Title: Dead Cats Don’t Meow
Author: Tolu’ A. Akinyemi
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle Press, 2019
Reviewer: Realistic Poetry International
Loyal. Principled. Ethical. Wise. Eloquent. Insightful. Emotional. Compassionate. Brave. Ambitious. Inspiring. Trailblazer. These are only a few of the power words that come to mind, describing the honourable and esteemed poetry published in this virtuous collection.
Covering a variety of topics from love and family to global societal issues, Author Tolu’ A. Akinyemi is an outspoken and positive influence, simply put. The poems in this book are a mirror of his innate ability to lead and be of guidance to others, be a good role model, empathize with humanity (pained), and recommend helpful and fruitful universal solutions.
The author effectively uses his personal experiences in life to celebrate family, love, knowledge, and growth as in the featured poem, ‘Deadbeat Father’, where he reinforces the seriousness in being a good father, breaking down the different levels to fatherhood. He provides sound advice saying:
“Fatherhood is not plain sailing
There are tidal waves
And icebergs to rock the boat,”
Refraining from sugarcoating the responsibilities of parenthood reality. Akinyemi executes a direct approach in his style of writing while adding an artistic touch to his poetry through inventive wordplay and intriguing metaphors like in the poem, “Life is a Teacher”.
One of our top picks from this compilation, in this poem we are given a reminder to keep pushing forward in our journeys and endeavours, even when it feels like “life serves you an undesirable meal”, in the words of the author. Honest and transparent, he says:
“Life is an unusual teacher
We face examinations
Or the luxury of burning the midnight candle”.
Bittersweet is the taste of this inevitable truth he shares, but valuable it is indeed in preparing someone who may not already know, for the rocky and unlevelled road of adversity.
Poems such as, “Once upon a Time 2” express the author’s views on a fast-paced technological world, full of gadgets and material technology such as electric cars and smartphones to accommodate our needs. It’s an inspiring poem that resonates with the heart, encouraging others to be true to themselves, despite the constant pressure to abandon self-dignity, morals, and principles in effort to impress, keep current, or fit in.
This poem, like many others we read, is easy to connect with and is extremely empowering, especially when experiencing social displacement or outright rejection. In addition to this, it speaks loud and clear to the youth of our generation, who may find themselves lost in a world with no official compass and where anything goes.
Other poems we enjoy and appreciate from this collection are “Ingrate”, “Glass House”, “Roccagorga”, “Gossip”, “Magical” and “Thirty-five Thousand Feet”, for there is much to learn or take away from these poems as well as several others.
We believe reading poetry books like this can stimulate the mind, promote constructive thinking, and energize the soul. It is like a good breakfast in the morning – fuel for ambition and food for thought, thus we are glad to present Tolu’ A. Akinyemi’s Dead Cats Don’t Meow, with a 5-star rating, as it is truly another remarkable masterpiece by one man with a voice to change the world, who believes;
“A cat has nine lives
The cat’s meow
Is a signal of its living”.
So, “dance to your rhythm
Find your unique voice”.
And most of all,
“Don’t waste the ninth life”.