkness, selfishness, / greediness and sometimes death.”

The unexpected sassiness of a poem called “You,” with its abrupt ending, is refreshing and delightful: “You stress me out! You did all these things to / me and now you have the / nerve to tell me you love me. You only love yourself / goodbye.”

Much of the writing in this volume lacks professional craft and editorial polish, but if the reader can overlook grammatical errors like “Suppose to be,” and “He’s their when I need him,” they should enjoy the faith-based messages of hope and cheer.

Michele L. Coley is the author of Inspiration of the Soul and works as a certified nursing assistant.

Holly Doering