Books from the Pantry: Natural Colours by Mel Woodend: reviewed by Claire Faulkner

Mel Woodend’s fourth poetry collection is inspired by nature and the limitless rainbow of colours found within. It’s an interesting and refreshing theme for a collection of work. Emotions and colours are often linked, and this beautiful collection of deeply rich poems encompasses what we feel when we see natural colours all around us. Reading them has been a pure joy.

Comprised of four sections, reflecting the elements; air, earth, fire and water, Mel takes the reader on a journey through their five senses. The language used is evocative and beautiful throughout. A line describing a rainbow in ‘After the Rain’ stayed with me long after I first read it:

Nature’s apology for bleak downpour

a gift from the sun as it

shines brightly once more.

Beauty travelling miles

Included in the collection are two blackout poems, sometimes referred to as ‘found poetry’ or used as writing exercises, when the writer takes an article and discovers something new within it. ‘Pink Moon’ is a perfect example of when this style works well.

‘Autumn Leaves’ is both desperately beautiful and sad at the same time. Imagery and grief come flooding through through this poem, and the lines:

Autumn leaves litter an angry sky


October death scattered all around

were powerfully effective, and haunted my own imagination and memories.

A favourite of mine from this collection was ‘The Snow Carpet’. A delightful poem about the joy that crisp white snow can bring out in people:

Sparkling with a thousand tiny diamonds entwined in its fibres

The snow carpet invites sledgers and skiers to its smooth surface

And children shouting and playing and throwing snowballs…


Another line which struck me as simple, yet perfect was from ‘Kitchen Colours’:

I smell the warmth of home

in my Mother’s kitchen.

And describing her Mother’s cooking:

Loving hands carefully stirring a saucepan of something delicious.

Mel is an extremely talented writer who has developed a marvellous collection of work. The poems are full and deep, covering a range of topics, but keeping the theme of natural colours and emotion to the forefront. It’s a wonderful read. I urge you to go and get a copy of it, and add it to your book shelf.

Mel’s Website

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