Tracks and ley-lines pull us, carry us / past Lindisfarne – or an imagined glimpse / drifting holy in the distance, / another reality running through it.
A rail is a track, a support, and a barrier. In this collection, spanning the personal and the political, Kentish pathways lead to London, to Yorkshire, to Faroe, then circle back to the west coast of Canada. An appeal, a railing against, these poems reach for beauty and compassion amidst uneasy global upheaval.
Miranda Pearson considers family ties and threads between adult and child, cross-pollinating and subverting credos from Bloomsbury to Brexit, Whitechapel to West Vancouver, the Bible to punk. The long poem "Abacus" explores dyscalculia and ways that numbers and their associations can be a rich source of memory. It also delves into resulting anxieties – navigations and compensations made in response to a learning difference. Through imagery heavily influenced by visual art, other poems in Rail focus on geological elements: how parts fit and dislodge, erode and compress. Ceramics and gemstones, ice and rock are fault lines and stepping stones that act as envoys between the human and the natural world. A tension exists here between art and nature, between art objects and the violent history of colonial curation. Rail tracks the cascade of this duality.
Exploring a diasporic connection between England and Canada, Rail is a journey along the brink between high and low culture, balancing on the edge of the awkward and the elegant.