Name: Dennis Thomas
Fiona: Where are you from?
Tumbarumba, New South Wales, Australia
Fiona: A little about yourself:
My education in literature and especially poetry started after I left school. I have a fascination for the written word and have used it extensively in my poems. They broach the philosophical, religion, the ancient world, meditation and other mind blowing experiences. All of this research and activity creates my poetry, which comes from the Universe.
I am now working as a full time poet. In times past, I mainly worked in sales and the Australian Public Service. I am divorced and have a son who is in a serious relationship with Ary, who just had a baby girl, Scarlett May. I have two brothers and two sisters. Both my parents have passed away.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am excited about my son’s new child. An anthology titled A Pre- elegy Garland, featuring a selection of my work, has just been published. My next solo collection is scheduled to appear in 2016.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing poetry seriously in 1990 after a breakup of a very intense relationship. This gave me an interest in exploring love, and reading spiritual poetry, and I was inspired to write poetry. It lead to a continuing spiritual search. I started to write and never stopped. As at now, I have written about 1800 poems.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After having my first book published in 2006. It was an inspiration from a fellow poet who heard my work being read at a poetry reading one evening at the Belconnen Theatre in Canberra. We became good friends after that meeting. He became my editor and inspires me to great heights.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I always thought my work was good and needed to be shared on its spiritual merits.
Fiona: Do you have a specific way of writing?
I write from the heart and have a unique way with words. It is based on the flow or stream of consciousness. Much of my knowledge is from my interest in the ancient world, spirituality, people, events, and much else.
Fiona: How did you come up with the books’ titles?
The titles are names of individual poems. I get a collection of twelve poems from the book, and email them to other writers for their top three, and then I select the number one for the book title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
There are messages in all my poems, as they are based on the wisdom I have obtained by meditation or reading. This is an example:
Unguarded Moments Unveiled
Writing is not a choice, something I am driven too, if I write a line a day, my life is complete, life is in words, lines, all in love.
World of exotic, dangerous, world of primal fantasies, many adventure, places to dwell. Forsake the world, such a place, where mystery lies, can exist without explanation?
Discover the energy, excitement poetry has to offer, it is infinity of time.
Love to all creatures of the earth are sacred, see god in all, have a reverence for all things, practice non violence, take care, take the path toward enjoyment of life.
Water to the immersion of the sea, wind blew through the soul of one, we will see ourselves , as man exists, life exists, buried the secrets, inside our heart, beyond the land of mist, I return my seeds back to you.
Long in the distance, gazed across the hills, in safe Twilight, hear the sound of voices, sometime you get involved in something, whether you like it or not.
Fiona: How much of your books is realistic?
Through deep thought and knowledge I try to make them as realistic as possible.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of my poems are based on own experiences or friends, lovers, relationships, and much else. Others are on nature, history, philosophy, religion and other social issues.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? A mentor?
Well here are some of the books that have inspired me to be a poet and all the other things I am. It could not have been without the assistance of these great authors and spiritual masters. They have done the hard yards while I just absorb the powerful splash of wisdom and knowledge.
Ayn Rand The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged
Gregory David Robert Shantarem
Ken Follet The Pillars of the Earth
T Lobsang Rampa The Third Eye
J R R Tolkien The Lord of the Rings
Raymond Feist The Riftwar Saga
Lin Yutang The Importance of Living (In grace we celebrate in slowing down)
Jiddu Krishnamuti At the Feet of the Master
Ken O’Donnell Path to Higher Consciousness (Brahma Kumaris ) – a way to the higher self.
Timothy Leary The Psychedelic Experience (A manual based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead.)
My mentor, Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke. A poet, editor, and a man intent on helping others.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Diceman by Luke Rhinehart
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Destiny by T D Jakes
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Completing my fifth book of poetry.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My editor and good friend Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke. He has edited all of my books and many of my single poems.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. I just enjoy the freedom to write. It will never be a career or a well paying job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book, A Pre-elegy Garland, features ten writers. My contribution was my best and I am happy with it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always been interested in writing and have always had a great imagination. The real starting point was my interest in spirituality, after a broken romance. It grew from there.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The anthology A Pre-elegy Garland has just been released. My fifth solo collection of poems is scheduled for 2016.
