So rather than blog for blogging’s sake, I’ll blog for no reason at all.
What have I been working on recently? Well I published a book of poems recently through CreateSpace. It was a collection of poems covering the last eight years or so. Some of them were written when I was working for Barclays Bank headquarters in London, England as a computer auditor. London was an exciting city to work in and one of the things that made it doubly interesting was that I worked in the heart of the city – the part of London that has been there since Roman times. So there was a lot to see throughout the course of a working day. Some of that leaks into the poetry. Some of the desperate “busyness” of the financial district also creeps in and I have a somewhat cynical take on it.
When I was in London I traveled regularly to Milan, Italy on business and a batch of the poems are set there, again in the financial district of the city but totally different in nature from London. Milan is like London in one respect, though: being there is like stepping back in time several centuries. Ancient buildings and ruins, monuments, historic sites are all around, but treated by the workers as just part of the scenery.
Others of the poems were written – by remarkable contrast – in Drummore, a tiny fishing village on the west coast of Scotland. We lived there for four years and the poems tend to be more pastoral in nature. It’s amazing how much mileage you can get out of a cow’s udder for example – writing about, it that is. But part of the joy of living in the back of beyond was the agricultural cycle: the harvest, lambing season in spring, plowing, sowing and so on. All grist to the poet’s mill. The one challenge was to say something new about it that hadn’t been said before – or at least say something old in a new way.
And lastly, there are poems from the last four years, which we have spent in St. Paul, Minnesota. Some of these deal with the inevitable culture shock of living in a strange culture – although, much of it tends to be generic ‘western’ culture now. In particular, a batch of the poems were written during last winter which was unusually cold and snowy. It was the first year that I had to actually get out there and shovel snow myself. So I know what I’m talking about at least when I mention snow. They say that eskimos have scores of words for snow depending on what type it is. After spending the winter in Minnesota, I only had one word for it – but, hey, this is a family show.
The book can be found here.