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  • By Thomas Ockley
    Feb 2, 2010
    Sleets, Shoots and Leaves. By Thomas Ockley – Village Reviewer This heart of oak, this middling of our history, this Middle-England, oh how these words often conjure up a hobbit like humdrum of drabness, drab weather, drab folk, drab landscape. Take a look at ‘Sleet Shoots and Leaves’, it absolutely teems with remarkable photographs, eerie legends and English poetry. From before human time in the Triassic; towards vicious civil enmity Post- Reformation; to the whirling teenage courtship on a gaudy carousel, this anthology not only traces the seasons of our land but the ebb and flow of our political heritage. ‘The Stone God’ and its dreamy mists of time photograph tells of our evolution, ‘See the hell bender salamander /Self cloning limbs it can engender.’ ‘Come and Dance the Mayo’ hints of Pagan fertility rites in the phallic symbolism of the May Pole. The Green Man is a sight to be seen! The statue of the Crucifixion which illustrates the poem, ‘As Night Fell Upon Golgotha’ and... More > stands upon the hill by St. Bernard’s Abbey, is as an astounding monument to any that can be seen, even amongst the edifices of Egypt. Perhaps the more so because of its geographic singularity. Yet this vivid anthology doesn’t just portray the iconic or symbolic, no, it tells of the legends, stories, and passions of those whose lives were acted out upon this little earth. Think of the ‘Grey Lady’, trapped and wandering in a nether world of her time and ours, ‘Does she wonder how strange a place/this world has lately grown?’. In Autumn Treason we learn once again of the gory evil of civil strife, perpetuated in the name of religion. Then there is Georgie Crewe, devout from his youth, yet whose abiding desire was to come home to his mother. Common themes of more earthy humanity abound here in this slim, seasonally structured book. The primal hunting instinct of local village lads in ‘The Water Vole’ tells a bloody and sinister tale, ‘Stab! Stab! Stab! And Kill! Kill! Kill! / Tore down the fading hour. In Llamas Fair’ Charlie, upon being told of his father’s cruel banishment of his true love, duly faces ruin to stand by his beloved Annie. We all love to see the gossipmongers get their comeuppance, and this is the satisfying case in the poem ‘Misunderstood’. A short yet succinct piece it pertinently juxtaposes truthful love with shabby minds, ‘She loved him they said/as a cuckoo loves her nest’. For the naturalists flora and flora flourish in this tome. Swifts, Rose Bay Willow Herb and Graylings are there in print and picture. Finally, for any witches out there, there’s a twilight photograph of teasels famed for its wart purging properties.< Less
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Product Details

February 23, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.48 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
7.5 wide x 7.5 tall
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