Back to the Jungle

We’re going back to the jungle this month in the next book of Iora’s Adventures, Iora and the Realm of Legends.

"Iora and the Realm of Legends" cover: A girl with long flowing hair is climbing out of a cave in a rainforest followed by a boy with a crown on his head.

Be sure to pre-order your copy so you can start reading when the book comes out on November 21st – just in time for the long weekend. And if you purchase your copy from our store this month, you get 10% off. Or buy both books, and get 15% off the set!"Iora and the Quest of Five" by Arefa Tehsin. A girl is falling backwards into water. Around her are images of jungle plants and leaves, two creepy looking men, and a black sabertooth cat.

We have a special treat from the author this month. Arefa Tehsin not only gave us some insights on inspiration, she also shared a poem she wrote for her husband. Enjoy!

Inspiration: Here, There and Everywhere

Arefa Tehsin, sitting in a garden and reading a book.A rock, lying on the side of the path, can inspire stillness. A compass, forever pointing north, can inspire resolve. A complaint of a friend on a day gone wrong, a headline of a newspaper, a forgotten entry of a journal, an old photograph…they all nourish the uncharted terrain of imagination. I find stories and poems while walking down a street, or trekking in a rainforest or just sitting on a busy airport where the boarding hasn’t started yet.
My partner Aditya and I live on a small lake-island colony in Sri Lanka. We’ve recorded no less than 60 species of birds that visit our garden and the waterbody. Every year, for his birthday, I write a poem. A bird I spotted around our lake, which I couldn’t identify, inspired this poem that I jotted down one quiet afternoon. For the afternoon, when the world is at its brightest, sparks inspiration of its own.

An Unknown BirdWhite Browed wagtail- Image by Ambady Sasi from Pixabay

From the vastness of mangroves
With noon falling on his feathers
Carrying infinite wind in his sails
Comes an unknown bird
From unknown springs
Flying on wings
That may have survived storms
A little birdie, braving the universe
The rain falling hard on solid earth
From dark clouds moored to the sky.
He looks around our lake with eyes
That might carry memories of oceans
And opens his little beak in a cry of surprise
On how small some worlds can be.
The cry reaches us like a celestial whistle
“It has white eyebrows!” you say
And match his ancient markings
And his galvanic arrogance
With his lifeless impressions.
“I told you so!” You smile.
A smile as old as the bird’s origins.
As primal. As untamed.
And suddenly I love the bird for it.
And then I wait again
For another unknown bird
To bring along on his wings
A smile for you.

(For Aditya)