Here you will find a myriad of images and themes, mysterious and complex yet at the same time striking and simple. Each poem offers the reader the opportunity to enjoy the poet’s love of language for its own sake, or to scurry and research the meaning and back story to so many of the poems. I shall pick out some of my favourites.
The first poem 'Best After Frost’ is a perfect opener - succulent and almost decadent in suggestion of the medlar as a “smutty fruit” it impacts on all the senses from the smell of ripe cheese “like Camembert” to “the feel of rainfall in Montmartre”. By the end I really wanted to “suck this flesh and luscious rot” for myself.
A millennia of time is contained in the twelve short intimate lines of ‘A Fossil’s Chirp’ where the reader is compelled to stop and listen “I have heard them at dusk, those crickets,” and consider their existence back into the Jurassic age.
With a poet’s insight ‘Heartwood’ empathises with the “Firescar” of a burned out wood and like a lover, concludes at the end “There is still sap/ in heartwood fecundity/ in roots.” This poem is filled with the longing of a ballad and the acceptance that life goes on.
'Later, All at Once' seems to me to be the heart of the collection - a capture of its essence - a story within a story if you like – a microcosm nestled in the middle like a Russian matryoshka doll. The poem ranges backwards and forwards across history. Don’t try to know everything that has gone on in the poet’s head, but relish the journey on which you are taken.
And so to the title poem – ‘All the Invisibles’. It sits enigmatically as the third last poem in the collection. Who or what are the Invisibles? They are everything you have been reading in this collection; they are nowhere and everywhere, mysterious and imponderable “as we wander the way of the shell”. Behind the landscape you are looking at is the landscape which you cannot see – everything that is under the skin, in the depths of the oceans, around the next corner, in the darkness of history and in all human emotion.
But I have only begun to tell of what is on offer in this marvellous collection. Dip in again and again – a book at bedtime in each and every poem. It is a collection that you will go back to for years to come, and continue to find something new and fresh every time.