The words paint a telling and compelling image of the internal conflict between good and evil. It’s there in every syllable, every word, every line, every verse.
“And ahead of My teachings in the face of a leer, I recognised solace in the deer gaze of fear.”
Pink Snowflakes, the debut e-book of Dominican Mario (Maz) JohnRose, takes you on an enthralling journey of depression, deception and the demons within, and eventually from the enveloping darkness into everlasting light.
“I sail with stars across the firmament of dreams, To a holy white garden, mystic and clean,” he writes in the final poem entitled, Amen. “Now I dance with the angels, I drink from the clouds, My bliss is endless, paradise abounds, Desires fulfilled, freedom of will, Freshness of spirit, rebirth of soul, never-ending, Life everlasting, fantastic, Amen.”
Pink Snowflakes – a series of poems – is a commentary on people and “the imprints we make on other people, on ourselves, and on the world around us,” says the young JohnRose, who lives and studies in Kunming, China.
The poems, which he began writing in 2008, were inspired by his “rather abrupt” move from Barbados to China in 2007, shortly before his 18th birthday.
“My mind was a blur, experiencing new things on the other side of the world. In those first months in China it was indescribable, a vastly different way of life, a colourful mix of people, but somehow mentally I was still at home in the Caribbean. During my time I’ve travelled extensively around China and discovered that in spite of the many differences between people, or groups of people, we go through the same experiences, relationships and thought processes, no matter which nationality or social class you are,” he says.
Mario was born in Dominica and attended the Massacre Primary School before moving to Barbados with his parents at age six, after his father, Johnson JohnRose -his mother is Veda Challenger-JohnRose – took up a position there.
He began writing poetry at age 13, while a student at Harrison College in Barbados.
Dabbling with “mostly light-hearted and shallow stanzas” his English teacher encouraged him to write “more meaningful” poetry. He found inspiration and assistance from a classmate, Dario Clarke, who influenced his writing, and has dedicated Pink Snowflakes to Clark. The title is an excerpt from one of Clark’s poems about the dangers of reminiscing.
“As you read Pink Snowflakes from front to back it begins with the matter of the balance of good and evil in oneself, moves on to the balance of the happy and sad in interpersonal relationships, through the acceptance that bad must exist with good, before concluding that, despite this knowledge, it is indeed good to try to be good,” says the young writer.
Mario has already begun writing his second book of poetry, which he describes as “a social commentary of a different kind,” based on China and its nature. He has also started writing two novels.
“I’m meticulously working on them in the hope that I’ll achieve my dream of being the next great Caribbean author, and the greatest after Jean Rhys,” he reveals.
Illustrations for Pink Snowflakes are by Swedish-Chinese artist Sanja Särman.
The Kindle version is available on www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk, with the pdf version available at https://payhip.com/b/9Ceq.
The book is ranked #7 among books on poetry in the Kindle section for Latin America and the Caribbean and #40 overall in the Kindle store.