me and allison hang out in the basement with fairy lights and poetry because they’re both pretty (also, book!)

me and allison hang out in the basement with fairy lights and poetry because they're both pretty (also, book!).png

i’m tired. my homework is piling, my stress is increasing, and my loneliness is my new best friend. 

that’s when i get the dm. 

allison’s publishing a second poetry book!


but who, you ask, is allison?

*points below*

da lovely person

Allison Beery is a Christian teen with a passion for creating and capturing beauty, whether it’s through writing, art, photography, or taking a walk in the woods. She lives on a big farm in Central Virginia with her parents, four siblings, and a multitude of pets. She strives to glorify God in everything and love people genuinely. Learn more about her at her blog, A Farm Girl’s Life, or stalk her art Instagram @thecolorboxstudio.

i can remember last year as vividly as my favorite song, the post that popped up on my reader saying the first blogger i ever followed had published (and illustrated) her own poetry book. i can remember reading through a few of the poems and all of the reviews, gaping in awe, marveling, interest piqued. 

what i would’ve given to be able to pay for shipping. 

it’s a year now. it’s a second book, another one, and allison’s asked me to review.

tour 17
da lovely book


which, i eagerly say YES to. i didn’t think i could wait this long and yet i have and o f  c o u r s e i’ll help her with her blog tour. abso-wonder-lutely. 

my eye is puffy from scratching it when i open the pdf. i drink a chocolate avocado smoothie, play sleeping at last, and read the first poem.

and then the other.

and then the next one after that. 

i can’t stop reading. i can’t. 

Related image


in a world that treasures instant, immediate, rich, showy content, allison has weaved the abstract of daily life into intricate threads of love and musing, jam and fireflies, adding a touch of whimsy with simple, but meaningful illustrations, that all combine to one, big, beautiful tapestry known as spark. 

some days,
i am
the turtle.

i think, of all the writing genres, poetry is the one that’s the deepest. the one that reveals the most about not just the person writing it, but also the person reading it, and spark just brings that out in such a beautiful way. reading allison’s poems was like having a midnight chat with her, which is insanely beneficial for the soul, it turns out. even though every single poem is personal and came from one person, experiencing each and every one was a bit like looking into a mirror. i could see myself.

and you can’t remember what you were about to do
for the life of you?

poems that make you see yourself are the type that should never be forgotten. and this particular book has already managed to bring a bit of hope back in a dim, dreary world. 


so i write allison back. 


what made you, 

brave art girl

begin to weave 

these masterpieces? 

(yes, i’m serious.)

kind one,

it was so:

some things cannot go unsaid,

and yet they cannot be spoken.

beauty must be handled with care:

i saw the label on the broken petals

scattered across the grass

and knew my tongue was too heavy

and my heart too timid

to bear these words across the waves.

thus i trained a pen to

whisper my secrets to the page, instead.


do you have a favorite

in this collection of poems

one with extra special

top dollar care? 

and you wonder –
is this even the same song?

“but mommy, which one of us

do you like the BEST?”

an innocent smile.

“i love you all the best

just differently.”

a knowing sigh.

but that never satisfied you,

did it?

and so i’ll tell you, if you promise,

wide-eyed, to let no one know.

finger to your lips, now, tiptoe:

knock knock.

a collection tears through

an uncaged summer drive.

that, my dear, is code for

how can I decide?


how has

the art of words

strung together

set your life for the better?

and discover that we were
living upstairs
this whole time.

it is not good to

let your thoughts tangle.

poetry is an excellent conditioner –

it makes for a less sloppy appearance

and easier breathing, too.

plus, sorting through the pictures

your mind takes when it’s awake

doubles the enjoyment:

or makes it infinite.


with all this writing

you must get thirsty

is there any favorite drink of yours

to sip on during the process?

a poem rises

too fast to do anything but

sit down.

who can drink water

in the middle of the ocean?

my thoughts drain far too quickly;

i will catch the drops,

then quench my thirst

after the pen’s hunger

has been satisfied.

f a m i l y.

do they inspire 

and how,

can we inquire?

something wonderful must come of
this melt-in-your-mouth joy!

i live with these faces and so

i paint their portraits.

they appear between the covers

if you look close enough.

they have shaped the hands that hold the pen;

they shape my heart,

they shape my days.

simply put,

i paint from life.


would you want fame

for the work you do

the art you create

the mess you make?

(that assumes you make messes. i apologize.)

there can be too much of

a good thing.

famous? me?


thank you.

fame is messy,

i write clean.

but i would love to know

my book has touched the hearts

of many.

being famous without

the fame

would be nice,

i think.

except it never seems

to work that way…

this small bird was going to fly with him
to the stars.


a pen

you write with one

which do you prefer

paper, or a computer? 


poems are nocturnal things,

silent creatures, words with wings.

a pen and paper coax them best

to eat from my hand,

i’ve found.

the smooth ink flows well

with my thoughts.

and then, once the words are grown,

my fingers


and the screen catches the poems,

better now,



if you had just one day

to say everything you wanted to say

what would it be

if it was today?

i would say

all the things i’ve been afraid

to say before –

i would say, please look after

these hearts i love.

maybe you didn’t know, but

i knew them,

i felt them, deep inside.

take care of them for me.

and me?

perhaps you never really

knew me at all.

but then again,

smiles are no less real

for being followed with

a stare at the soul.

 and last

we ask

draw forever and write never


write forever and never draw

would you pick one

and why, if at all?

my heart is finally clear of
cardboard boxes.
don’t make me pack it all up again.

you may have heard

a picture is worth

a thousand words.

i have used a pen

to create art

before i learned the forms of letters.

