From Under the Mulberry Tree

Rashied Ali-Bakari
Outskirts Press (2014)
ISBN 9781478733225
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (1/15)

“From Under the Mulberry Tree” by Rashied Ali-Bakari is a short book of poems that touch the heart. The author reminisces about childhood, life memories, and lost loved ones through beautifully written prose, providing the reader with nostalgic thoughts of his or her own. This book reads like a breath of fresh air, not forgetting the past or the loved ones who have moved on, but serving as a reminder of the hardships and beauty of life.

One of my favorite poems is “All the Sounds.” Its simplicity is captivating, and reminds me to pay attention to life. There is beauty all around, in the larger moments of life, but also in the small, everyday moments as well. Another poem that touched me is “Across Texas.” It references different parts of Texas, where no doubt, memories were made and not forgotten. As a Texas resident, I could picture the various regions and imagine the joy of creating memories if I did not have any of my own. 

There is a Christian-based religious undertone to many of the poems. “A Mighty Clap” and “I Remember Writing” are two poems that are spiritual in nature. “A Mighty Clap” refers to the pearly gates of heaven, and the joy of being reunited with loved ones. “I Remember Writing” is a beautiful poem about the eternal love of Jesus. 

I enjoyed the poems about nature, particularly old trees. “I Told the Old Oak a Secret” and “That Old Tree” bring to life nature and how important it is in our lives. The author gives old trees human characteristics like the ability to share stories, listen to problems and wipe away tears. Nature is very comforting and healing, and that is evident in the poetic words of Mr. Ali-Bakari.

I thoroughly enjoyed “From Under the Mulberry Tree” by Rashied Ali-Bakari, and will keep it to remind me of the beauty in memories and nature. This book provides peace and comfort through the author’s writing. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to find more peace and beauty in life’s simple things.


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