“Words are my arthropod feelers with which I carefully sense my way in an outbranching world…
When a poem is a true expression of feeling, it can be liberating. The pace and timing of words reveal a full and surprising range of meaning, which I believe is best expressed through the use of simple language. While I like to depict the scale of events, scenery and emotions, I prefer to do so almost invisibly.
Poems are small on the page, but can swell to fill the mind.
In this collection, poems drift in and out of inner space, explore loss and death, love and feelings, forever interwoven with a thicket of branches, enlivened by an occasional cluster of colourful blooms.”
Ewan takes us from his days as a self confessed adolescent arsehole, through his time as a cold warrior, to his abandoned attempt to become an ex-pat writer in exile, taking stock of his relationship with his father and various skirmishes with women on the way.
Yet he also takes us deeper into the past, to when it used to be all fields round here, to where an endless game of Risk had already long been played on a blood soaked board with real soldiers for counters.
It is tempting to believe that his years spent flying reconnaissance missions, with the world spread out below him unscrolling like a campaign map, tinged with hours of boredom and barrack room banter, shaped his poetic viewpoint, giving him a detached and strategic approach to deploying words.
But there is heart here, just not pinned to the sleeve of his flight jacket.
when life gives you lemonade, there is no way to turn it back into lemons, yet this pitcher of poetry retains its acidity and leaves an occasional pip on your tongue, while reminding that each of us is a momentary citrus-tanged effervescence, caught somewhere between sharpness and flatness, in the greater froth of life
though we are taken to familiar poetic haunts – the coast, the countryside, paris – we are also drawn to more mundane locations – mcdonalds, tescos, his mum’s attic – and shown the bleakness of everyday life at one remove – from the top deck of a bus, via a commuter train window, through a living room wall –
and yet, in those same places, we find small, brief moments that cumulatively (spoiler alert) make us realise that life IS beautiful, after all