Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Sunday, 14 May 2017

BOOK LAUNCH

The launch of my latest poetry collection, Stone Witness, was a truly joyous occasion in the atmospheric surroundings of the Priaulx Library, a beautiful old building adjacent to Candie Gardens in St Peter Port.

The Priaulx is a library of the traditional style, rare nowadays: the kind that I grew up with, where books and quiet contemplation were the order of the day.

For an hour on Saturday afternoon, however, its state of quietude was disrupted when an animated group of friends and well-wishers turned up to hear Blue Ormer's founder, Steve Foote introducing my reading of some of the new poems. 




I'm pleased to say that, afterwards, a large number of books were signed and we were able to head home in good spirits.

A huge thank you to those who were able to attend the launch and, of course, to Sue Laker and her colleagues at the Priaulx. For those who didn't make the launch, copies of Stone Witness can be purchased direct from Blue Ormer by clicking here.


And, finally, there are some splendid photos, taken by Ciprian Ilie, available to view when you click here. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A TURN UP FOR THE BOOKS

No need to book to come to my Book Launch on Saturday, just turn up and help me celebrate the publication of Stone Witness.

 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

THE WORLD'S MY ORMER*

Much can happen in a matter of days and a great deal more if you extend the time frame by a few weeks.
In early April, a tentative chat with Steve Foote, founder of Blue Ormer Publishing, led to my gathering together forty poems written over the past couple of years, editing them, arranging them in suitable order and writing short narratives about each selected poem.
All this, in turn, precipitated a flurry of activity from Blue Ormer Publishing that left me breathless but the end result, less than a month later, is the publication of a rather beautiful book of poetry, Stone Witness. 

It’s described by the publishers as "a collection that deals with themes of love and death, old and new gods, nostalgia for a vanished age and the challenge of life in the 21st Century".

Central to the collection is the poem, Stone Witness (La Gran'mere du Chimquiere) which deals with the relationship between Guernsey's iconic granite figure and the islanders themselves. 
 

The book also contains what I consider to be some of the best poems I’ve written and it’s encouraging to know that, whilst everything else diminishes with age, one’s writing doesn’t.
 


You can find out all about it at BLUE ORMER PUBLISHING.
 


* An abalone-type shell-fish delicacy much appreciated by Channel Islanders.

Monday, 1 May 2017

WHAT IS ART?

Here's a little exercise in art appreciation.
Three of the following five pictures were downloaded from the internet whilst browsing. I won't disclose the artists' names. The remaining two pictures are of a different provenance: one which you may find surprising. 
Can you guess which fall into each category? 






Images one, three and four were taken from the internet, having searched for 'abstract art'. Images two and five are photographs taken by my wife, Jane, of fishing-boat hulls at low tide in Bordeaux Bay. 
An interesting comparison.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

The Occupation of the Channel Islands by German forces during the Second World War has left its mark on the landscape and also on the psyche of islanders themselves.
A film of Mary Ann Shaffer's hugely successful novel, The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, is about to be made and I can't help but wonder what memories it will stir in the older generation of Guernseymen and women who lived through those challenging times.
For the definitive Guernsey novel however you need look no further than The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by the late G B Edwards, acclaimed by the New York Review of Books as 'a triumph of the storyteller’s art that conjures up the extraordinary voice of a living man'. 
Get on the Trail of Ebenezer Le Page by clicking here.
 




















 THE HURT

Where lunchtime shoppers congregate
outside the High Street bank’s facade,
grey uniforms of marching men,
in ranks, strode purposefully past.
Historic images confirm
that Occupiers made these streets

parade grounds and our sleepy lanes
verboten after curfew hour.
The enemy has been subdued,
expelled, and yet the hurt remains:
that violation taints us all
despite prosperity and gains. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

My poem, The Swing, has been around for a while. I included it in my 2012 collection Strange Journey and, following a minor rewrite, here it is again, now entitled, SONG OF SPRING.






















SONG OF SPRING 

As we launch out, the air feels clean,
the wooden swing, a pendulum
divining or recording time,
as sunlight stabs, pure platinum,
through woodland chestnut, cedar, lime,
into our playground, softly green.

It takes our joint weight on taut ropes
as we, in tandem, drive it on,
gathering momentum, we rise:
you grip the seat I brace upon
with boots, knees, adolescent thighs
and boundless, adolescent hopes.

The swing is like a storm-tossed boat,
the wood’s a bold kaleidoscope
of light, leaf patterns, soaring dreams.
I shout within the cradle-ropes,
the sound extinguishing your screams.
Free from confining earth, we float.