(The cover photo shows one of Kevin Morris’s clocks with him in the background, close to a window).
The Writer’s Pen
You accuse me of hiding in my ivory tower.
I answer that I have no power,
Other than my pen
The truth of the matter,
That is the opening of the title poem and it is a perfect introduction to the collection. Kevin casts a sharp eye at the modern world while drawing heavily on the rhyming style of previous centuries; that opening poem continues,
The wise well
Know that those who go
Down that path
Oft produce great art.
When I say that Kevin casts a sharp eye over the world in which we live, mine and Kevin’s paths crossed a long time ago. We were students at Swansea University at the same time. I was sighted and he was, and still is, blind. I remember seeing him and his guide dog at the Junior Common Room bar, though never thought to go speak to him … and now here we are and I too have lost my sight, so it is a delight to be a blind person reviewing a blind person’s poetry, utilising our sharp eyes!
In the wood’s dark heart,
Whispers in the trees
Words that I cannot comprehend.
May God send
And this breeze
Kevin’s poems, frequently a single stanza or two, hark back to the days when poets celebrated the countryside and revelled in the sights, sounds and scents of the great outdoors. Blind people do not, contrary to many people’s assumptions, have superpower senses; but we learn to pay more attention to the ones we encounter or whose absence we notice. The poem, Wisteria, exemplifies this for me:
Wandering around Hampton Court
In late May, a thought,
Prompted by Wisteria hanging on a wall.
A few purple flowers, their scent
And ready to fall,
Did to me call.
There are myriad examples of how the world sounds, from a bird singing in a tree (Autumn Bird) the sounds of clocks (The Hands Are Almost at Half-Past, and This Ticking Clock Calms), all of which are one after another, ending with the hum of a fridge.
The fridge’s hum
And the clock’s tick tock
For the most part run
Unnoticed, as background
This collection of succinct poems can metaphorically lift the blindfold from a reader’s eyes and point out the things that maybe had stopped being noticed because of the domineering sense of sight. It is an accessible and delightful read.