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A Ranch Bordering the Salty River by Stephen page : critique by Sharmishtha Basu

You rarely come across a poetry book like this. I was never a big fan of poetry, other than Tagore’s works I have rarely read books of poetry, yes I have read one poem by this poet, another poem by that poet and written quite a few down too, when they moved me, but I always felt that poems cant stir us like stories do. Well, even now, I read poems by dozens when I am online, reading blogs, and after I started blogging I have read hundreds of poems but they are like butterflies, they fly in view, enchant you, thrill you and then you forget them. Very few authors leave a mark in your mind, Stephen is one of them!

In my blogging sphere there are few such poets, Charles W. Martin ( is one of them- his or Stephen’s poems tell stories, stories that enter your mind, makes it think and then stays, if not all of them then quite a few.

Stephen knows how to create scene, vivid, lucid scenes in your mind’s eyes, and then tell you a story, sometimes simple and sometimes deeper! He has interwoven human nature intricately with day to day life of a ranch. His poetry reminded me of Louis L’ Amour, I read dozens of his books in my early twenties, and he is a great storyteller, he painted a picture of wild west clear and vivid to me- who really did not had much idea about USA, still does not! But I could see it through his eyes, and same thing happened when I read and finished Stephen’s book. I can still see some of the scenes.

If you love powerful poetry, this is the book for you! It is the story of a man (Jonathan), his wife (Teresa) and their dog living in a ranch, the daily life, the family life, the tribulations and turbulences. An accidental husband caught up with kids and grandkids of his wife! Now his family!

The poems are full of Mexican (?) words, phrases but they for a change don’t hamper the spirit of the book, in fact they add more authenticity to it. It is a book to be read again and again without getting tired of it! There is something very special about it, you will have to read it to feel it! Hope more and more books like this spill out of Stephen’s pen (ahem keyboard) and they bring him the praises, recognition he deserves!

you can buy the book from here: