photo: Dwain Comissiong
Poetry collection, ‘No Doves’, published February 2010
My third poetry collection, No Doves, was published in February 2010 by Mulfran Press
The theme that runs through the book is the ‘creatureliness’ of all existence: how distinctions between the non-human and human worlds dissolve as you look at them – rather like ‘the act / of walking through walls’. Metamorphic rather than anthropomorphic, the poems imagine, for example, a newborn baby as a field of winter wheat, ‘frail and dangerous / as cut glass, / a barbarous / new nation’; the sound of a man working in his garage evokes a house-cricket ‘rasping away at the peccata mundi’. A drunk slumped on a railway platform while a mouse runs between the rails stirs up notions of ‘dangers in transit… / the sun-god in hiding, all the plagues out and hunting’. Of the two longer lyrical sequences in the collection, one explores the psychological correlatives of water, while the second proposes a European identity made out of fragments, migrations, and the way ‘one country slowly becomes another / as grains of sand in the seams of suitcases / … cross invisible lines’.
Yet the book as a whole is really a meditation on the notion that ‘the only thing to be had on earth / is love, leafless, wintering’.