Mauve coloured jacket with black print mainly centred. Title at top large lower case reads Moments in Life. In the middle in caps THE LAVENDER TOUCH with drawing of a sprig of lavender. Below this, smaller, and inside single inverted commas, 'Bundles of Words', and below that even smaller A collection of poems. Author's name very small bottom right hand corner.Moments in Life, ‘Bundles of Words’, Rory Macleod

The Lavender Touch with Rory Macleod, £5.00

Voice of the people

This mauve (lavender) coloured pamphlet is a fund-raiser for the Scottish Charity The Lavender Touch, which supports cancer sufferers in the Scottish Borders through complementary therapies, especially aromatherapy.

It has a homely look about it and a friendly, accessible tone. Many (not all) of the poems are centre formatted, and rhyming. Some are in Scots. They are, as the foreword by the author suggests, meant to be ‘spoken, read out loud’.

It’s easy to imagine them performed in a community setting by a person of character and charisma. They draw on what you might describe as the voice of the people, the ordinary people – not the Poets with capital P. Some pick up a common phrase and run with it.

How often have you heard the politicians say ‘We are all in it together’, for example:

‘Yes old chap it’s difficult’,
Said a millionaire,
And we are going to feel the pinch,
Said a millionaire,
Sooner or later,
Said a millionaire,
We will have to give up something
For the greater good.
One less home, he said,
One homeless, I said.
Food for thought, he said,
Thoughts of food, I said.

The author is a community and youth worker, identifying with the people and the Scottish nation, and cheered by laughter in the face of power. Those in power have ‘hidden shallows’ and ‘grey shapeless suits’, but the irrepressible and mischievous voice of the ordinary people makes poems for birthdays and marriages, for health and sickness, for sisters and children, for friends and ancestors.

So these are poems for the common reader − for those who might listen pleasurably to the longer texts, but might not read them in print for choice.

Actually, the shorter ones, it seems to me, work by far the best on the page. Like ‘Just is’, for example:

           Is there
      Another place,
      And moment,
       And feeling,
         Like this?

Helena Nelson