Osada’s presentation of the calendar year through plants and weather is both immediate and also layered in memory and questions: on seeing a fox at mid-day ‘… we all rubbed our eyes at what we’d seen.’ In ‘Last Reunion’ the geese whose annual visit marked the year leave, only to be replaced - ‘… men came with plans:/ Theodolites cast shadows over land.’. The then/now continuum/contrast is a unifying feature — childhood memories confronted by present-day reality. In ‘Shards’ Osada shows us men, working by hand, fitting a plate glass window into a local store, and then the modern version: machines, vacuum suction cups, and glazing that seals life inside city tower blocks. This layering of time works particularly well in ‘Monuments’, - ‘Immortalized in bronze, he’s caught mid-fight,/ rushing to catch the Hull to London train/ as if it were that Saturday in May/ when what he saw and wrote secured his fame.’ No need to name the poet or the writing here; Osada trusts his readers.
This collection answers its own question: ‘How do we keep alive what once we were?’ (from ‘Lost Boy’). Attention to changes and the continuing work of transforming these into words hold everything together.
D A Prince (SOUTH Magazine No 56)
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