Patrick Osada — Changes.
Dempsey & Windle, 2017. 72 pp. £7.99 ISBN 978-1-907435-36-2
The final poem is often the best way into a collection and Changes supports this view. The first stanza of ‘Anniversary’ runs “Uncertain that my memory serves me well—/ my nose pressed to the window of the past/ for images that flicker like old film/ with action blurred and features lost to chance.”. This brings together Osada’s approach to his themes throughout Changes’ three sections— Seasonal, At a Time of Unrest, and Keepsake — together with his preferred use of regular metrical form, often rhymed. Here the half rhyme (past/chance) has a pleasing lightness of touch, avoiding the heaviness that can sometimes come with full rhyme.
This collection answers its own question: ‘How do we keep alive what once we were?’ (from ‘Lost Boy’). Attention to changes and the continuing work of transforming these into words hold everything together.
D A Prince (SOUTH Magazine No 56)