A thought-provoking journey
A Dawning Like the Wind is the debut poetry collection by Veniesha Rochester, in which she takes readers on a thought-provoking journey spanning nearly two decades of poetry. Her writing is inspired by everyday human vulnerabilities – pain, love, triumphs, and tragedies – and how these shape relationships in their various forms. The ultimate purpose for her sharing this work is to celebrate the complexities of the human experience, as well as to motivate readers to embrace purposeful lives.
The book is divided into two sections: ‘Winds of Passion’ and ‘Winds of Purpose’. In ‘Winds of Passion’, desire, struggle, self-love, and conviction take prominence. Pieces such as Chocolate Kings honour the black man as survivor and lover, while poems like Pearls for my Daughter navigate the controversies of black female identity and the importance of having a positive relationship with self amidst stereotypes. Still, there are poems such as Indomitable, which salutes perseverance amidst trials.
I see you flourishing from rocks that tried to sink you
I see you strolling on pavements sharpened with bad wishes
I see you looking beyond a grey-painted sky filled with sorrow
I see you thriving a thousand times
– Excerpt from Indomitable
Winds of Purpose takes the reader through philosophical musings that encourage making meaning out of life’s challenges. Optimism is celebrated in poems such as ‘Sunrise’, while the contention between self-will and moralistic values is questioned in ‘Voices’. This section is the more reflective of the sections in the book as it probes, challenges, and engages the mind on topics that are meaningful but are very rarely delightful conversation starters. Such is the message in ‘Staged’, where the writer takes a candid approach in conveying her observations of hypocrisy in religious spaces.
I’ve seen consequences forgotten;
The escapism a rare joy from routine.
They play with fire beside River Jordan,
Lukewarm with the ready option of pardon.
Grace again abounding the heart of lies ...
Pride retreats in these broken vessels.
And in private, with themselves they wrestle.
– Excerpt from Staged
A Dawning Like the Wind is relatable as it skilfully weaves together a plethora of topical issues in a way that is tasteful but charmingly honest. There is something within the pages for everyone. The author wishes for the readers to take away their own meaning while at the same time considering the following question as they explore the book until the last page: ‘Where did the wind take you?’
Publisher: Ink This Publishing
No of pages: 111