NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
RON WOOLLARD: POPPIES, PEOPLE AND PLACES
Kingston Poets Press
29 Kelvin Grove
Hook
Chessington
Surrey
KT9 1DP
UK
ISBN 0 9535622 0 4
4.50

RON WOOLLARD: SWEEPING UP THE STARS
Hub Editions
Longholm
East Bank
Wingland
Sutton Bridge
Spalding
Lincs
PE12 9YS
UK
www
NHI review home page
FAQ page
Notes for Publishers

book reviews
anthologies
magazines
other media

Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 11th December 2007.
RON WOOLLARD: POPPIES, PEOPLE AND PLACES

Ron, Chairman of the Kingston Poets has had many of his poems published by mid-road magazines and presses. He is also a lover of haiku, as many poems here show. He is not short of ideas and presents a fair poem, I missed perhaps dramatic incisiveness to stir me but others might search and find value and excellence in a few well presented subjects nestling among the more mediocre.

I was thinking of BITTER WINTER, a well felt poem of death in a cold flat; and METAMORPHOSIS, contrasting soldiers' feelings in a jungle environment followed by the magic of a sunlit beach and then another change of mood as a rotting pig is found. Maybe the jungle was better, at least it was neutral. We follow them to beach in lines which have a workmanlike cadence:

	We came out from jungle by the estuary
	knee deep in river ooze, faces grey, cursing the leeches
	and burning them off one by one with butt ends.
	Bursting through the last trees by the shore
	we saw a sight like theatre when the lights go up,
	sun blazing down on a beach gold as Oz
	licked by a sapphire sea, a painted paradise.

reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe.
RON WOOLLARD: SWEEPING UP THE STARS

The poet launches his sixty seven pages with what is a rather ambitious longer poem that begins with the creation of the universe,

	time began with a disturbance,
	a ripple, spreading outwards like fire,
and, a stanza later, reassuringly homes in on the non cataclysmic call of the night-jar and the nightingale
		... shyly singing,
	heard, but not seen, by moonlight.
Having created his world, Mr Woollard focuses his haiku eye on a myriad of Arcadian and seasonal images; divided into sections THE GARDEN, THE HILLS, THE SPINNING EARTH and REMEMBERING each section is introduced and ended by a longer poem. There is a haiku to catch the reader's eye on every page. Many of Mr Woollard's poems are tinged with subtle regret a longing to hold on to the past:
	oblivious to time
	the children in the garden
	how fast their shadows grow

		after the walk
		only the scent of lavender
		keeps returning
His humour too has a gentle poignancy:
	the footpath divides...
	we go our separate ways
	so we can meet again

		old pines creaking
		I pause for breath
		halfway up the hill
And he can surprise us with quiet dexterity:
	on my lap
	the old cat stretches
	as the fire purrs
Mr Woollard, in his nine years of haiku writing, has not pushed at the boundaries of what is generally accepted as English language haiku. Those readers wishing for subject matter that is polemical, socially radical or, dare I say it, 'surreal', will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, readers wish to be charmed, made pleasantly sad by delicate, perceptive images, then this delightful little collection is for them.

SWEEPING UP THE STARS has been beautifully produced by Hub Editions.

reviewer: Michael Bangerter.