1. By nature I am a sculptor. I like to chip and chip away to find the essentials.
However you date it, the start
Of spring is a change of heart,
And even lights coming on, near or far,
Play their part.
(from MARCH THE THIRD: Exposures, p.52)
2. Verse challenges you to imply rather than explain.
He will fuel their journey back,
but who can expect such stomachs
to hunger for more than grain and meat?
(from BEFORE THE FEEDING: Taking Cover, p.35)
3. It gives freedom to abandon restraints of rational exposition and to work in
Lamps stake out moments
of promise; but there are no
flaws or snags in between
for loosely-clothed couples
who find they are nearly
in heaven and holding hands
to reinvent nights of bazaars
and cafes without aim or end.
(from REFRACTIONS: Exposures, p.34)
4. To pay tribute to the subconscious poetry in everyday speech.
Best pork sausages are Charlie Calder's life line.
Goes to show how oats and barley pass for meat.
Pigs trotters do well. Good cheap fare, they reckon.
So be it if bone and gristle taste like meat.
O I've got prime steak and best loin of pork,
and those who know me know it's no easy meat.
(from BUTCHER'S GHAZAL: No Time For Roses, p.21)
5. To emulate rich, diverse English lyrical heritage that's got under skin and into
Saw-tooth groins of dog rose end
a hedge by hilltop gates where fields meet
and fall a hundred feet.
It flowers for a day or two in June
but never fails to juice its finger tips
with a shower of hips. (from ROSEHIPS: Outstripping Gravity, p.24)
6. Give intense internal shape to moments and places celebrated for themselves.
Another year's tilting away.
A last triangle of sunlight
has folded back the lawn's
far corner, picking out
a bindweed's shrunken white
lantern. Sign of warmth
to a wavering Red Admiral.
Such an embroidered blaze
as it opens wide, and finds
no comfort. The only one
warm me this season,
and never too late.
‘Rare Admiral', harbinger
of inner fire and outer
scarcity. Wrapped round you
like a shawl, it won't fray.
(from PATCHWORK: Exposures, p.49)
7. It's wayward, refuses to settle down or feel finished : a poet must learn to
be a snake charmer and put up with a lot of bites in the process.