and i would continue that way –

unless, perhaps, writing comprises

all different kinds and shapes and sizes:

if i had to choose between

drawing on paper and

email, text, poetry, stories, words

spilling from my heart when speech won’t do –

perhaps i would put away my sketchbook forever.

but i could never

choose one.

how did you hear

a picture is worth

a thousand words?

with words.

promoting art is hard

without letters,

and so they go together


and it makes me happy. that a friend is releasing her thoughts to the world. thoughts that i wish everyone could read. it makes the tiredness feel not so bad, the loneliness not my only friend. i think it’s beautiful. i think that it’s about time and i think allison’s work is a m a z i n g, but in the little way you don’t notice, like how a robin’s egg cracks open to reveal a little fluffy birdie, or how someone opens a gift wondering what it is. amazing. i can’t wait to see where this spark will go. 

turning the closed box curiously,
but the hinges won’t give.

and if you find yourself agreeing, 


i told you so. 😉 


you can get spark here



October 25

Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life – Blog Tour Kickoff, Author’s Intro, + Giveaway Begins


October 26 (Saturday)

Aria @ Aria Lisette – Book Review


October 27 (Sunday)

Amie @ Crazy A – Book Review, Author Interview, Poem Snippets


October 28 (Monday)

Jo @ Pananaw– Review, Snippets, and Author Interview with a slight twist 😉


October 29 (Tuesday)

Sam @ The Chocolate Box – Book Review & Poem Snippets


October 30 (Wednesday)

Megan @ A Barefoot Gal – Mini Book Review


November 1 (Friday)

Hannah @ The Striped Plaid – Book Review & Poem Snippets


November 2 (Saturday)

Charis @ Charis Rae – Mini Book Review & Instagram Q&A


November 3 (Sunday)

Heather @ The Frozen Library – Author Interview


November 4 (Monday)

Clara @ Clara & Co – Book Review & Author Interview


November 5 (Tuesday)

Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life – Blog Tour Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winners!


it’s your turn, we ask. if you could write a poem, who would you write it for? 🙂


~i see stars, jo~

80 Replies to “me and allison hang out in the basement with fairy lights and poetry because they’re both pretty (also, book!)”

  1. i can indeed write poetry
    i write it for the ones who need it
    and i’m glad you shared some here
    because i needed it

    Congratulations to Allison! And great post, Jo!


  2. Oh. My. Word. Jo, this post made my DAY. I don’t even know how to express the happiness it gave me to hear how you’ve enjoyed my poetry and how God has used it to touch you. ❤ You, my dear, are a talented writer, and some of the things you said in prose sounded like poems-in-disguise! I loved your description of the poetry genre in general because I totally agree. I had such a wonderful time answering your questions and just… AHHH. THANK YOU for being such a wonderful human. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Firstly, me is sorry that you’re tired and the homework is piling up and that you eye was/is puffy. And that you’re lonely. *hugs hugs hugs*
    Second. This was amazing and genius and ahhhh I love it.
    Third, I’d write a poem for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful review! And how impressive to have published a book as a teenager. I love the cover too!
    I have written a poem for my grandma before; she passed away a few years ago. If I were to write one today it’d be for my son who is due in March : )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful post!!! The snippets were beautiful! I so want to read it now!
    *pondering on how to come up with the money…*
    If I could write a poem for anybody? Hmm……maybe my wonderful parents!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i came here
    and was captivated by this post.
    well done, dear!
    oh, what a wonderful sounding book!
    ah, but yet,
    this tour wouldn’t be complete without you,
    don’t forget.
    and, now, in reply to your question,
    let me think,
    it would be for those who may feel down,
    on the brink.
    for those I love the most in my life.
    but really –
    if you want more of a straight answer
    (or nearly):
    for whoever needed it the most
    at such time.

    (hmm that was off the top of my head and idk if it even made sense! XD anyways i think this is the best author interview i have EVER read)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *screams again* ALLLLLIIIIISSSSOOONNNN!!!! *jaw drop after I read your poems* I HAD NOO IDEA YOU COULD WRITE LIKE THAT.
    *dies again*
    I am totally getting this book.
    *jaw drop again*

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG this is the most amazing, creative, heartwarming, wonderful, most fun to read interview/review I have ever read! I LOVE how you both did the interview in poetry! IT was SUCH a great idea! I almost cried at Allison’s answer to “if you had just one day to say everything you wanted to say what would it be if it was today?” :,D This entire post was just so beautiful! You both are so amazing! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great review Jo! I really liked how you put the following: “in a world that treasures instant, immediate, rich, showy content, allison has weaved the abstract of daily life into intricate threads of love and musing, jam and fireflies, adding a touch of whimsy with simple, but meaningful illustrations…”

    I can write some poetry so I’ll change your question a little bit: If I could write a perfect poem, I would write it either to express the greatness of God, or my appreciation for my mom ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You don’t know how amazing you are at poetry, honestly. If I could write a poem I would write it to my friends, to my best friends, and to the people who used to be my friends.


  11. Oh my goodness, Jo, this was so unique! And YEESSSS *flails* I LOVE ALLISON’S POEM BOOK SO MUCH AHHH HELP EEP. Also yes. Sleeping At Last is the BEST option, ever. Also your review is so much better than mine! Help, when I love something my words do NOT sound artistic and yours just…AHHH.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, I forgot to answer the blog question.
    Well, I just recently wrote a poem to my grandpa for his birthday, so…
    I suppose that’s the answer to the question, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. if i had to write –
    if i could
    i would see where my beauty could fly
    and let it wing its flight across the sky
    spreading seeds of light

    I loved this post! Both of your poetry turned out much better than mine. It was funny and beautiful and thought provoking all at once. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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