Home                      Andre Mangeot, 5 October 2020 To judge from Charles 1st’s ‘On A Quiet Conscience’, the monarch accepted his death with a lot more equanimity than is customary in the 21st century. Blood Rain, was perhaps melancholy, and elegiac, André forewarned, and certainly he was moved by the circumstances of some of the feisty elderly men he met as a charity-worker in care homes. But poets have a language for writing about things others don’t care to face, and he promised ‘love’ and ‘heart’ as well. I might add, energy, movement, and the ability to bring things together in unlikely combinations. ‘The Odds’, for instance,  unites in time, three extraordinarily various worlds. Delhi, London and Harlem, in each place, a youth conducts her or his mission. The poem speaks with  memorable sympathy for the Indian child who ‘runs / back across the street, light as air, his only God the sun.’ André’ father was a passionate sailor, and poems like ‘Ash’ acknowledgea this. While ‘Heart’ tells of exultation in the poet’s love-life. ‘ … now my own heart’s racing too, swept and blown between these streaming moments, skin numb, rivulets for faces, alone and lost to everyone but one another’ Others acknowledge a breathless striving towards wonder that goes side by side with suffering. The title poem is a good example of almost Biblical intensity of impending disaster foretold by science and meterology  ‘our latest prophets’, Then, hazing the horizon, silting lungs, it came by night, silent and unseen, this dust-shroud blown and shed like desiccated blood - laid upon our cars, our streets *** From the floor, it was good to be reminded of George ‘the poet’s’ down-to-earth musicality in ‘A Climate of Change’. How do you go about re-arranging common sense? Especially with years of research and journalism Making the conversation long and dense. Charles and Mary Lamb’s ‘Free Thoughts on Several Eminent Composers’ offered a light touch. There was an open-minded view of a session ‘with the Psychic Society’; a highly visual ‘Blue Denim’; takes on a ‘Pink Moon’; ‘Insects’, the Climate ‘In Crisis’, and another look at ‘Recycling’. Thanks to all who came.