and ends with separation –
my home's not mine no matter how often I return.
As you'd expect from the title, the book is packed with place names. Amongst such as Michigan, Madras, Jerusalem and New York, are many in Paul's adopted Lincolnshire, putting one in mind of his earlier chapbook Spires and Minarettes. Too many to list here, but England or abroad, the imagery abounds –
Above a Dutch styled roof-scape / the sun drops into lead
guttering gloom... (Sleaford View)
Most scavengers have settled / like ornaments set on Terracotta. (At Staithes)
The skies murderous fragments / appear to converge / towards an inscrutable heart. (She Wore Grey)
The longest poem, Red Hawthorn-Edged, covers 17 pages with twelve sections and, in the words of another reviewer, seems slightly unfocussed, "meandering", like a river forming oxbow lakes; in fact, I see a hint of Wasteland or Prufrock in its style though very different in content:
Longings will pass.
This journey slow to completeness before long before
There's an air of gentleness throughout, despite some 'hard' passages. Several poems are short histories of travels and places, others show people, family, events and thoughts, but the sense of movement prevails – trains, planes, chance meetings, walking, growing, learning – all presented in an enjoyable highly articulate, literary, but accessible manner by an accomplished poet.
This is a collection to be read over and over again, each time finding more nuggets to treasure. Highly recommended.
Review from Issue 31 - Journeying (continued)