At the end of last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic was known to us and we were all not yet in lockdown, I was planning on releasing a book of poems I wrote six years ago. The poems focus on the emotions we experience at the end of relationships, and while they are not autobiographical in their various situations, they are emotionally autobiographical.
At the time I asked my good friend Catherine Pendegrass to produce some illustrations for some of the poems, which she graciously did (but may have forgotten about as it has been so long since I said I would release this book and so much life has happened).
There I was. I had everything I needed. All I had to do now was put it all together. Which I did, on several occasions in several different ways, but despite this, I never quite pulled the trigger. The closest I got was in 2017. Back then I had a hard copy proof in my hand, but again hesitated and did not release it.
Friends who have read the poems (I shared all the early first drafts on Facebook) have told me nothing but positive things about the poems. I would go so far in saying that it is probably the best feedback I have ever received for any of my work. So why the hesitation?
This is the point where I could list off a whole bunch of reasons why this book has never seen the light of day, but I think the most honest reason is I wasn’t emotionally ready to release them. I started dating Heather the year after I wrote them and I wasn’t in the same emotional headspace I was in when I wrote these poems. But I had an affection for them, their raw honesty and clarity. I knew I had to publish them at some point.
Now finally enough time has passed that I feel ready to share them with the world. I contemplated delaying the release again, due to the pandemic, but I think there has been enough delay already, so I will be releasing them this year.
In 2013-2014 I lost my way in my life in lots of ways, relationships ended and I was left questioning a lot of what I believed in. I found myself looking into meditation, which I began to practise daily. I became a member of a small Buddhist center in Leeds, to deepen this practise. I attended the center weekly and got to know many people who helped me in my journey and I truly can say the time I spent with them was deeply enriching. Why am I telling you all this? I think because it is relevant to these poems in some way.
Many wonderful things have happened to me since that time in my life, I met Heather as I said, and we got married and now live together in the States. I am happy, truly happy and content. The release of this collection of poems titled Blue In Green is the final step in that journey of letting go of the past and embracing the present. Like I said before these poems are not situationally autobiographical, but they are emotionally autobiographical, and most of us go through these emotions at some point in our lives. It is good to know we are not alone and there is a light at the end of even the darkest tunnels.
I am currently waiting for proof copy of the book to arrive and I will update you all on when you can get your hands on a copy should you wish to. It will be sometime in summer this year! Until then, thank you for indulging me this moment of rambling. And to whet your appetite I present you with the final cover for the book. This doesn’t feature artwork by Catherine, I have saved that for the inner pages which will be full color and full of her wonderful illustrations which really do enrich the poems. I hope she approves of how I have designed the book around her work.
Stay safe and healthy my friends.