I'm going to break away from the order of my 2004 self-publication at this point because there are four poems which I want to show you now, the first I wrote when I began my recovery on the Isle of Wight. At school, I had analysed English Literature for many years and then at university I had gone deeper still with such close reading of the canon that I think I may have gotten ill from over-study, if there is such a condition!
Bearing in mind the horrid influenza I contracted at the time of View From The Window, I am here getting over a much milder ailment which has still seen my temperature rise with symptoms approaching that awful illness. I have been diagnosed too, and I am already interested in this 'enemy' which has chosen to invade me and my mind.
Finally, this is my very first creative effort, far different, far removed from the literary criticism of my English training, and I am amazed at how it simply falls from the tip of my pen to the page, thoroughly complete with no need of revision; of course, the proof is in the pudding and the writing is weak, far too vague with no underlying meaning employed on separate level. But it is here, out, exorcised onto the page and I wonder if someone reading it with keen eye may see something in the language which informs my other output?
At about this time, I am starting my first novel Saman's Revenge to be followed in 1999 by Rick With A View and in 2000 by the first draft of William Ottoway's Utopia, but it is the poetry, always the poetry which affords me greater and more satisfying expression.
Here is Two Poles...
Alive! My breath returns,
I feel the pain indeed,
And the ghostly man with his blackened scythe
No longer takes his feed.
The fever dies, the sweat lies down,
The shivers and the shakes,
And I brace myself with Hope and Love
For whene'er the day-dawn breaks.
Which hour is true, which minute false,
Which second lies between?
Which month is King, which year is Queen,
Which cent'ry reigns supreme?
Our Father Time is innocence
And guilty Faith as one,
His cherubs live inside the moon,
His devils in the sun,
His presence heals and rifts the soul,
He rules betwixt the twain,
That's why we'll always spend our days
'Tween poles of joy and pain.