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Giving Light

Waterloo Press, 2003

ISBN 1-902-731-14-X

32pp chapbook

'…the strangely haunting perspectives of ‘Last of the Spray Carnations’, the marvellous cynical whimsy of ‘The Cottage’; ‘The House of Sadness Past’; ‘The Sound of Eating’; ‘A Hamper from Landrake’ – terrific…a real poet' 

K.M. Newmann, Summer Palace Press


'Outstanding – books beautifully produced aren’t normally matched by the contents, but this is. One of the finest books I've seen in a long, long time. Alan has a voice entirely his own. Stanza 4 of 'Last of the Spray Carnations' is worthy of Pound. 'Tears of mustard sun' - I wish I'd written that! The shorter poems too are excellent - wise, witty and full of feeling. 'The Cottage' is marvellous. At 63 when I read his work I feel there's hope for poetry still.' Barry Tebb, Sixties Press


'Some of the shorter poems seem to search for the self-referencing wisdoms of an isolated mind and remind one of the aphorisms of William Blake. All the poems strike sparks' 

Graham High, Poetry Express


'...the four-liners have a Blakean feeling pulsating right the way through them. Every word counts. The poems, in their quirkiness, also remind me of Stevie' John Horder


'The booklet resonates with poems about the everyday meaning of being alive. ...Morrison is able to dip into the profound'

Doreen King, New Hope International

Giving Light cover.jpg






While I was paddling in the water shallows

the ripples turned to waves,

the paddling to a wade.


While I tried to shallow my tumbling mind

the thoughts that swam in the water shallows

were chased as fish by the shadows of sparrows.





Let go. Forgive. Forget the bitterness

That buttresses when love is dead:

Most of what's said isn't meant

& most of what's meant isn't said.





Eleven years old, I tried to reclaim

the past, inspired by a cottage's gloom –

the countryside's always the same

no matter what year: I furnished my room

with my dad's dog-eared books caked in dampstain

from The Black Arrow to Allan Quatermain.


On brumal mornings as a pale sun

lit thin curtains that filtered its rays,

I'd stick Holst's scratchy Jupiter on

summoning my father's schoolboy days –

Somerset, Nineteen Fifty-One,

in the ghostly warmth of an old-fashioned sun.


But there's a book-end to the shelf of time:

one can't stay absent from their age

in the fusty clutter of an historic shrine –

so I parted the curtains, tripped the page

to the post-impatient future time

where pop lyrics strip the Kipling rhyme.





When women give birth the Spanish say

They're giving light – & it's said

The newborn child comes into the day

Armed with a loaf of bread.

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