Runs of Life
Modern History Press (2019)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (6/19)
I’m not a super runner, in fact currently, I need a cane to walk. However, running became such a big part of my daughter’s recuperation from a 20-foot fall, that I was eager to read, “Runs of Life” by Ernest Dempsey.
There are so many ways we can interpret the title of this book…the author presents as many inspirational poems to readers, all with the same voice – each with its own relatable message. As I try to recover from my own physical issues, this book gives me a vision of overcoming life challenges and the different ways I have to run my life to adapt.
It also gives me hope as I realize my heart is the one running my life now. There are a few poems that I related to most: Runs of Life, Between Hearts and Horizons, and On Top of the World (which took me to my childhood and reminded me of my inner child).
Dempsey’s poetry is simple in form, complex in meaning. Its message seems evident at first, but the ways it affects the reader’s heart is discovered as the words linger. This was especially true for me on one of my favorites which I share below as example:
“Runs of Life
Born with weaker hind legs
Kaloo, our canine chum, flashed on calling
Fast as lightning all around the run
Where we spent fun summer afternoons
His swirling tail, our laughter, water’s flow
No music could be sweeter, no harmony as perfect
The creek’s there today
No – Kaloo he rests in peace
Thousands of miles away I sit
Counting the runs of life I had
Thinking also of those to come
Along the stretch of time unseen.”
Overall, “Runs of Life” by Ernest Dempsey is a tiny book in size, a big one in meaning. Needless to say that I loved it and recommend as a five-star poetry pocket book, to be carried and re-read as we run through our lives.