A luminous collection that beautifully explores human connection, feelings, and the orderliness of life…
Gutteridge’s latest book consists of short free-verse poems ranging from the small delights of childhood to the discovery of life’s bigger passions and griefs. The collection is a series of soulful pieces randomly linked by lingering memories of the past—some happy, some painful, and other wishful—and a reflective, nostalgic voice. Themes of childhood bliss, adolescent sexuality, love of nature, familial and friendship ties, mortality, grief, longing among others define the reverie of Gutteridge’s lyrical prose. In, “ON THE PROWL,” Gutteridge delves into his childhood curiosity about the real meaning of the bedtime prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep”. In “HARBOUR,” his longing for his wife Anne is apparent as he writes: “If I should die before/ I wake, forsaking daylight/ for the dark, something akin/ to my soul will navigate/ those dm corridors/ and swim like a new-finned/ ‘puffer’ in a sea, ruffled/ by love, and find my heart’s/ harbour in thee.” In “WILD SURMISE,” he mulls about the very power of poetry. “SHY SURPISE” explores the sweetness of youthful love. There are poems written in memory of loved ones long gone, boyhood shenanigans, family pets and farm animals, school life, and long summer days and frozen Canadian winters. There is an exploration of country life, Gutteridge’s connection with his beloved wife Annie, and his grief at losing his young grandson Tom unexpectedly: “If you had lived but a few/ years longer, it would’ve been me/ who died and you who suffered/ the oozing wound of losing/ someone too dear to let go -/ your bereavement pain, sea-/ seething inside you: bone-/ bruised, blood-ruddered/ bliss-blind, and now/ Mine.” There are also a few philosophical digressions, such as meditations on the meaning of life, death, religion, and poetry as well as funny anecdotes (Moxie) from his childhood. A wonderful look at the old memories, relationships, and human connection.
SAILING WITH THE WIND
New Poems 2023