Karen Dennison

Poet and artist

An Essex Parish by David Canning

1 Comment

P1080476An Essex Parish is a sequence of poems that tell a story of murder and redemption, reflecting modern events against Essex’s religious and violent Anglo-Saxon history.

This first collection by David Canning includes his mountain poems in The Eternal Mountain, which draws on his experiences as a climber and mountaineer, and in A History of the Troubles, he explores relationship, family, love and loss.”

I designed the cover for this fabulous collection – this involved manipulating one of Dave’s photos (of Walton-on-the-Naze pier) in Photoshop. One of Dave’s poems is featured below.

The book is available from Amazon and from Red Lion Books in Colchester and a launch is being held 17 September 8pm at Piatto Cafe in Colchester.

A History of the Troubles

I’m in Derry, propping up the bar,
Obvious as a watch-tower, nervous as a look-out;
Bottles crash and pints of Guinness
Twitch and jig to the click and boom of a bodhrán;
And as the folk singer’s mural song
Ricochets off walls and table-tops,
Smoke twists from the barrel of her mouth.

A Tricolour, ceiling-stained to three shades of rust,
Drops a thread into my lap, so I follow its twisted path
To a one-room cottage in Ballybofey, Donegal,
Where children play on its earthen floor,
And a woman grubs for potatoes in the peat,
Hums the song her mother taught her to work by,
Baby suckling at her breast – my father’s father:

Who ran, first from Michael Collins, then from my Gran,
The shadow parked on the corner of my heart,
A car with blacked-out windows watching my childhood;
But there were no fifes or braid, or proud rattling parades,
No glorious fucking revolution in our house,
Tense as a twitchy, checkpoint trigger finger,
Just the white flag of my eyes rising to the punch.

David Canning

One thought on “An Essex Parish by David Canning

  1. Thanks for the introduction to Dave’s new collection. Enjoyed the poem – some great lines. Love that “Obvious as a watch-tower, nervous as a look-out;” And congratulations Karen on yet another fine cover design – it’s clean & minamalist. Looks great!

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