Not all villains are all bad

In her second book of poetry, Not all villains are all bad, Karolyn K Smith continues to explore varying themes of love, loss and everyday life. Smith delves deeper into the emotions of grief and loss after the deaths of loved ones and a shocking suicide by a close friend. Smith acknowledges the power of grief that at times can render one speechless. As seen in the poem Muted Grief with the opening lines “I cannot find the mouth with which to speak/ the anguish and grief that I bear/ Like rotten fruit…” Yet in this grief there is hope that in time and with prayer it will “wither into nothingness.” And even as she contends with loss and grieves, in an ode to her mother in law Smith encourages to look beyond the grief and “speak not of death…” but instead speak of “memory-filled days.” Each poem lays bare emotions as she does in “In Exile” and “Transient” as an immigrant living in an ever changing land with the call of home forever on the “horizon I no longer chase.” Interspersed between the grief and loss are words of love and friendship. Love is expressed in many different forms; love for a mother, a child, a first romantic love. Even a memory of love as in a chanced meeting in “Crossing Paths” where just a mere look conjures up images of warmth and the beauty of a smile causes one to be able to deal with grief, when it comes, in a more positive way. And in “The End” there is acceptance that grief is just a part of life and life that has an end is but only another beginning.