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Showing posts from March, 2022

Andrew Taylor - Three Poems / sampling Branwell Brontë

Andrew Taylor Three poems / sampling Branwell Brontë [alone she passed the ancient hall]  while night hung around                   silent echoless   windows arched on high  in midnight’s cheerless vacancy  winged with fear four clasped hands  give her spirit to the hour  Ghostly meaning                phantom pain  the sun might show more bright  than sorrow’s future history  earthly aid unmoored over life’s   wide ocean   Vain relief burning brow                     back to  the declining beam to night  be slow in step & soft in tread  sleep mouldering on amid the yell  the first dawn of summer morn                   skylark’s song  of love an answer to the blackbird’s   song the earliest sounds  that greet the morn  March 1 1837 Branwell Brontë   March 30 2022 Andrew Taylor   [Well! I will lift my eyes once more]  Western heaven closed         sever thoughts wild world of misery  bright journeyer companion of dark        decline behind native flee following west   Native home me

Review - "The Bridge at Uji" by Tom Lowenstein

Alan Baker "The Bridge at Uji" by Tom Lowenstein, pub. Shearsman. 126 pages. Tom Lowenstein has carried out ethnographic studies of the Inupiaq people of north Alaska, is a scholar of Buddhism, and of the Sanskrit and Pali languages and has also published five books of poetry with Shearsman. While Lowenstein's work is accomplished and broad ranging, it's not fashionable, and Shearsman Books performs a valuable service by keeping his work in print. The poems in "The Bridge at Uji" are meditation objects, somewhat like Zen Koans; compressed, often enigmatic pieces. A whole book of such texts could be hard for a reader to digest, but the constant presence of the eponymous bridge roots the pieces in a real scene; the bridge has a kiosk and the water has damselflies flitting over it. This physical presence interweaves with the bridge as a metaphor for human life, a route of pilgrimage:         Some people I know cross light heartedly         and disdain to make

Linda Black - Four Poems

Linda Black H ere W as as a deteriorating moment, defined and out of the way.   Breakfast, whatever the situation. Mood bored. We live like this, decipher. Outside, the Amelanchier sweetly blooms.   W hat should be said? Moulding, mouldering. Lost joy, a stolen cameo ring. Collaborate with past intentions . S ieved, the little holes adequate, nor unexpected. The sink is cracked, the crack spreading. Disparate fissures conjoin. D efine slippers, step careful. Callipers may bear the weight of a father,   his withered leg. Pilchards or anchovies? Meaning peeled of intent. A basement is halfway between. Coal below, the purpose consumed . S un combined with frost may alter consciousness, as too the carrion crow. T his is the season of black spot, lighter evenings, when the body may slough its skin. S hadbush, shadwood or shadblow, serviceberry or sarvisberry, or just sarvis; juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum or wild-plum, chuckley pear.   ( from THEN, pub. Shearsman 2021)

Review - “Path Through Wood” by Sam Buchan-Watts

Andrew Taylor “Path Through Wood”   by Sam Buchan-Watts, published by Prototype, 2021. Sam Buchan-Watts’ debut collection is a remarkable reminder of the beauty of poetry and what poetry can be and should be. Published with a beautiful and rather fitting cover image of John Constable’s  Cloud Study, Hampstead, Tree at Right,  the book continues the publisher’s ethos of ‘creating new possibilities in the publishing of fiction and poetry through a flexible, interdisciplinary approach and the production of unique and beautiful books.’ Taking the title and cover image into account, one would expect a book of nature focused poems. It’s not as simple as that. Though there are poems dealing with the natural world, this collection is wide ranging, thought provoking and it could be argued, contains aspects  of poetic Bildungsroman. The book begins with an interesting statement, anticipating some other statement-like aspects within the collection: ‘all repetitions are intentional.’ As the reader