Philip Hill's powerful new collection does not flinch from exploring some of the key dilemmas that ultimately confront us all. What might it mean to acknowledge and recognise our pasts and our selves; to forgive and to seek forgiveness; to be reconciled without deformity; and to discover – and speak boldly from – that place of integrity which is to be found in the deepest recesses of our being?
This is poetry to be spoken aloud and wondered at. It both consoles and challenges with its blend of tenderness, raw honesty and hard-won wisdom. Nourishment from a poet rich in maturity of voice and vision.
Phil Hill is a poet from Warwickshire. His work focuses on mental health and lifting the spirits of his readers.
He’d been stacking shelves
And hit that transparent ceiling
In a moment realisation projecting
To the perpetual Groundhog Day
He could see in that moment
Years ahead and the futility of it all
Absconding secretly to
Develop skills that had been
Hidden his powers had been
Dormant but the
Deep thaw made sure
They rose to the surface
Fear drove him
Face yet driving himself into a frenzy
His companion kept
Him well and a
Six year writing stint
Punctuated by assessment of
Every kind and viewed by that
Community from all angles.
Managing himself to be
Free from reproach
He had written
Read and presented himself
Constantly refining his expertise
Until that day when
Given those keys by his
Peers to the community of learning
Reaching the apex of that Maslow like
Pyramid beyond fulfilment he
Could now blaze a trail for himself
Whilst nurturing the next generation.
He had become the Doctor of all he surveyed.
White van man is to be found across the land
As many as grains on a beach of sand
‘Did you hear’
Did you hear’
A white van man said
As the blood of anger rushed to his head
He stood a big built figure
With coffee stains on his newspaper
The belt he wears holds it in
That face had long since lost its grin
‘They come here’
‘They come here’
‘Get council house, NHS.
Benefits the lot’
‘That’s a pretty dawn site more
than I’ve got’
‘You pay your taxes, rent for all those years
Working all hours god sends
It’s enough to drive you round the bend’
Paper in hand unfurled he puffs and grinds and reads
From the sixty font print
As if from the pulpit
You couldn’t make up this shit
Context irrelevant, the case study that proves the rule
He will tell you he’s nobody’s fool,
Then he and his apprentice trade more facts
The HR Managers had better not catch them in the act
Tabloid statements from on high
The drivers think they’re modern types of guy.
Bring back hanging or even the birch
And resurrect the stop and search
Across the country white van men seek to serve
The country gets the government it deserves.