As the title suggests, this is a collection of poems intended for the living. It is the work of a poet who, clearly, does not believe in sadness as a worthwhile sentiment and he offers us the age old truism that it is better to live in hope than to succumb to despair. Most of the verses deal with themes of loss, or being lost, disappointment, unhappiness and uncertainty but almost all end on a note of optimism, growth and inspiration.
Moodily depressing opening lines such as: "littered with footprints and pitted with the past." And "the heart leaps at a whistle or a chirp but loses interest in the swallowing chatter" are skilfully contrasted with end lines such as :"new voices beckon." Or "there are ways to see the sun." - "as you dance along a different path."
Although the work is deeply personal, it is accessible to any reader and the use of metaphor in free-verse style lends well to the sentiments expressed.
Mark L Stewart was born in Durban, South Africa, in 1965. He was educated at Hilton College before spending a year in South America on an American Field Scholarship. He subsequently attended the University of Natal, Durban, qualifying as an accountant before completing an MBA at Edinburgh's Herriot Watt University and a MSc at Aspen University, Colorado. Mark worked in Russia for four years until 1998. He continues to write and now lives in Lausanne, overlooking Lake Geneva, Switzerland.