The first verse published in this collection, entitled Alive, sets the tone for the others to follow by establishing the idea that salvation of the soul begins on earth rather than false promises of heaven from self-professed, self-serving “prophets” (we all know there are plenty of them).
The second thing that struck me was its blend of mysticism and humanism, a motif running concurrently through this tome. You receive impressions of nature’s dual role as benign and merciless, as if it is transformed into a living, breathing entity.
You receive images of those who were killed in the name of religion, tainting snow with innocent blood and returning from beyond to seek vengeance. M Teresa Clayton’s verse is incisive and grows progressively darker, filling your mind with images of lost souls and forgotten songs from ages past; she somewhat reminds me of Tom Warrior’s (Celtic Frost) lyrics, only the landscapes she illustrates are much vaster.
She credits her writings as being inspired by what she refers to as “intradminensional beings” that communicate with her while presenting her with information about us as individuals and us as a species. She calls these beings “the Otheres” and dedicates her book exclusively to them. In Mystic Verses we’re reminded that many landscapes exist in the imagination, regardless how much we close our eyes to them. I would say those inner landscapes, for all their darkness, are far preferable to the reality the general public is expected to accept. We are invited into the endless, boundless realm of Clayton’s “forgotten knowing”, to explore it freely and without reservation, so we might recognize something within and come away a little more enlightened than we were beforehand.
With all the verses gathered for your consumption, you have too many opportunities for exploration to not be drawn in. Complementing them are photos taken by Debbie Dixon of Dragon Wolf Productions presenting some visuals to accompany her writing. -Dave Wolff
"I have had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Clayton for the Charon Chronicles in 2009 and again this month as her revision of the book debuted with the inclusion of over sixty new verses. First, I'd like to say that the book is a one of a kind. Secondly, she is a talent that will most assuredly be discussed in years to come. It has been a long time coming to read poetry the likes of hers. It is my honor to have met her, interviewed her (twice) and to now have the revised copy in hand, signed by her. She is incredibly talented as well as metaphysically gifted. Her mystic writings are authentic in their origin and the information shared with her and then transcribed into verse here is beyond words. I am excited, I am terrified, I am hopeful, I am a Christian man and now, I am a believer in things that are not of this world. Thank you for opening my eyes M Teresa Clayton. Thank you for sharing such profoundly spiritual insights in this book. This is not only a book of poetry, it is a reference book as well." - A. Diamonde
"A stunning collection of poetry that is filled with dark beauty and Gothic heart. It speaks of both the sunlight and the darkness of the human soul. A gripping and powerful testament of enlightened womanhood from a true Mistress of the craft." - Lioness DeWinter, author of The Scent of Jasmine, Southern Cross and Corinthians.
"M. Teresa Clayton is the very definition of a mystic writer, and a brilliant one at that. She hears the voices of “the Otheres” from beyond the veil, and transforms those words into everything, from the most beautiful to the most bone-chilling prose, like no other author can. Each piece is unique in its transformation according to the messages that are received and will take you on an amazing journey of sights and sounds, as well as giving you a front row seat to those things that you can not see, but you will only hear in the darkest recesses of your mind. " - Debbie Dixon, Artist, Photographer, Poet and Author
"M Teresa Clayton is endowed with the great mind & literary charisma of a pen wielding samurai.....And of no less importance, she has found the courage to hone her gifts, in a campaign to extract worthy POW's from media monotinism." - Mitch Munster, November 1st Publications, Proprietor/Scriptwriter
"It does not take a lover of poetry to appreciate the contents within this humble book by the poetress, The Mystress M. Teresa Clayton, it will come. What it does involve is a love for buried treasures, puzzles of wit and wisdom, and an obsession with obtaining the magic incantations that open the genie's bottle. Enjoy the journey as well as the quest. " - Marg Melton-Baker, The Charon Chronicles
"M Teresa Clayton - She is a seer, a visionary, a mystic. Her writing is not only creative, clever and captivating, she is also a brilliant poet. Her Mystic Verses are entertaining on the surface, however, once you begin to peel away the layers, you will find the real alchemy within her rhymes. She is eerily Cabalistic, a strangely esoteric embodiment of the ethereal, this Delphic Oracle of Oracles who is possessed with a knowledge of past, present and future that defies "reason" (as she so aptly identifies the problem with mankind).
