Stoked to receive another five star review on Kobo for my latest ebook “As Folk Over Yonder”. Thankyou Sheila Jacob.

Here is the text of the review with a link;

Memory Keys

Paul has dedicated this e-book to his “good neighbours” and neighbourliness is the “garden twine” (from The Yarn) that ties these poems together. He takes “memory keys from the behind the cellar door” (from Unhooks) and shows us a world where working folk live side by side. The reader is invited to urban South Yorkshire and a community that’s rich with a sense of belonging, both to one other and to their historical roots. In the wonderful Knackered Up we meet an elderly man “Outside bog still hung with bog roll newspaper/ he cuts up himself” “Flatcapped/in shirtsleeves he saws wood/folk leave in the entry to feed his grate” Paul vividly evokes a place and people where the past echoes around every corner. “See him dig over his borders with fork, /and see years ago through red eyes/a sharp school uniform in black.” (From Spiked, I) In I Fry Me Chips the narrator cooks his chips “in proper fresh Beef fat for better flavour, in a proper chip pan.” and attempts to come to terms with the ways of his neighbours “Yon young un” and “him next door” who “bags in grey bin, pussy cardboard boxes in blue.” “Tha allus sees summat proper fresh art thee windows.” Paul’s use of dialect is unforced and adds a special dimension to his poems. Sometimes there’s an awkward neighbourhood intimacy as in Hear Her and Bob, The Gardening Crack. “All neighbours saw/was Bob’s trousers/rapidly descending/as he bent to weed” If garden twine is the unifier of this collection, compassion, insight and generosity of spirit are the knots that hold the twine. I was particularly moved by Blanket, Mum Is A Child, Why Move, This Stolen Garden, Every Key She, and Grandad. Don’t just take my word for it; read and delight in As-Folks-Over-Yonder “where neighbours hear through walls/or in entryway/our oven fan/flaps through boisterous/kids play football/humped backed lovers at night/a gunning motorbike” (from The Spring Town Bounds)

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