I am sure most of you will know the story of the two men and one window.
Two men were alone in a hospital ward, one had his bed next to a window and the other did not. Every day the man by the window told stories to the other man about all the trees and flowers, the people and scenes, and other activities he could see.
Then the first man died and the other had his bed moved to the window. And he found that there was nothing to see at all, except a blank wall. His friend had been inventing stories to entertain…
In fact, if you looked more closely, there was more to see than a grey wall. The bricks were of different colours, different shapes, even different sizes. Some had marks and stains and chipped sections here and there.
Perhaps all the pageantry the first man had seen could truly be there, if you waited. Or persevered. Or pretended.
The poet looks and sees. They also imagine and invent. We will all look at a scene, or a person or a situation, and see it differently from everyone else.
I think sometimes the poet can be more aware of what they are finding in what is around them. What they are finding about themselves in what is around. They will naturally want to share what they find, but will also perhaps hope the reader will begin to look deeper, and find something more there themselves.
Poems are like little cameos. If I want to explore an idea – or an experience – that subject does not always lend itself to a short story, or a play, let alone a long book. It is just a moment, which may not otherwise go anywhere or have any conclusion. It just is. Like a snapshot.
I struggled for years of late – even with this collection in mind – until I found I could not make one particular experience into a poem. So it has now become a short story.
And so, with love, I bring to you my windows on the world.