Writing Tip emerges from “Two Candles”—Ernest Dempsey’s new poetry book

Two Candles by Ernest Dempsey

My writing pal Ernest Dempsey is also known fondly on Riehlife as “our man in Pakistan”—you can find many blogposts about his work on Riehlife under “Read On” and read his poems under the “Writing Matters” archive categories. I asked him to tell us the story behind the creation of his new book TWO CANDLES. I wondered how he found the connection to My Lucky Guitar Press.

Ernest says: “I have been publishing my short fiction in Skive quarterly magazine off and on. Mathew Ward, editor of Skive mag, started his own press ‘My Lucky Guitar Press’ and was open to book submissions. So I sent him Two Candles. He liked it and agreed to get it published. That’s how Two Candles was born.”

I love the writing tip that emerges from and links to the title of Ernest’s new book. Just think…you can start a writing practice in any circumstance. Ernest wrote in turbulent times and found writing poetry a way to center his soul and find calm, strength, and peace. —JGR

Ernest Dempsey (looking quite ernest!)

by Ernest Dempsey

The summer heat is building up here and it’s about 40 C in Peshawar, Pakistan. Still I feel so cool! Reason? Well, my second poetry book Two Candles is here and I am all joy! It is a collection of 74 poems, published by My Lucky Guitar Press (Australia).


The title ‘Two Candles’ has quite a story behind its origin. Some months ago, in winter, I had a few candles in my room to light the place in case of a load-shading episode. One night, I just felt like writing a poem and doing so in candle light.

So I switched off the electric bulb and let my creative flow along with my pen on paper in the aura generated by candle light.


Thus started a writing habit that lasted for a couple of months. I got used to switching off the light, lighting two candles (instead of one) and write a poem or sometimes two poems daily at night in my hostel room.


Why two candles? Primarily because two candles gave more light and somehow they looked more beautiful and soothing than one. I suppose that by making this choice of lighting two candles instead of one was, unconsciously, finding my way of countering my solitude and loneliness.

However, it never occurred to me who this second candle potentially represents. I never consciously thought of it until last night. And it is of course no one else but my brother Shais who is my second self, my half being. And then I wrote to Matt this morning to include a dedication page in the book, dedicating this collection of poetry to Shais. That is the story behind Two Candles.

Click here or on any of the red text live links to read more about Two Candles.

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