Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational


By Magdalena Ball

Publisher : CreateSpace

ABOUT Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball
Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, C More...



As part of our celebration series - a book of poetry focusing on the Christmas season.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful poetry, January 12, 2011
By Lisa J Lickel

Just the subtitle made me curious to read this little stocking-stuffer of a Christmas book of poetry. Ball and Howard-Johnson each contributed thirteen poems of various lengths and attitudes.

I confess I'm not as much of a poetry fan as an arm's length admirer, but I certainly picked up on the emotion in many of these poems.

Carolyn's poems touch a glancing blow toward the commercialism of the holiday. One in particular, Test of Faith, is an intriguing study on societal quirks. I mean, how ironic is it that of all the characters of the crèche scenes sold in stores, the infant Christ-child is the most purloined?

Magdalena's poetry uses darker punchier words to describe the harsher side of Christmas. In Infinity in Red, for instance, she asks whether bad dreams count against you if St. Nick sees you when you're sleeping and knows if you're naughty or nice.

These are poems to ponder, not necessarily read aloud with the family on Christmas Eve. They encourage a thoughtful attitude about the reality of American society.

The poems are free-form with a lyric visual grace.

Magdalena Ball is the owner of, and Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the guru of all things Frugal at


Reviewed by Joyce White

Award winning and happily espoused poets, Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball, have teamed up once again, to help celebrate their love of the holidays with their new book of poetry, Blooming Red. Carolyn is the Frugal Book Promoter and the Frugal Editor. You can find Maggie at the popular Compulsive Reader.

Carolyn and Maggie work together virtually as Carolyn lives in California and Maggie lives in Australia. It fascinates me how these two poets team up and get the best out of each other. Each contributed 13 individual poems to this festive holiday collection of wit, family charm, and myth. If you're wondering, they also collaborated on Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future in the same way. All can be found at Both of these women enjoy a common interest in celebrating their sexuality and sensuality in poetry during the holidays.

Carolyn experimented with abstract and form in her poetry, and some of her one-liners, are:

"Christmas is always a surprise one wants to decorate a tree pushing a star to the top of a 14-foot high vaulted ceiling..."

"Christmases all to soon pass us by as others laid claim to our progeny..."

"we have more time to remember while "all the gremlins and ants...cleverly disappear until it is Christmas time again..."

Carolyn turned to Google to help her find an anteater to adopt or rent out for the holiday...Google's keyword elf gave [her] the best gift of all Christmas gifts...the idea of making-dinner-reservations...out!

Carolyn writes "Natures best gifts and ours never silent...blessed by no human sound."

Reading these two award winners is like partaking in their womanhood, tasting their femininity, and meeting their past head on. Their poems cry out for their inner child who still wants Santa to come visit them, you know...equality for all; and, I agree with Carolyn who says "[in] Einstein's less than balanced world...we would be less than dead."

Maggie writes of abundance and waste, of gluttonous dyspepsia...of the inability to digest joy when others are hungry, what cannot be created or destroyed...a huge database of Christmas past (found in the attic)...random messy knowledge curse of recall becoming parcels he could leap...with only one present leading him to greatness...with anticipation turning to memory before weeping eyes...a house full of dreams, visions and desires, each glass ball becoming a wish, taken from the tree of life we decorate at Christmas...super connections pulsing, through the anti-matter of your tired brain, wrought with nostalgia and wrung through time's dryer...Once the paper's gone, it's just us again, tired, spent, remembering tap of the keyboard a newbie springs sacrifices in blood here...this is a rational zone so many years on fertile.

Make your holiday great and read your family Blooming Red. It is a great holiday stuffer! Fun and Informal. Five Stars from me. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Reviewed by Joyce White, Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews

A Blooming Good Poetry Collection
, October 31, 2010
by Margaret L Fieland

Looking for a holiday stocking stuffer? Want something to read aloud at holiday dinners, something the whole family can enjoy? Then treat yourself to is delightful collection by poetic collaborators Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball.This is a delightful little volume, 58 pages consisting of thirteen poems by each poet. I love reading poetry aloud, and this volume is full of delight. A couple of favorites:

Christmas Magic Wrought by Google's Keyword Elves
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.

which begins with

At the stroke of dawn on November first
gremlins tired from their Halloween

and ends with

That's when Google's
keyword elves gave me the gift of all

Christmas gifts. It's called
the make-dinner-reservations

system of revenge.

.You're sure to recognize yourself in this holiday tale of woe. The poor narrator is having a hard time at the holidays.. Ants attack her turkey, the oven thermometers are on the fritz and the Kitchen Aid has died just as its warranty runs out. And are more disasters to come. I laughed but, like the narrator, we, too, have contemplated just chucking the whole thing and going out to a restaurant.

And another, this one by Magdalena Ball - fond memories, Six Million Years Ago, from six million years ago, when we were kids.

Six million years ago
when we were just kids
upright in thin desert air
bi-pedaling in anticipation
of holiday seasons yet to come.
Time was different then.

and ends

the first law of thermodynamics
what cannot be created or destroyed
your burning

Do yourself a favor, and create some memories of your own by buying this book and then sharing it with the whole family over the holidays.