Photo credit: Claire Faulkner
‘All-round inner and outer good health
Rate higher Ann than bad wealth
Feeling fine in fresh air I feel rapture
Science now onto carbon capture
Though storage or dispersal problematic’.
‘Grandad, Mother Nature’s got her own solution
Like me autistic with outer and inner pollution’.
‘She’s no sinner, just asthmatic’.
Over the course of time, it’s become (slightly) clearer to me of the importance of poetry within the field of creative communication.
As a wannabe poet, I’ve often twisted and turned over finding just the right word/rhyme/phrase to insert…a real ‘head-turner’ that absolutely nails the full scale and majesty of what my mind sees; squeezed masterfully into perhaps 4 or 5 words within a line.
Does it make sense? Is it relevant? Is the rhythm digitally correct to the nearest zillionth of a heartbeat, or does my poem (that sounded utter genius at 4am) compare equally in the cold light of day? In some ways, I’ve always admired poets who seem to be able to bypass the frustrating ‘yes, but what might other people think?’ aspects of poetry creation and get straight through to the luscious green fields of creative, raw inspiration.
To personify that last sentence, please allow me to introduce you to Crewe-based poet, former actor and drama teacher, Christopher Gilmore. Christopher’s book, Ann of Green Fables, is packed (literally) with a variety of poetry exploring one constant, recurring theme of the current global environment. I use the adjective ‘packed’ in good context here, as the book contains almost 460 items of poetry upon its pages, with illustrations by Tony Smith, Michael Crouch and Mary Macgillivray. Christopher’s poetic style has a unique flavour to it and certainly doesn’t pull any punches in its delivery, such as ‘Darkness’, issuing a clear warning to humanity.
If a distant date dawns no daylight
If man bloats our frail planet with blight
What wasn’t created will get incinerated
Mankind reimagine your ego’s might
Our blue global kindergarten some sun-soaked some Spartan
To higher classes way past Paul Tarsus
Heaven on earth now disheartened
Nature Spirits in the slough of despond
The book begins with a list of all poems, followed by some excellently-phrased essays concerning aspects of global warming and the ecological state of our planetary abode, thanks to the efforts of humanity.
‘Animals can teach us much. Instinctively, as Soul, in not fearing death they seem to know we all survive more than one life.
How well this is illustrated by the lives of snakes, frogs and butterflies.
These creatures in one lifetime morph through a series of many bodies – symbolizing the continuum of all of life’s energies whatever its form or lifestyle and temporary physical needs’.
Also intriguing for me is that Christopher isn’t just focusing his goal upon beating a single, environmental drumbeat through 459 individual poems. There is also a questioning, philosophising, spiritual depth here to his writing which I personally found exciting, as typified in a poem titled ‘Om-ni-al?’.
Isn’t odd that God’s everywhere
Deep within seas as well as in the air –
God is here, God is near
God’s clear in all we love
That flows from way above
Each to their due, through me and you,
Through all the beauties of repartee
Talking to a tree
In these uncertain days of home-confinement – questing for creative inspiration to fire our imagination and understanding – one could do far worse than journey through Christopher’s poetic world. The passion demonstrated through every line of his poetry is admirably undeniable.
Watch this space for the release of Ann of Green Fables!