Robin Thomas’ two earlier collections, both from Cinnamon, are miscellanies in various styles inspired by paintings, reading, childhood, music and trains; common subjects approached with a trying-things-out feel but all done with an uncommon level of playfulness and geniality. This more interlaced book, hot on the heels ofA Distant Hum, has a slim twenty-four pages of work, with poems averaging about ten short lines each. Here’s one of them (‘The Meeting’):
The truck labours
along the long road up.
The van, spick and span,
speeds by on the other side,
wafts by with hardly a sigh.
The minimalist approach relies on the way humans will construct narratives from the thinnest series of clues. But the overall story is straightforward enough. In fact, we’re told it at the end of the first poem:
Byrne, in his trim red van,
respectfully following, follows
Cafferty’s yesterdays with his tomorrows.
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