By Rob Mohr
Reviewed by Herbert W. Piekow
Shadow Love by Lakeside writer Rob Mohr is just as the book cover says, “Poems of Life and Love.” Although this is Mohr´s first book of poetry, these are not his first published poems. Mohr, with a MFA, has had an interesting and full life having lived and taught in many parts of the USA and various other Latin American countries. His poems reveal the tender soul of a wise man who has known love, hurt and hope.
Throughout Shadow Love, one sees the ink drawings of the ancient Maya, which reflect Mohr´s lifelong focus of both art and this ancient culture. This slim paperback is divided into six separate, but cohesive subjects with the largest part of the book, it’s theme really being, whispers of love. The different headings reveal Mohr’s reflections through poems about love, being a poet, living south of the border, losing and finding family and reflections about writing. The poems are not about the shadow of love, but as the title says: Shadow Love. With the forward Mohr explains his purpose; “In each case, my aesthetic intent was to transform my own perceptions and experiences into a coherent and compelling whole . . . awaken the reader’s emotions as they reflect on their own experiences with love.” Mohr’s poems do affect the reader with their subtle elegance and ephemeral suggestions, such as these words from, Evening Walk
We walked under the rising moon, As the sun set,
As our paces matched, As our hearts explored,
As we exchanged thoughts . . . In a pearl-like night
And another couple of lines from Celestial Dreams
We dreamed the same dream last night
With Venus in our eyes . . .
Shadow Love is filled with lovely phrases, beautiful words and exposed emotions. This volume of poetry is worth reading because it brings the reader closer to understanding themselves and because these simple poems are not as simple as they appear upon the first read. These are poems that, like Whitman´s, beg a second and third reading. When a writer, a poet, captures emotions with a few phrases, a few simple words then the reader owes that poet some praise and gratitude for sharing in such a subtle; and yet straightforward way parts of life that many of us are afraid to share with those we love and respect.
Every writer shares some of themselves, but Mohr shares something intimate in his poems:
I wish for a moment
I could be a woman, Interconnected, Cherished, even excluded
To feel the pain of childbirth, To be pushed aside by men . . .
In his writing Mohr reveals that he understands what it is like to suffer, to be ordinary, to have emotions and to experience Shadow Love. This may be his first volume of poetry, but this is not Mohr´s first experience with love or life. His words may not leave a scar, but they will leave tenderness in the reader´s hearts and an invisible connection with the universe. I recommend this read for those times when we want to delve into our own reasons for existing, a quiet time for reflecting on our past and contemplating, or just for the enjoyment of these elegant words. Rob Mohr will read from Shadow Love and sign copies of his book on Wednesday, November 6 at 11:30 at the Oasis Cloud Café, Calle San Luis#330, Riberas, for reservations phone: 765-3516.Books are for sale at Diane Pearl’s and several other locations.