Good literature makes us challenge our existing beliefs – be it what we think, what we read (or have read) or even what we see. Kate Cayley takes a hard look at several different realities and ‘throws them back into our faces,’ in her book when this world comes to an end.
The Later Life of Judas Iscariot (Page 10) Traditionally red-haired, he stands out in a crowd. Orange-ginger grizzle going grey, freckles on fish-white puckered skin, a sleepless, constipated look. I wonder though if this is anything but the theatrics of wives’ tales – the birthmark, the portent and, for ease of identification, a villain’s swivelling eye. In fact, he is unremarkable, pleasant. Good at parties, capable with money, knows a thing or two about wine, well-read without embarrassing learnedness, well- invested, a patron of various charities, kindly in that purely personal way. Retired, he bought a small house with a Japanese rock garden, and collected pictures, and was happy. It was only the other apostles who wished he’d hanged himself in that ravening field planted with silver pieces, the rope pulling his face purple, his eyes staring at the sun. Dante saw him in the mouth of the beast, but who can say? He saw only the backside, it could have been anyone, and Dante was a confused and trembling witness These days he sits in a deck char, watching the water, his face line and friendly. No complaints, no mark on the neck.
Cayley has a intellectual imagination and fantastic sense on how to use words. Her poetry is vivid and thought-provoking. The section entitled Curio: Twelve Photographs describes the situation inside 12 photographs with vivid detail.
Married Couple with Baby, 1910 (Page 24)
Cracked teacup, gnarled thread, a child
tangling her new wool.
The drawing room sofa
full of headaches and old bones.
A practiced eye, the camera knew
what dull unhappiness a brighter light
might yet reveal.
Still, he loves her best.
The baby, stirring, blurs and breaks
the lines of its own face
as if returning to air,
escaping it mother’s tight
hold, its father’s eye.
Cayley connects words together which makes any reader pause to consider and re-consider. A definite book to be read over and over again
Love Poem from the Dictionary (Excerpt)
Absence -Page 39
the state of being
away from a place
the time or duration of being away
the condition of uncertainty the pause
before a kiss
No doubt, when this world comes to an end by Kate Cayley is a thought provoking read. Questioning how one sees the world around one’s self is one of literature’s most necessary deeds, and that is what Cayley has done here.