Ross Kightly is a prolific poet. Whether before dawn (summer dawn that is) in his Halifax home, ensconced at his dedicated table in the town’s Café Zone coffee house, or as a devotee of Gaia Holmes’s Igniting the Spark workshops, his lyricism never leaves him.
In Out of Bounds you will find moving family reminiscences and portrayals of beloved landscapes as well as extracts from the legendary Locale sequence, alongside shrewd and original perceptions of the human condition. All this, and much more, in language that sparkles with energy.
Out of Bounds
Kightly’s poems are the surprise postcards you always wish you’d receive. They are overgrown with richly landlocked words and fall through the letterbox with a zap and a chuckle wearing odd shoes. These are poems cut from the unexplored cloth of time and you will want to put them on your mantelpiece. You will want to reply with outstretched arms and move your tongue inside your mouth.
The poems, like their author, are tireless and irrepressible. All sorts of voices clamour to be heard here. Kightly has no time for the placid and silver-grey.
Like a Friend
(An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
The little harbour with its disclaimer signs,
those austere reminders
of who is always responsible,
two or three boats at low tide
tilting absent-mindedly to port or starboard
on the muddy sand
seafood in the restaurant,
with waitresses from Portugal
or maybe Brazil but certainly not
from round here;
just the view up to the castle on its bluff,
just the orange sand and golfers’ voices.
We have our path along the cliff top,
fieldfares on snowy ground,
oystercatchers taking the easy option
fossicking for worms
and it’s still the perfect place
for holding hands and kissing
at the kissing gates.
Out of Bounds, Ross Kightly, £7