I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
We all receive numerous gifts throughout the year but the ones that have true meaning are the ones that are carefully crafted so they become treasured items. Recently I received a copy of The Gamekeeper: Selected Poems 1976-2011 by Michael Harris from the dedicated publishing firm of The Porcupine’s Quill. And it will become a loved item for my personal library shelf.
Work (Excerpt) – Page 157
My seven-year-old fishing
for the first time, in the murk, perfect
pike somewhere else, not here. The
mobile rings, his mum asking
everything OK? Better take some
chicken out for supper. Poems somewhere,
and rainbows. Rainbows!
I received this volume in the mail on a Friday and spent a lot of my leisure time over the following weekend with it. I love Harris’ expressive prose and lyricism in this collection. It was a warm and enveloping feeling to read a phrase that he has crafted and then come to the realization that I had been in a similar situation or had a similar feeling that he had been describing in his works. I found myself repeating phrases out loud because they were such vivid expressions that I could relate to.
The Patient – Page 15
I am here and afraid; my body
scooped out and laid in thin
rubber. the tubes like thermometers
in my body’s weather; they fill me
with bread pale as clean cotton.
I reduce it, reduce everything
to liquids in what’s left of my stomach,
in what’s left of my mind.
In the softest, quietest ways I am broken
into parts; one a day, once a day, they
come and play with me, with red sacs
and white sacs and murmurings and measurements.
They clean me like a fingernail
where the quick starts to sting
and they will not stop.
The Porcupine’s Quill in Erin, Ontario, Canada always publishes such detailed works with dedication and clarity that it is a pleasure for any book fan to pick up one of their works and slip away from the world in an intellectual fashion. Their stock is always of highest grade and any illustrations they use are detailed and well-thought out.
The Watchmender, Paros – Page 83
and they don’t know what.
These are the watches
their grandfathers brought –
the springs so thin now
they’d snap at his touch:
and they expect them fixed.
Under the small shop lamp,
his two differing eyes work hard
against each other: the clear one
fastened to his optic lens –
the wayward other, wandering with disuse,
dimly taking in the villagers
whose shadow pass his window,
or stand before him, waiting.
He bends like a priest
by the deathbed candle,
to attend to the useless glow
of jewels sunk deep
in almost-dead works,
like rosaries of stars
that won’t wear out.
The Gamekeeper: Selected Poems 1976-2011 by Michael Harris was a truly remarkable and touching gift I received from The Porcupine’s Quill. Harris’ words and well-crafted and expressive and the book is printed on wonderful stock. It is an item I will cherish and keep.