Prose & Poetry
Perfect Bound Softcover
Holding Grace embraces a contemporary, free verse style of poetry as the voice for sharing a range of life’s experiences and emotions, creating an approachable and highly readable collection. Within these pages are recognizable tales of friendship and loss, contentment and longing, reflections on current events and locales, and the pure pleasure that may be found when one stops to soak in the beauty and rhythm of nature.
The storytelling here breathes life into the moments captured. From the exuberance of a child free to swing high on a rope and drop into cool waters in Washed Anew, to the quiet reflection of a young father realizing life’s blessings on Christmas morn in A Morning Made of Perfection, the images conjured by the author strike a chord that is at once familiar and emotional.
Tenderly written remembrances of childhood, tales of middle-aged angst as one feels the press of time, and backward glances at life’s choices are all countered with stories of nature’s challenging beauty, and the too infrequent simplicity of enjoying a quiet rain or a frozen breath on a cold day.
This collection offers sentimental reflections on life and the memories we carry, as well as an unblinking look at the need to accept the passage of time with grace and appreciation.
Pause and take in the life moments, both common and unique, that are so lovingly shared in Holding Grace.
How the hours have passed. The crunch made with each and every footfall is a call back to that chasm of pure silence. The essence of life all around me, points with direction, like breadcrumbs seeking paths through reticent thoughts. Pure thoughts all as one, comrades in arms through thick and thin, quiet desperation wrapped in exhilaration. I walk and return home after a day well spent.
In a tired time, with the light outside drifting away for another day, and the lights inside flickering as they come to life, I cup my hands together and prepare to give Thanks … to the life of a day given to me. A day shared with past and present, living and dying, of body and not, and a realization that in everything that is, there is something that was.
As I think of this, the day reclines. The light seeps from the folds of the field and stream, brushes past as the Starlings head home, lands lightly on the nose of a rabbit, and waves a goodbye to the woodpecker nestled in his home. The day is done, at least for now. But will awake with the light’s return and open its arms again, holding me with everything I see and touch, in everything I share with this life, together wrapped in grace.
RJ Heller lives life forward while keeping the past close. By letting words find him to tell their story, he captures moments experienced by us all and presents them in a unique and tender way.
This first book is influenced by the author’s travels and love of nature, especially the sea. Rick and his family live their lives in Palmerton, Pennsylvania and Starboard Cove, Maine.
Holding Grace is a book to visit, revisit, savor and share. The author has captured thoughts and images often familiar, but in such a way that I return to them to recapture his exact expressions of them. The sequence of Clouds, Mountains, Stones, Streams and Trees hold truths of the nature of each revealed in parallel structure. In An Evening of Grace, the thought of memories kept in rhythm by the heart charms me. I love the last paragraph of Possession Morning for its handling of dreams. From Holding Grace: “With quiet as companion, I walk with every sense vulnerable, open, and waiting to receive…my eyes listen.” This piece is most fitting to provide the title of the book.
Rick Heller says “I believe it is important to give voice to moments” and his book does so in graceful, meaningful and memorable ways.
Perfect Bound Softcover