My third poetry collection, No Doves, was published in February 2010 by Mulfran Press.
The theme that runs through the book is the ‘creatureliness’ of all existence: how distinctions between the non-human and human worlds dissolve as you look at them – rather like ‘the act / of walking through walls’. Metamorphic rather than anthropomorphic, the poems imagine, for example, a newborn baby as a field of winter wheat, ‘frail and dangerous / as cut glass, / a barbarous / new nation’; the sound of a man working in his garage evokes a house-cricket ‘rasping away at the peccata mundi’. A drunk slumped on a railway platform while a mouse runs between the rails stirs up notions of ‘dangers in transit… / the sun-god in hiding, all the plagues out and hunting’. Of the two longer lyrical sequences in the collection, one explores the psychological correlatives of water, while the second proposes a European identity made out of fragments, migrations, and the way ‘one country slowly becomes another / as grains of sand in the seams of suitcases / … cross invisible lines’.
Yet the book as a whole is really a meditation on the notion that ‘the only thing to be had on earth / is love, leafless, wintering’.