John Stocks Poetry Editor Bewildering Stories

Having been intimate with Oonah’s poetry for many years, and feeling, from the start,  an instinctive kinship and empathy with her word-craft and vision, I approached this collection with eager anticipation. Oonah writes poetry that trips the reader’s consciousness from the mundane to the magical. She has a shamanistic ability to escape the nutshell of every day experience and describe an infinite, timeless space-whether capturing the, ‘dissonance within a crowd’ in ‘South Wales Echo’ or the rapture of listening to jazz in Minneapolis. In ‘Pipestone’ she floats effortlessly between intricate ‘of the moment’ observation and reveration of ancient resonance, providing an almost overwhelming sense of genius loci for a place I have never visited.

Oonah consistently demonstrates the skills of a master craftsperson. She deploys her command of language with consummate professionalism. Whether describing the weather, ‘a pitter of rain on glass’ or something sublime such as the ‘gold spooned moonlight’ of a summer’s evening, her use of onomatopoeia and assonance slip discreetly into the lyrical flow.

Although a seasoned traveller, with the ‘wisdom to kindle,’ at times her poetry has the freshness of a child experiencing something exceptional for the first time. In ‘Pipestone’-possibly my favourite poem in the collection, she finds herself attuned to a world vision and a humility that could be her own.

‘take only what I teach you from this place’

In ‘Better than half’ she expresses her love for her husband Noel with words that are more beautiful for being precisely measured.

‘And I am safe as long

as you remember me in all the times

and places of our life.’

An absolute pleasure in all respects-I strongly recommend.