Standing Up To Be Counted Out
The poems in Standing Up To Be Counted Out possess all the warmthand wit of their predecessors, Here We Are Then and Songs Sung Sideways. Plus the collection as a whole (which also contains two very short stories) is greater than the sum of its parts. It is also tidier than the clutter of its components and holier than the immaculacy of its conception. Together these verses seem to hold up a mirror to the human psyche and: “That’ll be three pounds ninety-nine. Thank-you.”
Does absence really make the heart grow fonder
Or does it simply let the mind forget?
(The mind’s a fishing vessel, prone to wander,
And absent friends can slip clean through its neat.)
I know I do not think of you that often –
Just once or twice a month I’d say, if that.
But when I do I feel my heart part soften
And pretty soon I’m purring (like a cat).
My instinct’s to sit down and write a letter
But when I do the words come out all wrong.
Perhaps a simple ‘phone call would be better
Or possibly a poem or a song.
And so I wrote this sonnet just for you:
Though I’m not sure, yet, who I’ll send it to.