You will read it once, read it twice and keep on re-reading it over and over again. Just when you think you have figured out the message tucked neatly inside of the bottle, even after breaking it open and ripping the message from within, you will soon discover that you never comprehended the cipher as intended. No, you must make a decision to turn off the light, open the door and walk inside without expectation and let the voices speak to you. Only they can give you the key to the secrets inside." - William S. Avery
"Not a Barrett-Browning, a Plath, nor a Dickinson - these poems are not filled with dreamy-eyed romance, unrequited love, nor the coquettish interplay between lovers, this is a different genre, and M. Teresa Clayton, is a different breed of writer, more along the lines of a Donne, a Bronte or a Tennyson, but deeper and a bit more ominous; in the spirit of Poe. Certainly, she will develop a macabre following of seekers of truth, of knowledge and devoted believers. Certainly she will become their humble leader through the fires of hell, the chaos of anarchy and through the veil, where only those who ring with a higher frequency may enter. I am one of those who hope to accompany her to paradise." - Reverend Kashi Golia Ranganathan
"I just received my copy of Mystic Verses, signed in blood by the author! That should tell you something about the author and this book's contents. It is just as engrossing as Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses (except Mr. Rushdie's verses were taken from the Koran and Ms. Clayton's from spiritual beings in other dimensions). I read the book before purchasing it. A friend had a copy and shared it with me. I was so blown away by the pure magic within those poems (verses, as she refers to them) and I could not let them go. I had to have my own copy. She asked me how I'd like it signed, dedicated, etc. and I answered, just sign your name in blood and I'll be ecstatic for the rest of this lifetime. She did!" - Madonna Mordue
"She seduces you like a dancer of the seven veils. She captures your attention and holds it in a hypnotic spell until she is ready to blow your mind. She manifests herself in ways that confound logic, yet opens up a pure understanding of what is not.
She has written a book that will, no doubt, become the next big cult reading. Her keen ability to translate what her beings tell her, yet keep it buried beneath the occult to preserve its power, makes her all the more interesting.
Prepare yourselves for what is to come. As she would say - once you know something you cannot un-know it. - Go ahead, open that Pandora's Box, take a look inside and be prepared to enter into her realm and come out as something quite divine." - Mary Ellen Curtwright, Clairvoyant and Priestess of the Coven Oracle of Orion.
"These days, there haven't been many poets that compare to the greats of the past, there doesn't seem to be anything to differentiate them, make any one stand out from the rest, there is nothing uniquely impressive about today's poets. Is it any wonder that the art of poetry has lost its appeal?
Then comes a woman who commands the verses to speak unimaginable things, and she has created new ways to write them. This is a whole other genre of poetry and that might be due to her muses. She hears the voices of spirits who bring her messages from the beyond. She then sits in a trance-like state and begins to compose verses containing the information entrusted to her.
Maybe poetry readings are not obsolete after all. Maybe the art of writing verses hasn't been lost; it has been changed! It has evolved and I like it." - Gregory Allen Helms, reviewer for The Vine.
Two words: Salmon Rushdie - (No one is hunting her down for blasphemy against their personal god. Let's hope no one feels the need. Her work is beyond the reaches of most minds, though the poetry is beautifully written in complex rhyme schemes and worthy of the reading on those criteria alone. Deciphering the message requires dedication, concentration, and the willingness to commit to the work.
- Esther Rivke Soronsohn
Mystic Verses. I had no idea what that meant until I was introduced to Ms. Clayton at a reading in St. Louis. The concept of a mystic verse sounds like something you'd find in a fortune teller's back room. I was a bit taken with her. She is easy to speak with and full of bizarre, if not insane, thoughts that she is quite comfortable discussing in any group setting.
I fell under the influence of her enchantment after listening to her read from her works and then answer the myriad of questions that followed without batting an eye. She understands her truth and it was that truth that called to me several years ago.
Now, I am a devotee of this strange woman with her inner-voices. She seems as sane as anyone else I've ever met and to be honest, she seems to be teaching us all something new about ourselves and this world we call home.
The poetry in her book is artistry. Yes, I'm an old man and I've read the best of them, but right now, I am sitting in the presence of a woman who will be celebrated. Maybe she knows this, maybe she has no idea what will come of her and her writings. I think I'll gamble that she knows it. She is humble but that does not mean she is not aware. - Terrence Donovan Marcway, Antique Book Collector
Ms. Clayton is one of the most moving poets and seers of our day. I find much value in her writings and insights. Even more, the “feel” of her writings has a fascinating pull on my emotions and senses. It is sometimes a wild ride, sometimes a reflective ride, but a journey I will continue to make for the rewards. She makes you feel at one. I like some more than others, but it could be that I just don’t understand all there is inside these verses and word pictures. – David Orzel, author