This book of poems is a first published collection by the author, with each of the twenty poems accompanied by a specially commissioned original painting. Alternating between highly personal and family recollections and more general topics, including politics and the state of today’s world, the tone is firmly set with the opening poem, THE COLOUR OF A ROSE, in which the author delves in a quasi-Shakespearian fashion – A rose by any other name - his inner passion for an unknown woman and the symbolic rose of all non-declared loves.
We then embark upon a voyage of discovery with the author as guide and Captain of the meandering ship: different girls are praised or acclaimed according to his own assessments, some well-known, some anonymous; old friends are spotted in passing by in life’s relentless journey, with fishing trips, tea at a brother’s country seat, parents remembered for the legacy they bestowed almost unbeknown, and the modern world and politics are briefly mentioned with foot soldiers and the Arab uprisings that have shaken today’s world of political correctness.
Mexico plays quite an important role also, since the author retired and moved to that country some years ago. Reading between the lines, the reader receives an impression of inner-peace and tranquility at last, after struggles and battles against unseen odds and enemies, and the painting that accompanies the poem A PANTOMIME PANCHO VILLAIN does sum up this modern-day Don Quixote rather splendidly, with all his abandoned political dreams and hopes in tatters.
And yet a general atmosphere of peace and attainment rise up relentlessly all through the book, and the poet remembers as much as the Lanes remember from the haunting title poem and its accompanying painting, with the smiling Granny Witherby inspiring the poet in all of us to carry on regardless.