David Rose’s poetry is not straightforward reading. It explores ideas, feelings, experiences, imaginings, that aren’t easy to pin down and define. It expresses these things through suggestion, association, imagery, rather than through clear statements or arguments. To read it, you have to let it resonate in your imagination, rather than trying to follow it with your rational mind. Often, it communicates in fragments, rather than telling complete stories. Often it seems unfinished. But, it’s always interesting.

In the video, this island rose, I’ve tried to capitalise on this looseness of the poetry, by juxtaposing lines and short fragments from several of the poems, and arranging them into a new sequence. The resulting text makes an even less coherent story, but I hope it presents a shifting landscape of thoughts and emotions that can communicate something. The words fade in and out through a series of photographs, of the Isle of Skye in midwinter. These are the last pictures that David ever took. I’ve cropped them in various ways, added effects in places, but also included straight copies of them. And I’ve added a quiet, simple soundtrack of acoustic guitar music, and tried to synchronise the whole thing so that the words, pictures and music all work together, in ways which, from what I knew of him, David would have approved of.



The video this island rose is on Natterjackvideo (Natterjack's Youtube channel): click here

The ebook a word again from David Rose is available  here - a 37-page ebook of David’s poems and prose. It can be read on a computer screen, or copied onto an ebook reader, or printed out if you prefer a paper copy.

There's also a 3-minute mini-sampler version of the video here.




this day began with stone
cutting at the wind's attack.
the air keened its howl
and split directions, shifting
its compass to the cliff's edge
honed like an axe-blade,
cleaving the sky,
an old fire's forging
in the belly of the earth.

once, this island rose
with lava's thunder
boiling at the salt wave

this day began again with stone
chiselled out with ice and urgency,
the way the years hack at it
with seasons and their tides, the break
of all the world's weeping and the salt
thrown back against the land's buttress.
like the precipice, we lean
against the storm's eye
pressed into uncushioned air

this island rose; it sang
the hollow sound of wind
through uncleared bone

the day began this time with quarries,
mines, the heat of grinding wheels
and furnaces, steel boiling
like the morning's sea,
the polished edge of executioners
and warfare, how you said
it takes an axe
to do things in another way.

once, this island rose
and cut apart the sky,
cracked it in the light's breaking.

David Rose





Read other poems by David Rose

Watch the video this island rose

Order a word again from the Natterjack Shop 

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