Fealty by Ricky Ray
Ricky Ray’s collection ‘Fealty’ feels like a life achievement. So much is covered and explored – life, philosophy, politics and dreams.
Ricky imagines in a poem ‘A Place’, what a world without waste, and selfishness, would look like. I enjoy the quiet political undertones of this collection and this poem specifically, in which Ricky imagines what could happen if we deconstructed society: ‘a place where economy/ is what one does with what one has’.
This dream is mundane next to dreams in which he compares thirst for liquor to hunger for blood, identifying similarities between his own qualities and that of a panther, and a wild boar. The imagery in this collection, verges on fairy tale, in its exploration of the weird and wonderful, and this has the ability to transport the reader. For example, ‘Thanksgiving with Vegetarians’ begins, ‘In a field, somewhere out west, where an eagle feather refuses to land’, feels reminiscent of oral fairy-tale traditional beginnings ‘Once upon a time, in a land far away…’
I found myself laughing at lines such as ‘We live longer and call it progress’ and ‘He said it was time to stop writing poems and start living them’. This is a clever collection which has something to delight all readers and lovers of poetry. Ricky Ray is clearly a poet to watch!
by Jo Burns
Jo Burns ends this collection with the line, 'Weave. Weave your life well'.
This line sums up the sophistication and intellect with which Burns writes. I'm not embarrassed to say I had to look up most words within this book!! My favourite poem, Green Milk, weaves nature and the mountains into a religion: 'But the hymns bursting streams are kaleidoscopic. If there must be religion, then let this be it ' The collection explores belief systems and Jo takes the reader on a journey around the world. She also weaves mythology into her descriptions (which is where my dictionary was no help) but I enjoyed the mix of the two worlds! Mythology can be seen as religious in itself.