An Anniversary of Flight ISBN. 978-1-908853-30-1
Valley Press, Woodend, The Crescent, Scarborough, YO11 2PW www.valleypressuk.com
Paperback. 56 pages. £7.99
Reviewed by Graham Rippon
Patrick is a much-published and competition-winning poet and this, his first collection, illustrates why.
The underlying theme here is a journey through life; snapshots of people, places, times, events and memories, all deftly handled with sharp imagery and understated emotions.
Pulled head first, back martyr-arched,
wrists soft-manacled by your hands,
my leg splash weakly
Only disturbed the surface slick.
(Learning to Swim)
And in other memories we catch glimpses of a receding world:
Innocent still before heaven I thought the world
was in that church waiting for me. A crown
On a cushion the colour of a bruise –
(The May Crownings)
Patrick is a poetic craftsman. Whether memory or observation, in poem after poem we find skilful language and imagery that stays in the mind.
Slub in the shimmer-silk rain, we
are poor people at the seaside,
wearing this day as a sodden
(Sandwiches at the Seaside)
Fustian cut, the winter field drills
face the sunset over Chantry Lane,
like the empty pews as we left the chapel
to you coffin, bound by flowers.
This is an excellent first collection and well worth a place on the discerning reader's bookshelf.
Review from Issue 39