Colin Will is a Board member of the Stanza Poetry Festival and web-master for Poetry Scotland. He also runs Calder Wood Press and will be publishing my chapbook very soon. I thought this would be a good opportunity to repost this review from a couple of years ago, when not many people read this blog. Colin's fourth poetry collection. Sushi and Chips is most notable for its close observations of nature, birds, landscapes, weather and skies. The poem SEVEN MOONS contains this wonderful description:
The fourth moon is a round of butter
in a hot harvest night, stifled by desire.
There is humour too, as in this stanza from the poem UNSEASONAL:
A resigned young gull paddles
through the shallows,
pecks without interest, wishing
it was migratory, having seen
pictures of the Maldives
in a discarded tour brochure.
This stanza not only captures the gull accurately and comically, but also makes a comment about litter, in a lyrical way that doesn’t disturb the flow of the poem, so the reader absorbs the message along with the words.
Not all the poems are specifically environmental in theme, there are poems in memoriam (FLOWERS FOR MICHAEL) and about Carstairs prison (SECURE MENTAL INSTITUTION) but all the poems are aware of their place in nature – the flowers in FLOWERS FOR MICHAEL, the cows in SECURE MENTAL INSTITUTION. Even the entertaining poem about older men’s habit of wearing beige clothes (NONDESCRIPT) is rooted in nature:
Beige would be camouflage
in a dull desert, say the Gobi
in October, where the wind from the steppes
blows beige sand over the endless plains.
Colin Will’s poetry certainly can’t be described as nondescript!
Sushi and Chips is available for £5.20 from Diehard the publishers of Poetry Scotland.