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Moving On

Authors: Ralph Thompson

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781900715171

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The poems in Moving On recreate moments of change, loss and epiphany. There are vivid glimpses of a pre-war Jamaican childhood - of sexual discovery under a billiard table and of the rude ingratitude of a goat saved from dissection in the school biology lab. The long sequence, 'Goodbye Aristotle, So Long America', explores the years of study at a Jesuit university in America and the making both of a lifetime's values and of the sense of irony which has made it possible to live with them.

Other poems reflect on the experience of ageing, of increasing vulnerability, but also of an increased appreciation for what sustains human relationships through time.

Jamaica is present in these poems as a place of aching natural beauty, but whose violent human energies can only be viewed with an ambivalent love and fear, where: 'In the city's bursting funeral parlours/ the corpses glow at night, nimbus of blue/ acetylene burning the darkness under the roof,/ lighting the windows - crunch of bone and sinew/ as a foot curls into a cloven hoof.'

"It is exquisite poetry throughout. Images of 'the sun turning cynical', 'the ocean, washing colonial guilt/like seaweed from an unrepentant beach', of 'albino hawks' and 'a black Clint Eastwood' mocking; of 'an awning pulled up like the lid/of an eye afraid to blink' and of 'the lip of the sea and the lip of the sky/zip-locked the horizon' are pure art. Moving On is a feast."
Sheila Garcia-Bisnott, The Weekly Gleaner.

Ralph Thompson is a Jamaican. He paints as seriously as he writes poetry. His work has been published in a number of journals, including The London Magazine. He was the Senior Executive of one of his country's biggest companies.
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