Lost Connections

This book brings together a selection of poems from Colin Rowbotham's two collections: Total Recall and Strange Estates and it includes work from the manuscript he was preparing at the time of his death.

'Colin Rowbotham was a poet of considerable talent who never achieved the the audience that he deserved ... The poems are nothing if not painfully honest , and many of them emerge from a process of coming to term with struggle and grief. The first poem in the 'Selected' clarifies the ethos of his work:

I'll be the peg, cried self: a
Small but constant something else
Beneath the cloaks you hang on me,
I'll take
The strain until I break.

I suppose Colin could be regarded as a poet of the confessional school, deriving from Lowell and Berryman. But he never splurges - the control comes from his hard-won mastery of forms. Probably Colin's finest achievement is to be found in the two ambitious sequences printed here in full: 'A Year and Others' and 'Fugue'. The former is richly embroidered in its descriptive detail and its portrayal of life overtaken by tragedy. The latter is spare and anguished in its depiction of a milieu, and its chronicling of the author's failures and successes in coping with being a part of it.' John Killick

ISBN 0-9542660-0-5
Price £7.95
Available from Maggie Hindley
'Balanced sesuality is what I admire most in this poet the sbility to mingle natural speech and effortless rhyme without ever lapsing into banality or straining for effect. Co-existing with this is a powerful compulsion to weigh the present against the past and come up with something original and moving... Here is a poet who can be trusted to, who writes with all his senses alert.' Bill Turner rteviewing 'Total Recall' in 'Poetry Review'.


Sometimes, when evening autumn winds
besieged my childhood house, I'd almost see
a motley figure, brown and green;
capering corkscrews with the leaves.

Night brewed stronger ghosts: grey suits
semaphored at doors; the long
Norseman, bone knife ready, nudged,
slow as a looming ice-cap, to my bed.

But such things were phantoms, shot
like photons from a brainbox, overpowered
by fright or fever - Mother, day,
a drench of bedside light would see them off.

It was otherwise that wet
Manchester day, when Mother trailed
brother and me through acres of glum,
echoing museum galleries.

Rank on rank of carved sarcophagi,
belying with secretive, bland smiles
the withered things inside, gave way
to a plain grey box. She raised the lid, we saw

a naked man on his side, smooth skin
dewed with cold sweat, his blue eyes open wide
but unmoving. I, tiptoeing to view him, said:
"Is he dead?" "Yes," she replied.

Years later I went back. He was gone,
as I knew he would be. Though my dreams
now are rich and hard to recollect, he lies
inside my skull, unshifted by the days.

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