Here is a poem of mine that’s in A Pre-elegy Garland:
Pre-elegy for Neil Young
Magic music, emotional to audience’s eyes, pale collection, crazy days, hard journey, musician play, showers of light, sparks, darkness rest, bodies moving, drugs, opening up images, madness that roams, flicking play of colors, depth reality, submerging my brain, looking upon life’s regrets, day deepen, life is my imagination.
Tombstone ashes, of my emotions, so strange, dead inside, as critics banished me, wasteland, inner tide moving out, crossing into illusions, allow me to return, where flower never die, dreams never stop, lost in years, chisel work, seeking perfection, master piece.
I write, play, over flowing of powerful feeling, imaginative expression of emotions, crossing visible sensations, I am the mind of the world, free, sounds of the wind, leaving into the rustle of the leaves.
Life unfolding, mighty theme, more wonderful then the glory, beginning, splendor of the end, made harmony, power, adore, theme, my own thoughts, glad , beauty, awakened my soul, sounds arose, interchanging melodies, woven harmony, passed beyond, heights, places, audiences filled in empty spaces.
Nature inspired me, left me in awe, driving forth, harmonious sound, patterns of writing, evolving, heart of gold, found in greatness, happiness enfolding, inner smiles, bury myself, as day hits night, creaking wings of fire, shadows on the moon, rainbows passing colors.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I found that it had to be better and different than the last poem. I always try to use more of the English language. The vast amount of words that are there in the vault trying to get out is amazing.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have read hundreds of books, including poetry books. So many stand out and then I pass onto the next one. Always on the lookout for more inspiration and something different. The books I look for are the ones that challenge me.
Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Struggled, both expressing a deep desire to be an individual.
Don’t be jealous of other people. Don’t compare the chapter one of your book to the chapter ten of theirs. Everyone has their own journey, their own pace, their own positives, and their own negatives. You are not like them, because you are not their clone. You are original, you are your own masterpiece. Who wants to be a fake anyway?
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have spent a lot of time in India and China. In India I covered a lot of spiritual ground and wrote poetry from that experience.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My covers are taken from a wide selection of designs in my publisher’s library. I made the decisions for all of them. They reflect the content of the books.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I don’t find writing poetry hard. My imagination works overtime once I get into the mode. The titles of individual poems is the hardest part.
Fiona:Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I continue to grow and try and better my work. I try to experiment with style and try to set it in a unique way. I write for myself, and my work is appreciated by a few people not the general population.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up and initially only show people who will appreciate and encourage you.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Read my work on its spiritual level, it will enhance you and a message will arise. It will bring the emotion out and challenge you.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I read a lot of new age – spiritual books. Lobsang Rampa’s book comes to mind, The Third Eye was an inspiration at 15 to start my inner search. Many others followed.
I read a lot even in my younger years. I spent a lot of time in libraries and book shops searching for answers. A lot of the old masters, including Wordsworth, Shelley, Rabindranath Tagore and many other poets come to mind.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good comedy (Monty Python – The Life of Brian etc.) Shared jokes. A deep emotional love story in a book or a movie. A death or an emotionally charged situation makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
I have followed the teaching of J.Krishnamurti for years and it has given me an inspiration to think deeper. Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual’s search for security and happiness, and the need for humankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why?
Seeking nameless gods, in madness, delusion, God of faded dreams, stones reflected the light, whispering faded into the night, land of the dead laughs, sound of the wind, recover seeds within, life, death another journey, traces of deepness, conversant with the mystics, pantheons of the gods, fabric of new plane, return, void of chaos, there is no ending, just the beginning.
It reflects my imagination of days on Earth and my journey beyond.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Deep love of music that inspires me to write and the sensation that stirs my emotions. I have a good collection of 60s and 70s records.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love documentaries on singers, bands, history, nature, or anything political. Also any well thought out movies whether comedy or romantic, as long as it keeps my interest.
TV: some mini-series – Breaking Bad, Narcos, Game of Thrones, The World Wars, Vikings, The Pillars of the Earth etc.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?
I love most food especially Indian. Blue \ Green.
I have a deep affinity with music. I love most kinds of music especially the late 60s rock & roll. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Donovan, Bob Dylan. The list goes on forever as music is a big part of my life.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Until now I have never been a full-time writer. I have worked in sales and the Australian Public Service.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have an eBook publisher: Bibliotastic (London).