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POEMS of PETALS, POODLES and PRAYERS - by IVY BERRY
INTRODUCTION
This small book of poems was written by my mother, and dates back over a period of some forty to fifty years. Undoubtedly, scholars in the art of poetry may consider them to be sweet, but not classical; more traditional in style. However, there is a long history attached to them that is reflected in their themes. In this introduction, I seek to enlighten potential readers on the events in my mothers life that influenced her to write them.
It was common knowledge, within our family circle, of the fortunes that slipped through my fathers fingers. He was a clever man, but somewhat irresponsible where the management of money was concerned. He spent copious fortunes on extravagant hobbies such as, flying, archery, and various other expensive sports. These statements may paint a singular picture of my fathers character, and overshadow what he did for us in later life. In the succeeding years, he more than made up for his extravagance, leaving his family secure in a future where the increasing cost of living could have caused them great hardship.
During those days, it was generally understood that the woman of the household managed the affairs of the home, earning what little money she could to help feed the family. Mothers wages were pitiful, having to hold down three or four jobs in the week to subsidise the periods when housekeeping was minimal. The pressures in her life became unbearable; Father, the majority of the time, out on jobs. My sister and I were too young to understand; ignorant of her true situation, we made constant demands on her.
There seeming to be no respite from the drudgery in her life, she turned to her poetry. In some of her fantasies, one can sense how she loses herself in them; seeming to step into the environments she creates to briefly experience their tranquillity, so different from her every day life-style. But she was not without her companions, and emulates them in her poetry. The pets in her life provided real relationships that she drew on constantly, and were always there to welcome her home after a hard days work.
But, on occasion, not even their devotion to her could breach the debilitating migraines she was prone to, during those times. Father would often receive a phone call from the local bus company to come and pick Mother up, she, unable to cope with the vibrations of the bus in motion. It is hard to imagine anyone able to tolerate life in those circumstances, but many had to. Now in modern times, more sophisticated medicines are available to help that condition.
In her loneliness, she turned to religion, and eventually met two friends that introduced her to spiritualism. It was from that point in her life that she never looked back. But it would be many years into the future before she would enjoy a peaceful, secure existence. In her simple poems, we can follow her pathway through life; share her moods of despair and loneliness, until, in her twilight years, she finds the respite she has searched for all her life. Finally, settled happily with my father, her little dog and her memories, she receives the care from her family she so freely gave to them.
CJB.
 

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