One might recognise, if this collection appeared without the poet’s name, that this was by Martin Domleo, for it contains all that we have come to admire in his best work. In particular, the painstaking care in lexical choices, the intensity of thought, the telling imagery and the compassionate yet faintly sardonic take on human nature.

Mike Ellwood


Forest's silent breathing
surrounds and confronts.
No flies disturb tiptoe tread
into the shadowy zone.

Bark of fleshy sponge
hiding a thousand tons
of hardwood spine,
tree shaped as tree should be,

a barbed cone, hooked
into cloud, hawser roots
splayed wide and deep,
no need for flying buttresses.

Sequoia must not bend
nor weep, must ring seasons,
rise and build, lay seeds
for the second coming.

Then the monsters
of the new Jurassic
will walk familiar ground:
needle beds, shaded towers,

a landscape fit for giants.