‘This collection has cumulative power, cohesion, and a particular, individual voice. The poems bring in a wide field of reference, which deepens and adds layers of understanding and meaning.’ - Gillian Clarke
Mike Barlow is also a visual artist, working through drawings, paintings and wall-hung constructions.
This collection was the overall winner of the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition.
Lip-reading at Port an Droighionn
The evening air’s so clear the peaks of South Uist
sit on the horizon like separate islands,
demonstrating how the earth curves.
They change shape as we watch,
tops flatten, grow lumps and limbs,
slopes steepen into cliffs
then stretch blue tapering fingers
along the level slit of sky
they seem suspended over,
demonstrating the particular way
warm air at sea distorts the light,
substituting mirage for reality.
And as the gauze of darkness thickens
I lose your lips’ quotation marks. You speak
and what I hear you haven’t said,
demonstrating what can happen
when you navigate by vowels,
lose sight of consonants.