excerpt from “night exposures”
unpaved roadalong cliff edgeacross dry sandyarroyos whererivers once fellcliff edgewaterfalls ***playing smallstringed instrument ***giant wild puckhomehornscome off ***but the stillness after & shock of findingof whichno knowledge recognise peopleother than ***disguise theftof their cementrender it smoothto delay them *** something menacingrising&above a walla wall *tendingdemonstratingwinter tree pruninga suspendedpollarded living treeno roots ***another wallanother risingagain went to grandma’sup a ramshackleladder ***small thingsdomestic thingsasking for grocerieson credit*** memoryhidesis brokenwith steeldeceivingedges *** takingpillsmadeofiron***deep intrees trunksstems bolesnothing else ***cooking on ablack iron stoveunder a treeno fuelestranged daughterbegins to talk ***are pointed divingdeepnothingthere *** instead of tongue astongue leaf **the little bird singsthe little dog laughsthe last birdthe last dogthe last laughthey were lonelythe third bellthe seventh bellthe ninth bellthe last planet ***the list ofthingsre/member
Copyright © 2019 by Gerry Loose.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Gerry Loose has a background in horticulture and ecology; his poetry is informed by a wide knowledge of gardening and environmental issues, and is to be found in gardens as well as books. He has been Poet in Residence at the Botanic Gardens of Glasgow and at Montpellier, France’s oldest botanic garden. He has also made work for Hidden Gardens, Glasgow and Port Logan Botanic Gardens.
He has been a recipient of a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship and a Creative Scotland Award, and has been Creative Director of the Peace Garden.
Combining pressing geopolitical urgency with a subtle and gentle lyricism, as we have come to expect from Gerry Loose, his new book ranges wide, broad and deep, to settle back at home in the Scotland reinhabited by Sweeney the king, deranged and fleeing humanity, and a lilting nine-day walk from coast to coast across Scotland’s heartland.
With narratives from Nuremberg, setting city and individual citizens against a long and terrible past, and with stories of an island life – not as insular as might be imagined – in a Finland where anything or nothing may happen, with or without a Luger pistol, this book has a quiet insistence on personal experience. A unique take on the naming of endangered species here could be seen as a metaphor for what the ordinary people in these pages – and their would-be leaders – might in turn become.
Expressive and formally inventive, Loose’s seventh full collection night exposures lives right into its title: shining light into murky and overlooked corners which some might wish to be kept in the dark.
“In the poetry of Gerry Loose, medicine and sickness heal each other. His Dharma eye sees the unity of the relative and the absolute, the local and the cosmic, the personal and the political. He is an artist beyond category, and this may be his best book so far.”
—Dogo Barry Graham