Since I first read some of Alison's animal poems over on her Myspace page, I've wanted to read more. So I was delighted to find out about Shadow, a pamphlet of Alison's animal poetry, published by happenstance - always nice to support a local small press too!
Shadow is a lovely book, full of beautiful poetry about birds, hedgehogs, horses, bees and cats. (Rabbit bloggers may be slightly disappointed to find there are no rabbits - though hares make a brief appearance in The Rescue Centre.). The poetry is finely observed and beautifully written:
Starling is numerous, holds in his throat
the many colours of his oily coat.
(from On the aerial)
This is poetry centred on the love of animals, injured hedgehogs rescued from the road, lost kittens and ageing horses. This is also poetry that is open to the sadness we find in the loss of so many animals from our landscapes. Lapwings is a wonderful poem about the decline in these birds, once so common in farmland in the UK, it would be such a loss if they were to disappear altogether:
And I forgot their massive arcs of wing.
When their raw cries swept over, my head spun
with all the billiance of their black and white
as though you cracked the dark and found the sun.
Any animal lover who also loves poetry will be delighted with this book.
Shadow by Alison Brackenbury published by Happenstance, priced £4.00.