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Paul Sutherland
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B Y   T H I S   A U T H O R
Paul Sutherland was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1947, and arrived in the UK in 1973. He is founder and editor of Dream Catcher, an international literary journal, and his own writing has appeared in countless anthologies, newspapers and periodicals.

Paul has published eight collections of his poetry since 1970, including Seven Earth Odes (Endpapers Press, 2004) and Spires and Minarets (Sunk Island, 2010). His eighth collection, Journeying, was published by Valley Press in October 2012.

He has an MA in English Literature from the University of York, and became both a Sufi Muslim and a freelance writer in 2004. He lives with his wife in Lincolnshire.

12th October 2012

Poems on the theme of 'journeying': seen as an activity, a state of mind,
and a wide-reaching metaphor.  World-class poetry, in a natural, accessible voice that excludes no-one.  (read more)
No Grimms, Andersen or Beatrix Potter
(from Journeying, Valley Press, 2012)

I remember a four-year old
with Athena eyes
who didn’t wish me to read
from a favourite book
at bedtime; at mid-day
demanded stories to emerge whole
from my thought-entangled head.

I’m still unclear, when with sweeps
she painted a field-leaping horse
without a rider, if I should’ve set
a fiction on its golden back?

When she recited, dead fish were dead
and she’d never eat a thing from the dark ocean,
should I’ve lured her with a sea narrative?

I let serpents stand for omens of goodness,
journeys into black as footpaths toward light.

To my adventures’
slithery morals and disabled plotlines,
she stared up from behind the divan
out from under the stairwell
urging another fantasy.

One day I departed, walking
straight down the perennial path
out the child-resistant gate, not to look back.
A few passing words seemed kindest.

Ten years eclipsed.
Again I stood in an entrance,
struck another home’s door;
my suitcase anxious with gifts,
volumes of journeyed words.
In the sun-touched front room,
curtains splayed, I waited
till at the wheeze of jeans
and tea-shirt a girl entered
with flashing eyes:
who was this visitor
and where’d he come from?

Paul Sutherland