Sutherland is as much inwardly as he is outwardly reflective on matters of heart and place. A writer of considerable talent and grace you are always rewarded with reading his poetry and proseMore info →
This collection of poems explores ways the living and the dead meet – for lunch , in an artwork, on an allotment plot, in the city. We meet poets, artists and others engaged in the struggles and contradictions of their own times, and encounter challenges from our own.More info →
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Bernie Crawford’s debut collection has been obviously on its way for a while now. In truth, if there were any justice in the poetry world, which there absolutely isn’t, it would have been already out there and up for all the prizes. Bernie is beyond serious about the art of poetry; every poem has the shine of perfect editing. And yet the authentic voice of the first draft remains.
Reshaping the Light is a collection sprinkled with particles of light. Joyce’s belief in its precious power to illuminate emotional spills, to create a shield against darker shades is an integral element in these poems. Mined from experience, history, mythology and the natural world, life’s complex dualities are sieved through finely tuned ‘words weaving possibilities out of the shadows’ (Murmuration, i.m. Seamus Heaney). Sensory perceptions startle imagery into memorable territory, ‘big showy cones/of white and blue,’ (A Bunch of Lilac) or ‘a harvest moon holds us in its yellowed glow’, (Noctiluca). There are many such glints. Indeed, the poet at times reveals a sacred connection.
She anoints the poems with phrases such as ‘like a thurible’ or ‘scent the air with incense’ (The Bee-Smoker). Joyce’s lyrical aesthetic moves within the natural world with ease; personifying nature in lines such as ‘Sunflower heads, heavy and low,’ or ‘A wasp taps at the windowpane,’ (Hiatus). There is no light without dark, inevitably evoking the urge to ‘resist the weight of the eyelid dark’ (Hiatus). When loss occurs and ‘apples quickly rot and are ripe with death’ (Lucia), Joyce finds solace in mythology, taking her to Demeter pleading with Hades ‘to rebirth,’ (Lucia). She bears witness to the horrors of war. In a searing testimony to man’s inhumanity, a visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin tells how ‘we walk on the faces of the dead, (Mute) and how ‘a baby’s mouth unopened, no cry uttered’ tells ‘their frozen story,’ (Mute). The cycle of life, the resilience of nature to reshape ‘when the sky spills rain,’ (Pearls) is the hallmark of a keen sensibility, an aware observer as a poet and a human being, attuned to the moment when ‘something flutters beneath my breast’/released beyond blue pages.’ (Aerogramme)
- Eileen Casey
In The Rain Girl, Rose Mary Boehm’s poetry explores our world through a lens of disorienting contrasts: past and present, youth and age, male and female, escape and entrapment, real and surreal. Through the current of time, we see sharp images of wartime Europe and fairy tales, violence and dreams and, through it all, a love ever-lost but ever-seeking. The speaker in these psychologically-fraught poems becomes “the note between the / harmonies, the breach between severed limbs, and the twilight / between worlds.” And though the ground continually shifts beneath readers’ feet, they walk wide-eyed through this collection, willing travelers in times they can never quite trust due to the transience of the subconscious. As the poem “Haunting” tells us: “the time that passes between / lighting and thunder, / that’s where you’ll find me.” It’s also where you’ll find yourself – fascinated from start to finish.More info →