For the first time since individual inclusions in pamphlets, the third of an anthology – “Play for three hands” – through to self-published Kindle volumes ‘Walking Thru Fire” and “Second Sight”, Ian Gouge has gathered together all his major poems, revised them, and produced this first “Selected Poems”.
It contains some of those early pieces – such as “From The Lighthouse” – some poems never published before, and includes all the marque verse from his later volumes: “St. Ives”, “Skipton”, and of course “Walking Through Fire”.
This collection is a journey through theme and style, which still echoes the observation made in “Play for three hands”: ‘…the stoic shrug of the shoulders may mask a deeper sensibility. The disillusionment is only skin deep. Penetrate the veneer of cynicism and you will find a romantic beneath’ (Jason Best).
I have a watch.
It is the watch I use to tell the time.
It tells me when I need to be at meetings;
when trains leave;
when you were late for a rendezvous.
I am on a bus.
The person in front of me
also has a watch.
It tells a different time.
I wonder whose watch is right,
and whether, had I been wearing
their watch rather than my own,
we might have been spared the argument
that caused us to separate.
I look at my watch
and wind it back a little.
Better to be late and sorry
than on-time and too self-righteous.